Installing a Ductless Mini Split HVAC Unit
You’ve decided to add a ductless mini-split system to your property but you’re unsure about how this type of system is installed. Of all of the HVAC system types, the mini-split remains one of the easiest when it comes to the installation process.
About Ductless Mini-Split Systems
There are many brands/manufacturers of ductless mini-split systems on the market to choose from, but the one thing each ductless system has in common is affordability, compact design, and easy installation/maintenance.
A ductless mini-split system consists of an outdoor condenser, compressor, wall mounted air handler and a remote control with multiple features such as a sleep setting, timer and automatic shutoff. The entire unit provides an economical alternative to heat pump or packaged HVAC systems along with high performance, quiet operation and superior energy efficiency.
Ductless Systems use R-rated Refrigerant and are Eco-friendly.
For informational purposes, a 22,000 BTU 2 ton ductless mini-split system runs on 230 volts, has a high seasonal energy efficiency rating (SEER) of 15, which results in quality energy efficiency, has variable fan settings, and can cover up to 1500 square feet.
Ductless Mini-Split Installation
Interior Air Handler – The first thing to consider is where the interior air handler will be located. There are several things to keep in mind when choosing the ideal location.
- Avoid placing the air handler in direct sunlight.
- Avoid placing the unit near any heat sources.
- The air handler needs to be in a location that provides optimum circulation, minimal operating noise and optimal drainage.
- Do not place the air handler anywhere near or around a doorway.
- Avoid placing the air handler near any furniture, wall hangings, or other accessories or obstacles that could interfere with or block circulation.
- Install the outdoor condenser in a place that allows plenty of room around all sides of the unit.
- There should be no obstacles placed in or around the condenser that would affect airflow resulting in poor operation.
- If you plan to install any type of protective covering over the condenser to protect against direct sunlight, such as an awning, ensure it in no way obstructs the flow of air.
- The condenser will discharge hot air. With this in mind, keep plants or flowers away from the unit. This also applies to any outdoor kennel or other secure area where pets spend time.
- Once a location is chosen, the condenser should be securely attached to a concrete platform with bolts to prevent vibration.
The process begins with the mounting of the installation plate on a sturdy exterior wall with ample surrounding space around the plate. Holes are then drilled into the wall to match the corresponding holes in the installation plate.
Once the mounting plate is installed, a piping hole is then drilled in the interior wall to coincide with the right or left side of the mounting plate. You’ll need to follow the specific instructions and/or diagram that comes with your system.
The electrical connections are the next step in the installation process. Keep in mind that any wiring and connection of cables to the indoor unit must comply with both local and national codes.
The interior air handler needs to be installed along with the wiring and electrical/cable connections, first, before proceeding with the installation of a drain hose and refrigerant line.
Once the above steps are completed, cables will then be connected to the exterior unit.
The final steps installing a ductless mini-split system include air purging, leak testing and conducting a safety test of the system.
What is Air Purging?
Air purging consists of checking the tubing/lines between the outdoor and indoor system to remove moisture, air and non-condensable particles using a vacuum pump.
Leaks are determined by checking both the indoor and outdoor connections using a leak detector or a soapy solution. If bubbles appear around the connections, this signifies a leak.
Recommended Installation Tips
The process for installing a ductless mini-split system is detailed and unless you have the experience to do the job yourself, it is recommended that you hire a licensed electrician. Depending on where you purchase the system, the company may also offer in-house contractors to handle the installation.