3 Ways Your Refrigerant Line Set Can Impact Your AC Installation

Posted on: 21 December 2020


If you aren't an installer, then you probably don't give much thought to the line set that your air conditioning system uses. Your line set forms the plumbing for your refrigerant loop, carrying it as it travels along both the system's low and high-pressure sides. Proper refrigerant plumbing shouldn't require much thought from homeowners, but poor installation choices can lead to trouble. 

The more you understand these straightforward but essential elements, the better you'll understand the installation process for your new system. Below you will find three ways that your line set will impact your air conditioner's performance and reliability.

1. Reusing Your Old Line Set

Reusing old hardware can save money, but it's not always the right choice. Refrigerant line sets come in varying outer diameter sizes, and older line sets may not support newer refrigerant standards. Additionally, installers typically size your refrigerant line set based on the distance that it must run between the indoor and outdoor system components.

When installing a new system, your installer will need to compare your existing line set to your new unit's rated specifications. If the old line set meets the necessary specifications for your new system and the distance, you can reuse it. However, your installer will need to examine your old plumbing to ensure no breaks or signs of severe wear.

2. Installing Overly Long Line Sets

The maximum length of your line set depends in part on the size of your system. Higher capacity systems can typically support longer line sets, but your installer will need to consult with your equipment specifications. Line sets that are too long can impact the system's efficiency, potentially preventing it from reaching its rated SEER value.

Anything that reduces your system's efficiency can also impact its longevity since the compressor will need to work harder at all times. For this reason, it's often best to minimize line set length where possible to remain inside the specifications for your components.

3. Failing to Account for Line Length

In addition to minimizing your line set's length, your installer needs to ensure that they use the correct piping and fitting size. Longer runs require larger fittings and tubes, and poor choices can reduce inefficiency and lead to more significant wear on components. Since longer line runs are sometimes unavoidable, your installer will need to account for this extra length when designing the system.

Your line set isn't a glamorous part of your AC system, but it's a crucial one. Choosing an experienced installer ensures that refrigerant line design issues don't lead to trouble in the future. Contact an AC installation service for more information.