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  • Writer's pictureTy Shane

Avoiding Common Mistakes in Residential HVAC Installation

Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems are essential for maintaining comfort and air quality in homes. Proper installation of these systems is crucial for their efficiency, longevity, and the overall comfort of the residents. However, many homeowners and even some contractors make common mistakes during HVAC installation that can lead to inefficiencies, increased energy costs, and potential system failures. Here are some key points to consider to avoid these pitfalls:

Incorrect Sizing:

One of the most common mistakes in HVAC installation is improper sizing of the system. HVAC units that are too large or too small for the space they are meant to cool or heat can lead to inefficiencies. Oversized units may short cycle, turning on and off frequently, which not only wastes energy but also fails to adequately dehumidify the air. Undersized units will struggle to maintain comfortable temperatures and may run continuously, wearing out components prematurely.

Solution: Ensure that HVAC systems are sized correctly according to industry standards and specific calculations based on factors such as square footage, insulation levels, window sizes, and local climate conditions.

Poor Ductwork Design and Installation:

The ductwork in an HVAC system plays a critical role in distributing conditioned air throughout the home. Poorly designed or installed ductwork can result in uneven heating or cooling, increased energy consumption, and reduced indoor air quality due to leaks and inadequate airflow.

Solution: Ductwork should be properly sized and sealed to minimize leaks. Insulation should be used in ducts that pass through unconditioned spaces to prevent heat loss or gain. Ensure that ducts are designed to provide balanced airflow to all rooms.

Improper Refrigerant Charge:

HVAC systems that are over or undercharged with refrigerant can lead to reduced efficiency and potential compressor damage. Incorrect refrigerant levels can also affect system performance and cause higher utility bills.

Solution: HVAC technicians should carefully follow manufacturer specifications and use proper charging techniques to ensure the correct refrigerant charge for the system. This includes verifying refrigerant levels during installation and regular maintenance.

Neglecting Air Flow Considerations:

Proper airflow is essential for HVAC system efficiency and performance. Issues such as blocked vents, closed registers, or improperly sized return grilles can restrict airflow, causing the system to work harder and reducing its lifespan.

Solution: Ensure that vents and registers are not obstructed by furniture or curtains. Maintain clear airflow paths and use appropriate sizes for return grilles to allow sufficient airflow back to the HVAC unit.

Skipping Professional Installation:

Attempting DIY HVAC installation or hiring inexperienced contractors can lead to costly mistakes. Improperly installed systems may fail to operate efficiently, void warranties, and pose safety risks.

Solution: Always hire licensed HVAC professionals with experience in residential installations. They have the expertise to correctly size, install, and commission HVAC systems according to industry standards and local building codes.

Ignoring Maintenance Requirements:

Proper maintenance is crucial for the longevity and efficiency of HVAC systems. Neglecting regular maintenance tasks such as filter replacement, coil cleaning, and system inspections can lead to reduced performance and higher energy bills.

Solution: Establish a routine maintenance schedule with your HVAC technician to ensure that your system operates at peak efficiency. Regular maintenance not only improves performance but also extends the lifespan of your HVAC equipment.


In conclusion, avoiding common mistakes in residential HVAC installation requires careful planning, proper sizing, attention to detail during installation, and regular maintenance. By addressing these key areas, homeowners can ensure that their HVAC systems provide reliable comfort and efficiency for years to come. For complex installations or upgrades, consulting with a qualified HVAC professional is always recommended to achieve optimal results and avoid costly errors.

For expert guidance on HVAC installations and maintenance, contact us today at Advanced Problem Solutions. Visit us at 2425 Hubbell Ave Suite 106, Des Moines, IA 50317, United States.

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