Installing a mini-split AC is usually a job that’s best left to the professionals. That being said, it’s quite possible for homeowners to install their own mini-split air conditioner in most cases. While it’s advisable to contact a professional for the most part, a DIY installation isn’t an issue as it’s quite straightforward. You can install it in a variety of locations in your home including the garage or even your shed.
What makes the installation is the set of general tools and materials you’ll need to install. Most AC units are usually pre-filled with refrigerant and have connectors that don’t need special tools or skills to set in place. All you need is to mount the two units on your chosen locations, then fix the line set to join them. And to make the process even easier, we’ll highlight the crucial steps to follow when installing a mini-split air conditioner and everything you need.
- Driver/ drill
- Adjustable wrench
- Hole saw
- Plastic Condenser Pad
- Plastic Line
- Set Cover Kit
- Wall Brackets
- Ductless mini-split system
Best Steps on how to Install a Mini-Split Air Conditioner Unit
If you’re looking for how to install a mini-split air conditioner unit, look no further! Here are some easy steps to follow to make sure your installation is done right.
1. Install a Mounting Bracket
The first step is fixing the mounting bracket. This should be done on the inside of an external wall, protected from dust, direct sunshine, and doorways. Since you’ll also be drilling holes on the wall, ensure that you choose a location that’s free from pipes, ducts, and wires. After you have your location, mark the stud points and secure the bracket to them with screws.
2. Drill a Pilot Line Set Hole
Once the bracket is secure, it’s time to drill your unit’s pilot hole. However, ensure that your line set hole slants slightly outside. This will ensure that the condensate from the unit will drain easily. You should also ensure that there are no obstructions from outside the wall that might hinder the drilling process.
3. Make the Actual-Size Hole
Now that you’ve ascertained where the line set hole will be, you can drill the actual hole. A hole saw is the best tool to do that. Start drilling the hole from the inside and complete it from the outside. You should ensure that you’ve removed any obstructions or insulations that can hinder your drilling.
4. Insert the Line Set
At the back of your evaporator, uncoil the line set. Please do it carefully. You can ask someone to stand outside and assist you in feeding the line set via the hole. You should bend the line set gently downwards to get to the condenser.
The rigid plastic collar around the line set should be at the end linking to the condenser. Since the drain line is shorter, it should go through the last, beneath the other lines. Get the drain extension and fold the joint with the electrical tape for safety.
5. Install the Evaporator
You are now ready to install the evaporator. First, ensure that you fold the foam sleeve on the line set at the point where it enters the hole. Also, restore any damaged insulation. Now hang the evaporator unit on the brackets you had installed and make sure it’s well fastened. On the outside section of the hole, insert the plastic trim into the hole. It will help guard the line set in case there are some rough edges that can damage it.
6. Install the Condenser
Mount your condenser on a wall bracket or set it on a pad on the ground. It helps the refrigerant lines to access it easily. Also, route your line set to ensure it is tightly fixed to the walls. This will make it easier for you when you install the cover.
At this point, you should also remove any bushes or debris that might be near your condenser. And, make sure that where you’ve placed your condenser is protected from snowfall.
7. Join the Refrigerant Lines
Firstly, you should note that different units will require a different process. This is because of the manufacturing differences between these units. So, depending on the type of the AC unit, connect the lines as directed on the manufacturer’s menu. After this, check for any refrigerant line kinks and ensure the electrical connections are okay.
Your unit is now ready for use. All you need is to set your desired temperature, and you are good to go.
8. Cover the Line Set
This is another crucial guideline when installing a mini-split air conditioner. Insulate and fasten the hole in the exterior wall. Cover the line set using a metal channel and plastic sections and cut to length. Also, put back half of the channel after the line set. Plumb and anchor it to the wall using self-tap screws. The line set should be horizontal to the compressor.
How Does a Mini Split Air Conditioner Function?
If you’re looking for how to install a mini-split air conditioner, it’s important to keep in mind that it has two main elements; an indoor evaporator that cools the air and an outdoor condenser that dissolves heat. They are fastened by a line set that passes through the hole in the wall. The line carries cold refrigerant in and hot refrigerant outside. The line set also includes a drain line to fetch condensation outside and a cable to power the evaporator.
What to Look Out for When Purchasing and Installing Mini Split AC
Size of the Mini-Split
When determining the size of the mini-split you want, walk with a professional through this. Under-sizing and over-sizing the mini-split AC is major mistake homeowners make. And it leads to escalating bills and poor cooling. A properly-sized mini split AC will address your cooling and heating need for the future.
Type of Mini-Split
You should consider the space and preferences before buying your mini-split AC. The most famous choices are single-zone and multi-zone mini-split ACs. Others include ceiling cassette, wall-mounted and floor-mounted. Specify your cooling and heating requirements before making the final decision.
It would be best to place a mini-split AC on an outside wall. Also, it should preferably be in the middle of a room. Ensure that you have left 2 inches of space above the indoor system. Lastly, for proper air circulation, ensure enough space in the outdoor units.
SEER and EER ratings are a sign of an AC’s efficiency. The higher the ratings, the better the performance. Therefore, purchase a mini-split AC that has high energy efficiency.