Seasons come and go, but there is one industry that keeps on booming, regardless of the overall economic landscape – the HVAC sector! Statista projects that by 2024, the number of HVAC units sold is likely to increase to over 150 million.
Still, purchasing and installing HVAC units can seem quite pricey for many. As air conditioning's popularity dims a bit, another HVAC unit is becoming the new rage – mini-splits.
For budget-conscious souls, mini-splits are the perfect mix of comfort, efficiency, and convenience. Additionally, the installation of a mini-split is considerably easier than the process of installing central air conditioning. Why? This is because such units do not require any ductwork.
If you are looking into doing the installation on your own, here is all that you need to know about the process!
The Pre-Installation Considerations
Here are the three things you need to do before beginning your DIY journey
- Choose the right mini-split
Do a quick google search about 'mini-split installers near me.' Visit them and seek general guidance about which type of mini-split you should buy.
Why is this necessary, you may ask? This is because not all splits can't be installed on your own. You need to invest in one that supports DIY. Also, once you are done, you will still require the help of an expert for charging the refrigerant line. So, it is good to have them on board early on!
2. Finalize size and placement
Mini-splits come in varying sizes. And which size is ideal for your house depends on where you plan on placing your unit. Also, you must take into account your cooling or heating considerations. The bigger the split, the higher is its cost.
Also, when deciding placement, look for an exterior wall that is at the center of a given room for consistent cooling across the room.
3. Understand the components
All mini-splits have two elements – a condenser unit placed outdoors and an air handler installed indoors. A copper tube connects the two together, allowing for cooling or heating.
To install the unit on your own, you must understand each of the components' role and the way they are supposed to be installed.
Let's begin installing!
Once you have selected the right mini-split that can be installed without much external help and one that caters to your cooling and energy efficiency needs, here is a step-by-step process you must follow to complete the installation.
- Gather your tools
You will need two types of wrenches (torque and adjustable), a drill, knife, hole saw, a wire cutter, head sand flat lay screwdrivers, safety glasses, a pair of gloves, and a ladder.
2. Finalize the location
While you might have decided what room to install your mini-split in, now is the time to get into the nitty-gritty details. Decide on a wall, preferably an exterior wall. This will help remove the obstacles associated with connecting the outdoor and indoor components of the unit.
Also, keep in mind that the exact location of the indoor unit must be sufficiently above the ground. It is recommended that this should be at least six feet.
3. Clear away the outdoor area
The place where the outdoor unit will be installed should be free of foliage and shrubs. So, begin by clearing the area so that your mini-split can function efficiently.
4. Install wall brackets
The outdoor unit cannot hang in place on its own! You need some form of a stabilizer for it. This can include wall brackets or a concrete pad. We would suggest the former since it is a permanent solution. Not to mention that a wall bracket will protect your outdoor unit sufficiently during snowy days.
5. Backplate installation
The first actual installation for the mini-split begins by locating the wall studs and then installing a backplate on it. Wall studs refer to the wooden framing that exists in a wall to provide stability to the structure. You can use a stud finder to identify it. Drill and install the backplate on it.
6. Decide on the hole location
A hole needs to be drilled on the wall to connect the indoor and outdoor units. You must carefully mark the spot as per the wall template within the mini-split manual. Then, use a hole saw to drill a hole through the wall. Ensure that your marking is central to the hole you drill.
7. Place the wall sleeve inside the hall
After you have drilled the hole, push the wall sleeves through it. Make sure that the part that sticks out is as close to the exterior wall as possible on the other side. Cut off additional parts if required.
8. Install the indoor unit
First, begin by positioning the drain pipe and refrigerant line at a right-hand angle to the mini-split's backside. Then, mount the indoor unit by passing the drainpipe through the placed wall sleeves and connecting the handler to the wall plate. Also, add a synthetic rubber to secure the elements, and from the outside, bend the drainpipe to a right-hand angle again.
9. Connect it all
Now, begin by attaching the drain hose and refrigerant line via the use of wrenches. Once it is in place, remove the condenser valve cover and open the valves via an Allen wrench. Check for leaks via using soapy water. In case of large bubbles form, recheck the refrigerant lines or seek help from a professional.
10. Connect it to electricity
Do not DIY this part! You need to get a certified electrician to do so. Any local professional will be able to connect your installed mini-split to the electrical system, rendering it able to make your room weather appropriate.
With these easy ten steps and a lot of help from the included user manual, you will be able to install your mini-split quite effectively! In case you run into trouble, feel free to comment with your queries below.