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10 Key Factors to Think of Before Your Big Bear AC Installation

Bear Valley Plumbing & Heating


The installation of a new air conditioning system at your home, office, or other building is a massive endeavor. This cooling system should serve you well for a decade or longer. However, there is plenty that can go wrong during and after Big Bear AC installation. If you do not select the right installation team or if you choose the wrong type of air conditioner, you will end up unsatisfied. Let’s take a quick look at the top considerations for those considering Big Bear AC installation.

1. Energy Efficiency Ratings for Air Conditioners

Most people have heard about energy efficiency ratings in passing yet do not fully understand what they are all about. The new air conditioning unit’s seasonal energy efficiency ratio or SEER for short should be a minimum of 14. Air conditioners with the highest level of efficiency have a SEER of near 20. The ENERGY STAR label is a seal provided by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that proves the AC unit is efficient and performs well. Highly-efficient AC units tend to cost more upfront yet the money is well worth it as the ongoing savings offset the initial premium.

If you are going to install a new air conditioning system, it’s in your best interests to pick one that is energy efficient. California is hot and your system will be running a lot, so the more efficient it is, the less it will cost. Still not sure about how to choose a system based on its efficiency rating? Ask our experts at Bear Valley Plumbing & Heating for assistance.

2. Be Careful When Selecting a Big Bear AC Installation Crew

There is no guarantee your Big Bear AC installation will go smoothly. You can mitigate the chances of a flawed installation that results in myriad problems down the line by carefully selecting your Big Bear AC installation crew. The bottom line is installing a new air conditioning system is a complex challenge the average neighborhood handyman cannot handle on his or her own.

The Big Bear AC installation team you select must have a strong work ethic, extensive experience, the proper tools and unparalleled attention to detail. After all, everything from the refrigerant level to the voltage, pressure and secure mounts all play a part in the functionality of your air conditioning unit across posterity. Choose the right Big Bear AC installation crew today and you will not have to worry about vetting AC repair companies as frequently down the line.

3. Consider the Air Ducts

Air Ducts

If your home does not have an air duct system already installed, Big Bear AC installation will take a bit more work. Those who already have ducts in the home will likely be able to seamlessly segue to the installation of central air conditioning. Those without ducts can still have them installed. However, the better option might be the installation of a ductless mini-split instead of a central air conditioning system with air ducts. Ductless mini-splits are comparably expensive yet their remarkable efficiency ultimately reduces their aggregate cost across posterity.

This type of air conditioning system relies upon units installed in individual rooms. Each AC unit has its own unique thermostat and controls so the homeowner has full control over the amount of energy used to cool each part of his or her living space.

You can also find multi-zone ductless systems that allow you to set up multiple units around the house and control them from a single place. WiFi-enabled systems make things even more convenient. Plus, you’re not spending thousands of dollars on ductwork or dealing with the energy loss that often comes with it.

4. Sensitivity to Air Quality

The quality of your indoor air plays a major part in your comfort. If the air is excessively dry or humid, you probably won’t feel very comfortable in your home. Furthermore, a living or working space laden with contaminants is likely to make you feel sick or worsen asthma or allergy symptoms. Do not settle on a specific type of air conditioning system until the Big Bear AC installation team you selects addresses your air quality concerns.

There are numerous HVAC configurations and devices that can improve your indoor air quality. However, some such solutions are not compatible with specific heating and cooling units. As an example, a home with an abundance of humidity will likely require a whole-home dehumidifier. Such dehumidifiers are limited to installation within duct systems. As a result, those who take the ductless system route will not be able to benefit from a whole-home dehumidifier.

5. This is Also a Time to Think About Home Heating

There is no sense having the installation team return to your home months later to replace or perform significant repairs on your Big Bear home heating system when it can be addressed at the same time as the AC installation. If your furnace has required a string of repairs or if it is more than a decade old, it might be time to replace it with a new unit. Consider the installation of a heat pump that addresses your heating and cooling needs with one convenient solution. Heat pumps are heating and cooling systems that alternate between heating and cooling modes with a single touch. It does not get any more convenient than that.

Your HVAC system operates like a well-oiled machine, or it should. When problems arise, you want to address them at once if you can. Your Bear Valley AC installer will help you explore all the options, learn about heat pumps, and figure out how to proceed. If AC is all you need, that’s fine, too. But it’s important to think about since you’re already getting work done.

6. Consider the Size of Your Home

As we pointed out earlier, you want to ensure that your AC is as efficient as possible. This helps minimize the amount of energy you use to power the AC and maintain the unit’s overall longevity. The unit’s efficient work doesn’t just depend on its efficiency but on its ability to accommodate your home.

Each AC unit is built to accommodate a specific capacity or home size. This capacity is measured in British Thermal Units (BTUs). To understand what capacity you need for a room, multiply the square footage of your home by 25. The number you get should be the minimum cooling capacity of your new AC unit.

If the unit’s capacity isn’t enough to accommodate your home’s size, it will wear out quicker and use more energy to cool your home. An oversized air conditioner will also cost you a lot on energy bills and produce inconsistent temperatures throughout your home.

7. Short-Term and Long Term Costs

The cost of your new AC unit is most likely at the forefront of your mind as you shop around for this new upgrade. As you consider the cost of your AC, we encourage you to think about the following factors that will impact your immediate, short-term costs:

  • What are the installation costs?
  • Will ductwork be needed for the new unit?
  • What are the unit’s capacity and efficiency?
  • Who manufactured the new unit?

The answers to these questions will help you determine the fees you will owe during the installation phase of your AC.

Additionally, there are long-term, monthly costs of an air conditioning unit. Consider the following questions when thinking about the future costs of running your new unit:

  • What are the energy efficiency rates for this unit?
  • What kind of energy bills should I expect?
  • How much does it cost to maintain this unit?
  • What kind of warranty does the manufacturer offer?
  • How much do repairs cost on this unit?

These factors will determine your monthly expenses for using your AC unit. Of course, you do not have to find these answers by yourself. The knowledgeable technicians at Bear Valley Plumbing & Heating will help you navigate the research stage of your purchase as you choose your new unit.

8.  Quality of Attic Insulation

Attic Insulation

As you prepare for a new AC unit installation, it may be a good time to have the condition of your insulation inspected as well. Insulation plays a significant role in the energy efficiency of your AC. It is normally installed in the attic and helps keep the outdoor air from wafting into the home. This protection helps maintain consistent temperatures inside your home and prevents the AC from wearing out early.

If your home is fairly old, you may have noticed some of the following signs of poor attic insulation:

  • Water leaks
  • Pest problems
  • Cold drafts coming through
  • Moisture and mold in the attic
  • Increasing energy bills
  • Inconsistent temperatures
  • Frozen pipes

If you noticed any of these issues in your home, you probably didn’t put them together. However, two or three of these signs manifesting together are symptoms of poor insulation. As you get your new AC installed, it is quite possible to have your insulation repaired or replaced as well. This will save you money in the long run and help your AC serve you for a very long time.

9. Consider Who You are Hiring for the Job

Buying a new AC unit is like making a new investment in your home. Because of this, every single part of the process must be considered carefully, including the team who will be performing the installation. As you select the technician for the installation, make sure to verify the following factors about them:

  • They are licensed and insured
  • They have a trek record of successful, quality installations
  • Their previous clients have good testimonies about their services
  • They offer upfront pricing for their work

These factors will help you hire the best person to install your new AC. You will feel assured and confident that your tech’s work will serve you for decades to come.

Big Bear AC Installation FAQs

How do I know if I need a new AC unit?

If your unit is more than 10 years old or if it has stopped functioning properly, it may be time to replace it. Sometimes, repairs can be made to the different parts of the system, but that isn’t always the case. Your installer will help you determine the best course of action.

How much does it cost to retrofit ductwork?

If you don’t have ductwork in your home, the cost of installing air conditioning can get quite high. That’s why we often suggest the ductless mini-split system. Not only does it require no ducting, but it’s a more efficient system overall.

What are signs that my AC needs repair or replacement?

There are several indicators that your air conditioner might be in need of a little TLC. If the system isn’t cooling like it should or you notice any strange odors or noises, there could be something going on. If the unit fails completely, that’s a pretty obvious sign that you need assistance.

How can I keep my AC costs low?

Make sure that your home is well-sealed and that your windows are newer. Use blackout curtains or other shades to keep the heat of the sun from warming up the home. Also, consider lowering the thermostat at night and when you’re not home to reduce how hard the system has to work.


AC installation is a big deal and you want to ensure that you get a unit that will perform its best and lasts long. This is possible only when you pay attention to some critical factors before having an AC system installed. From checking out the energy efficiency rating and considering a ductless unit to deciding on the crew that will perform the installation, you must be mindful of these considerations and more to enjoy the benefits of an efficient cooling system.

Bear Valley Plumbing & Heating is at Your Service

We take great pride in the quality and thoroughness of our Big Bear AC installation service. If you need Big Bear AC installation, repair, maintenance, or any other HVAC service, contact us today. You can reach our HVAC gurus by dialing (909) 637-3951.

Original article revised on  Dec 27, 2022

Related Content: The 5 Simple Steps for Safe AC Installation in Your Big Bear


If you are looking for a Big Bear plumbing, heating & air conditioning contractor, please call (909) 584-4376 or complete our online request form.