How to Install Central Heat & Air

Central heat and air is no longer the luxury that it once was.

It has become so much of a necessity that builders automatically include it in most new homes. Climate changes in recent years have resulted in unseasonable cold and hot weather. Homeowners enjoy the convenience and comfort of having a central unit to control the temperature in their homes. This article gives instructions on how to install a central heating and air unit in your home. It is always recommended to consult with a professional when installing an electrical device of this size and stature.

Check the plans of your home to determine available space for ducts. It is important to know about empty surround space of the rooms that will house vents. After viewing the plans, map out all of the duct work.

Install the ducts. Use the planning maps you coordinated to lay the duct work.

Install the air handler. Use the manufacturer's manual to see instructions on how to do this. The air handler needs to be in the basement or the attic. Make sure that it is not placed next to any concrete foundations.

Take the tubing attached to the air handler and run it outside of the home. Ensure that it is away from the foundation.

Go to the main power switch and cut it off. You do not want to install any of the remaining parts without cutting the power. Serious injury and/or death may result if you skip this step.

Install the compressor. Pick a place that is at least 12 inches from the foundation and shrubs. This area needs to be on a leveled area ground. Take the plastic base and place it down first. Then place the compressor on the plastic base.

Drill 2 holes into the outer wall beside the compressor. One of the holes is for the refrigeration tube and the other is for the electrical tube. Stick the tubes in the holes and patch up any extra space around the tubes with strong filler.

Cut out a space in the wall for the wall panel thermostat. Using the included screws, attach the thermostat to the wall. Connect the wall panel to the main power supply.

Connect the main power to the air handler and compressor. If you have not death with electricity before, consult with an electrician to do this part. You should be able to find the main power supply by looking at the house plans.

Check all of the installed parts to make sure they are installed properly. Test the unit by cutting on the air first. Then turn on the heat to make sure that it also works.

Things You Will Need

  • Central Heat & Air Unit Thermostat (if one was not included with unit) Duct tubing Screwdriver Electric Drill


  • When turning on the heat, there may be a slight burning smell at first. This is quite normal and not a cause for concern. If smoke is present, turn off the unit immediately. Check everything to make sure something isn't installed incorrectly.


  • The main power supply needs to be checked before the unit is attached to it. Check with an electrician to see if it is able to withstand the additional needs of a central heat and air unit. It is very important to do this before attempting to connect the unit to the main power supply.

About the Author

Tiesha Whatley has been writing for over 10 years. She has been published in "Marie Claire," "Ebony" and "Modern Bride" magazines. She holds a Bachelor of Science in English from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and has been working in the wedding planning industry for over 13 years.