Need a powerful yet quiet, energy-efficient, and compact air conditioning system? A ductless mini-split system is the best choice. A mini-split air conditioning unit has two parts; the outdoor unit (the condenser) and the indoor unit inside the house. Installing a split AC might not be the typical DIYer’s cup of tea. However, if you’re comfortable with a bit of plumbing and have some electrical experience, you might be able to install yours from scratch. Here’s how to start installing your mini-split ac unit.
installing the split system air conditioner
Tools you will need:
- Adjustable wrench
- Hole saw drill bit
- Utility knife
- Wire-cutter and wire stripper
Wall mount the AC bracket. First, you’ll need to install the mounting bracket. You can decide the height from the instructions of the manufacturer. Six feet from the ground and at least half a foot off the ceiling is a good average.
If you’re installing your indoor unit on drywall, it’s strongly recommended to mount the bracket into the studs. Find the studs behind the wall using a stud finder and mark them with a pencil.
Place the bracket on the wall and align the holes to the studs. Make sure the frame is leveled and not tilting to either side. Once you’re satisfied with the location of the bracket, use a pencil and mark the drill holes on the wall.
Drill the pilot holes. A pilot hole is a small hole drilled into the wall to mark the spot for wider gaps. Afterward, secure the bracket to the wall using proper anchor screws.
Drill a hole to feed the connections.
After the mounting bracket is tightly secured to the wall, you will need to make a hole through the wall to the other side—this hole is to pass through the connections between the two units. Using a spot saw drill, make a 3-inch downward angled hole into the wall next to the bracket where the wires and tubes would come out of the unit. Make sure you’re not drilling into cables or pipes. Drill the hole in that side of the bracket, directly facing the copper tubing. Since, unlike the copper tube, the drain tube can be relocated to both sides of the indoor unit to fit into the hole.
Install the condenser.
Now, it’s time for the installation of the outdoor unit. The indoor and outdoor units are connected by a drain hose, copper tubing, and a control wire (connects both units’ power terminals). First, you’ll need to bundle the connections together and pass them through the drilled hole. To do this, you’ll need to remove the unit’s front cover, wire cover, and wire clip, respectively. Now, push the control wire through the hole in the wire terminal. Afterward, tape the wire, copper lining, and drain tube together to make a bundle.
If the outdoor unit will not be installed directly on the other side of the wall, it’s better to connect the extensions of the copper tubing and the drain hose before fishing the bundle through the wall. In this case, it’s an excellent option to buy extra insulation material. Wrap the insulation around the bundle and tightly fasten them with duct tape.
Finally, fish the bundle through the whole while mounting the unit on the wall bracket.
Connect the control wire to both units.
Now you need to make the wire connections to the terminal. Strip the wires. Using a screwdriver, connect the cables to the labeled sections accordingly. After the wiring is done, close the wiring and the front cover.
Install the outdoor unit.
It’s time to install the condenser. The most common way of installing the outdoor unit is by mounting it to the exterior wall. This method saves space and is the only method for high stories if your home is high. The outdoor AC unit can also be placed on a pad on the ground or the rooftop. Wherever the installation location, do your best to avoid placing the unit in the way of dust, traffic, and direct sunlight. If installed on the ground, the condenser must also be placed at least one foot away from the wall. When securing the item to the concrete floor, or the wall bracket, make sure to set the rubber cousins under the legs to minimize vibration.
To connect the bundle to the condenser (outdoor unit):
- Take the pile and carefully push it flush against the wall.
- Connect the copper lines to the refrigerant valves at the team’s side.
- Hold the nuts securely while tightening them to avoid damaging the valves.
- Connect the wires to the condenser.
Connect the control wire coming out of the indoor unit to the outdoor unit’s terminal. Matching the labels, make sure each wire is connected to each terminal.
At this point of the installation process, seeking a professional’s help and tools is necessary. This way, you will ensure that the rest of the installation is done safely.
Before the refrigerant can be released into the AC system, all the connecting lines must be vacuumed to remove moisture and air. The technician will use a vacuum pump and a pressure gauge to ensure the lines’ pressure is less than zero (typically -1 degree).
After the vacuuming is done, the valves are opened using an Allen wrench to release refrigerant through the lines and into the circle.
The outdoor unit of an AC needs a separate circuit in the circuit breaker. A qualified technician must make the electrical adjustments and wiring connections in this case.
A mini-split air conditioning unit is arguable the sweetest spot between efficiency, power, maintenance, and affordability. The number of models available means that every room in every house has a place for them. Installing a mini-split air conditioning unit is not the hardest thing in the world, but it can be tricky. It needs a little bit of everything, from plumbing to electrical work and occasionally, even welding. If you want to sit back while a top-notch installation of your winter-making unit is done, go ahead and book with a professional.