What Is Involved in Air Conditioning Replacement?

air conditioning replacement

What Is Involved in Air Conditioning Replacement?

Posted by
Ed Miller on Sat, Dec 15, 2012

AC units that are older than 12 years usually need to be replaced, as they have outlived their life expectancy. The replacement of an old system requires the removal of the outdoor compressor and the indoor air handler. The entire process should be performed by a licensed professional with the tools that can remove the refrigerant and clean/replace the ductwork.

Calling a HVAC professional for air conditioning replacement and duct work is a smart choice for any homeowner. A professional will have the skills and tools necessary to disconnect and replace the central unit to clean or rerun ductwork wherever it is needed. The professionals will deal with the central unit, the outdoor compressor, the refrigerant, and the ductwork.

The Central Unit

The central air conditioning unit that keeps the air in your home comfortable in the warm summer months is usually a split system with an air handler and a compressor. The air handler is usually located somewhere on the main level of the home or up in the attic. It contains the blower (fan) and air exchanger. The compressor is usually located somewhere on the outside of the home, far away from windows, due to its ability to generate noise.

The professional will disconnect the compressor and the air handler from the air duct system and replace it with a new unit. Once the air duct system is cleaned or replaced, the professional will hook everything up including the electrical connection, and recharge the refrigerant so it can produce cold air again.

Air-Conditioning Duct Work

The cool air from your air conditioning system is delivered to all the rooms in your house including hallways and bathrooms through a hidden network of rigid or flexible ducts. Based on your home’s duct work condition, the contractor will choose to clean, repair or replace the system. To work efficiently, the air duct must be as airtight as possible. This allows the prevention of air from escaping, which would cause the system to become highly inefficient.


The refrigerant in the air-conditioning system is strictly controlled by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency). Their tight controls minimize the escape of Freon refrigerant gas into the atmosphere. Only certified technicians with the proper equipment are allowed to charge, or fill, your air conditioning system with refrigerant to ensure it is functioning properly.

Usually, in an old system, the air ductwork does not necessarily need to be changed. However, if your AC unit is older than 12 years it most likely has outlived its life expectancy. A qualified, licensed, competent HVAC contractor will be able to quickly replace your old unit with a new one. Once installed, it will run more efficiently, creating lower utility bills and producing cleaner air for your home.

Skip to content