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What Is A Ductless Air Conditioner And How Do I Install One?

What Is A Ductless Air Conditioner And How Do I Install One?

With a mini-split system, installing cooling is surprisingly simple. We’ll show you how to do it yourself right here.

If you need air conditioner installation services in Oceanside, you can even opt for one.


In its most basic form, a ductless mini-split system consists of an outdoor as well as an indoor unit tied by electrical cabling along with refrigerant tubing.

In this regard, the outdoor one is usually mounted to the wall, and tends to provide heated or cooled air directly into the living space, eliminating the need for ductwork.

So, it is often referred to as a single-zone system. It is specifically meant to give cooling as well as heating comfort to a certain space.

To offer comfort for the entire home, a ductless system effectively combines an outdoor unit with about 5 indoor ones.

These systems are considered to be the most versatile as well as easiest to install due to the availability of a wide variety of indoor unit types. This is also because the installation only necessitates a hole specifically in the wall position for the wiring as well as the refrigerant line.

Tools Needed

  •         A wrench that can be adjusted
  •         A hole saw
  •         Driver or drill
  •         Level

Required Materials

  •         Plastic line set cover kit
  •         Condenser wall brackets
  •         Condenser pad made of plastic
  •         A ductless mini-split ductless system

Installing a ductless air conditioning system appears to be a job exclusively for professionals. And, no doubt, it is the truth. But, if anyone gets to learn the skills effectively, then they would also be able to perform the job.

Many of the special line set comes with easy installation feature. It comes with refrigerant “precharged” or prefilled, and contains connectors that do not need any particular tools or knowledge to install.

Simply connect the line set to the condenser and mount the two main units. Although some of the systems come with a line set that is easy to install, the majority do not.

You can focus on installing this mini-split system in a garage, a house, a shed, or a cabin. Many of them have both cooling as well as heating capabilities, whereas the others have several evaporators for effectively functioning in multiple rooms.

The cost of these systems again varies depending on their size and features.

Selecting The System

Due to the less availability of DIY systems at brick-and-mortar stores, the only option is to find them online. Fortunately, there are a plethora of online vendors. The size of the system is expressed in British thermal units.

The higher is the number, the more is its capacity of cooling. Calculate the room’s heat loss to choose the proper size mini-split. Several websites make these calculations easy.

An undersized system would not consider keeping up, while an outsized one will cycle on as well as off too often, reducing the service life of the condenser.

Providing Power To The Unit

The installation has become normal DIY stuff these days. You’ll see this in the stages below which involves drilling holes, measuring, driving screws, and a lot more.

The most difficult part is usually providing power to the system. If you are having a small unit, then you might be capable to get power from a neighboring 20-amp circuit that isn’t overloaded. Installation of a new circuit is required that is solely dedicated to the mini-split.

Depending on the ease of running a cable from the main panel to particularly the unit, this can be a minor or complex undertaking.

After that, the cable is sent from the basement specifically up through the wall of the garage, up the attic, and then down as well as out the outside wall. Finally, it reaches the disconnect box which involves cutting as well as patching.

When servicing the unit, you should switch off the power to ensure safety. The condenser receives power from this. The evaporator is powered by a cable that runs beside the line set.

Other Required Things

A level surface is required for the condenser to rest on. In this regard, you could focus on pouring a concrete pad. Other than that, a plastic condenser pad is also regarded as a simple and easy option. Even, you can make use of condenser wall brackets for mounting purposes.

A fabric sleeve that covers the line set is not that appealing or easy to clean. The only solution, in that case, is to choose a plastic line set cover kit.

Remote Control

The room temperature is controlled using a portable controller. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth control are available on some mini-splits.

Step-by-Step Instructions for Completing the Project

Step 1

Installing The Mounting Bracket In Proper Position

  •         Install the evaporator on the outside wall of the room. But, it should be necessarily kept in indirect sunlight. You should also keep it away from doors, as well as dust sources.
  •         Ensure that there are no cables, ducts or pipes, in this area of the wall that could impede cutting a hole particularly for the line set.
  •         The next step involves marking the locations of the stud. You can use screws to secure the bracket to them.

Step 2

Drilling A Pilot Hole

  •         The hole you are drilling must slope a little down to the outside position. So, condensate specifically from the evaporator must drain in the outer part.
  •         Drill a pilot hole from the inside portion to the outer side.
  •         After that, walk out there and focus on double-checking that there are no obstacles in the way of drilling the full-size hole.

Step 3

Boring The Hole To Its Full Size

  •         From the inside portion, cut a hole with the help of a hole saw, remove any insulation, and inspect the wall hollow for any obstacles.
  •         Drill from the outside to complete the hole.

Step 4

Running The Line Set

  •         Cautiously consider uncoiling the line set from the evaporator’s back portion.
  •         Feed the line set through the hole with specific assistance outside.
  •         To reach the condenser, you should focus on bending the line set downhill as well as to the side as it emerges.
  •         Maintain the hard plastic collar that surrounds the line set established at the condenser’s end.
  •         The drain line is considered to be shorter and runs specifically below the other lines present.
  •         To keep the joint secure, you should consider adding the drain extension. After that, you need to wrap it with the help of electrical tape.

Step 5

Evaporator Installation

  •         It is very important to replace any damaged insulation specifically present in the wall cavity. Do this by wrapping the foam sleeve across the line set portion specifically contained by the hole.
  •         Then, using the mounting bracket, hang the evaporator.

o   Pro tip: As you do this, your helper may require to feed some of the additional inches of line set established outside.

  •         On the exterior, you need to insert the two-piece plastic trim, particularly inside the hole to avoid any damage to the line set by any rough edges.

Step 6

Condenser Installation

  •         Place the condenser on a ground pad or place it on a wall bracket. This will allow the refrigerant lines to easily reach it.
  •         Make sure the line set remains close to the façade of the building as well as does not jump over any obstacles. This makes the installation of a cover a lot easier.
  •         Make sure that the condenser is at least three feet away from any walls or vegetation.
  •         Place it away from ice or snow, which could fall on it. This is also applicable at the places any other appliances usually vent.
  •         Placing it on the north or east side of the structure enhances its efficiency of cooling.

Step 7

Connection Of The Refrigerant Lines

  •         This particular step may differ depending on the manufacturer you choose.
  •         The line connections are held together by a locking lever with this system.
  •         Check for kinks in the refrigerant lines and double-check the electrical connections before turning on the system.
  •         Then walk inside and use the portable controller to adjust the temperature.

Step 8

Covering The Line Set

  •         It is very important to cover the line set with plastic or metal channel sections that are cut to the desired length after insulating and sealing the hole in the outer wall.
  •         Position one-half of the channel at the back of the line set. The next thing is to plumb it, as well as use self-tapping screws to secure it to the wall.
  •         Many of the line set flows horizontally to the compressor, and so, first, drill a hole in the channel corner to let the drain line escape downsides.

Step 9

How Does It Work?

  •         An indoor evaporator is considered to be very effective in cooling the air, whereas an outdoor condenser helps in the dissipation of heat, Both of these are the two primary components of a mini-split system.
  •         A line set connects them, and it consists of tubing which particularly runs around a baseball-sized hole present in the wall and transports cool refrigerant inside as well as hot refrigerant outside.
  •         The cable should be there in the line set to power the evaporator. Not only that but, it should also contain a drain line for carrying condensation outside.

Final Verdict

I hope, now you have got a clear idea about how to install a ductless AC unit by yourself.

Author Bio:- Michael Cabral 

Michael is a marketing manager at EZ Heat and Air. He loves writing about innovative and hybrid HVAC installation tips. His articles help readers to have valuable insights into the importance of duct cleaning, water heater maintenance and repair, optimum working of thermostat, Mini split and heat pump installation in Orange County. Read articles for more information on keeping your HVAC system in a tip-top condition and lead a hassle-free life.




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