Adding a Heater to a Central Air Conditioner

When looking for an electrical temperature control device, many homeowners make the mistake of looking for either a heater or a central air conditioner unit. However, seasons alter, and a heatless air conditioner can end up being a waste of space while the family huddles around a portable heater. Most central air conditioning units are now supplied with a heater pump, which provides heat during winter months; however, heatless central air conditioning will require you to add a heater unit to the AC. If heaters are not added, not only will you be cold, but also essential components in the AC will become chilled and may break down.

There are a number of ways in which this problem can be solved: first by installing a heating system alongside the air conditioner, or by adding heater units to individual rooms, such as bathrooms, where they are needed. Another option is to add a heater to the central air conditioner itself, so that the unit which provides cool air in summer can also be used for hot air in the winter.

Adding Heater Units to an Air Conditioner

If you decide to add a heater unit to the air conditioner, you can either call in an expert to attach the wires and make sure that everything is working correctly, or you can choose to do it yourself.

Heater units can be bought from shops with the necessary kit to allow you to attach them to existing AC units. You will probably have to drill a few holes in the wall near the central air conditioning unit. Heater units can also be installed under the stairs, using the indoor connections to the AC unit. Follow the instructions on the packet in the box – this is the best method, as not all heater units are the same; different attachments will require different attention.

When adding a heater unit to a heatless central air conditioner system, the power cord which comes with the heater must be the one used, rather than the power cord attached to the air conditioner unit.

Installing Heater Elements to an AC Unit

Air conditioning units can often be damaged by bad weather, and one way to stop this is to attach heater kits to relevant parts of the central air conditioning body. For example, when attaching a heating element to the compressor:

  • Remove the outdoor unit to access the compressor.
  • Unscrew the tension screws on the heater to release both parts of the heating mechanism. Attach the spring to the heating element, and mount and tighten around an inch from the compressors bottom.
  • Route the wires for the heating element to the connection box. Using cable ties, keep the wires away from the compressor tubes, and the AC fan.
  • Attach the wires to the relevant points on the heater kit.
  • Test for problems with the wiring connection.
  • Reattach the outdoor unit cover.