Can I Relocate my HVAC Unit Myself?

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There are times when most homeowners have considered the possibility of moving their HVAC equipment, usually the air conditioner, to a new location around the property. Believe it or not, there are quite a few reasons why you might want to do this, starting with enhancing the exterior attractiveness of your home, by re-positioning it out of sight.

Then too, your HVAC unit may be in the direct line of new fencing you want to put up, or it may be obstructing some landscaping features you’re adding outdoors. You might also be remodeling or adding on to your home, or you might need to comply with new building codes that recently came into effect. You might want to avoid harming children or pets who play around it, or it might be too close to a dryer vent.

It’s even possible that you’re trying to reduce the risk of theft to some of the valuable components of your outdoor air conditioner, and you want to move it to a more secure location. But now that you’ve decided to relocate your HVAC unit – how hard will it be, can you really do it yourself, and whoever moves it, what will it cost you?

Difficulties of Relocation

One of the biggest problems with relocating your HVAC unit is that the refrigerant line must not be bent at any kind of severe angle, because that would likely create a leak in the line, so great care must be taken. Prior to relocation, all the refrigerant in the system would have to be pumped out, and then the copper lines would have to be either replaced or welded to whatever length was necessary to accommodate the new position.

The lines must then be reconnected to the unit, and the refrigerant would have to be pumped back in. Any moisture or air in the lines would have to be vacuumed out, so they don’t prevent circulation of the refrigerant. When new lines are run, you should be very careful not to extend them beyond the unit’s capability to pump refrigerant effectively, and this means that any inclines must not be too severe.

New thermostat wiring would have to be run and secured to the unit, and new wiring would have to be run to the disconnect box. The copper lines would have to be insulated and a protective cover placed over the line set, so doesn’t become an eyesore or a hindrance to traffic around the house. Last but not least, the new position of the HVAC unit has to be re-leveled, and the whole system has to be restarted.

Relocation Cost

What all of this amounts to in terms of cost, could approach $1000, so if your HVAC relocation is part of a remodeling or new addition project, make sure to budget for this extra cost of relocation. Can you do all this yourself? Even the handiest do-it-yourselfer types would find many of these tasks a bit beyond their knowledge or experience. If you feel comfortable carrying out all of them yourself, it’s certainly do-able, but keep in mind that when all is said and done, you’re going to want an air conditioner which still operates at peak efficiency, and provides the same indoor air quality that you had before the move.

You won’t want to be without heating or cooling service in Arizona, especially around Phoenix, Scottsdale, Gilbert, Tempe, Mesa, or Chandler, so if you really need to have your HVAC unit relocated, your best bet is probably to leave it to the experts – like Bruce’s Air Conditioning and Heating.