Can You Put A Mini Split Condenser In The Attic?

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If you have decided to go with a mini-split to heat and cool your home, you have made a great choice. However, you may have heard that the condenser unit needs to be installed outside, but can it be put in the attic instead? Let's see if this is a viable option.

You can put a mini-split condenser in your attic, but it isn't recommended. While it is possible, there are several reasons why it is not a good idea.

First, since mini-splits need somewhere to naturally disperse the air, putting the condenser in the attic will not work as well. As a result, the air will be trapped, and the unit will be hotter than it should be, which could cause damage to the unit or shorten its lifespan.

When installed correctly, mini-splits have several benefits for heating and cooling your home. This article will discuss the proper way to install a mini-split for your home. In addition, we will answer other frequently asked questions about the pros and cons of mini-split units.

mini split air conditioner system on wall background, Can You Put A Mini Split Condenser In The Attic?

Should a mini-split condenser only be outside?

A mini-split is a type of air conditioner perfect for single rooms or small spaces. It is an energy-efficient option that can save you money on your energy bill. Mini-splits come in both heating and cooling models and can be used year-round.

If you are new to the idea of installing a mini-split instead of a central air system, then you may have some questions about the installation location.

While it is possible to put a mini-split condenser in other places such as an attic, it isn't recommended.

First off, heat rises and so putting the condenser in the attic will cause it to be hotter than it should be. This could damage the unit or shorten its lifespan.

Second, mini-splits need somewhere to disperse the air naturally, and putting the condenser in the attic will not work as well. As a result, the air will be trapped, and you will not get the full benefits of the mini-split.

There are only downfalls to having your mini-split condenser installed in the attic, garage, or basement. Condensers need to be outside to be efficient and last a long time.

If you are looking for an energy-efficient way to heat and cool your home, mini-splits are a great option, but make sure to install the condenser in an open space where it can get plenty of air.

Mini-split ductless air conditioning unit installed in unfinished room

Where do you put a mini-split condenser?

A mini-split condenser should be installed in an open space, preferably outside. Let's take a look at why it should be installed outside and not somewhere else.

Air Supply

First off, the condenser needs enough air to cool the refrigerant. If the condenser is installed in a cramped space, it will not get the air it needs and will become very hot [100 degrees or more] and damage the unit.

Airflow

In addition to air supply, the unit needs room to have proper airflow. If the condenser is installed in a tight space, it won't have a natural airflow. As a result, the unit won't be able to heat or cool the area efficiently due to air restrictions.

Room for heat to expel

Lastly, the condenser needs to be installed in an area where the heat it expels can escape easily.

If you install the unit in a place with insufficient ventilation, for example, in an attic, the heat will build up and could damage the unit or shorten its lifespan.

Can a mini-split condenser be mounted horizontally?

A mini-split condenser should be mounted on a vertical wall in a shaded place outside. The mini-split should also be mounted according to the owner's manual. If the unit is upside down or on a sloped wall, it will not function correctly.

It is also a good idea to mount the unit on the coolest side of the home and away from bushes. Having the unit in direct sunlight will also decrease its efficiency.

Also, having bushes will restrict the airflow, which isn't ideal.

Air Conditioner mini split system next to home with painted brick wall

How do I install a mini-split in my attic?

If you have a finished attic that you want to cool, adding a mini-split is a good option.

You need to insulate the attic if it is not already done. Adding insulation will help keep the conditioned air in the attic and save you money on your energy bill.

First, mount the mini-split in the attic. Then, you will need to feed the line [coolant, power, drain line] through the wall connecting it to the outside condenser unit.

This may take some extra work to get the line from the attic to the outside unit. However, once the installation is completed, you will be able to cool your attic and save on your energy bill.

While installing a mini-split system is easier than a central air unit, following the owner's manual for your specific unit is still essential.

If you are not comfortable installing the unit yourself, it is best to call a professional to do the job for you. However, if you want to take a closer look at installing a mini-split yourself, then check out the video below.

What are the benefits of a mini-split?

If you are trying to decide if a mini-split is suitable for your home, you should know the benefits. Let's take a look at them below:

Compact Size

Mini-split systems are compact and can be installed in small spaces. This makes it an excellent option for homes with limited space. These types of units have become especially popular for tiny homes and apartments.

Efficiency

Mini-split systems are very efficient and can save you money on your energy bill. They are also a great option for homes that use renewable energy, like solar or wind power.

Diversity

Mini-split systems can be installed in multiple ways to heat and cool your home. This makes it a versatile option that can be customized to your needs.

Easier Installation

Mini-split systems are easier to install than central air units. This means that you can save on the cost of installation.

Cost-Effective

The nice part about mini-splits is that they don't need to be on in every room. So, for example, if you are only working in your office during the day, you can shut off the unit in the rest of the house and save on your energy bill.

Quietness

Mini-split systems are very quiet and will not disturb you while trying to work or sleep.

Customizable Temperatures

Mini-split systems allow you to customize the temperature in each room. This is a great feature if some rooms are hotter or colder than others.

Remote Control

Most mini-split systems come with remote control. This makes it easy to change the temperature without getting up off the couch.

A wall-mount mini-split heating and air conditioning unit installed in a new house

What is less expensive to install? Mini-split or Central Air?

While mini-splits are more energy-efficient and can save you as much as 30% on your energy bill, and are less expensive to install. However, mini-splits can be quite a bit more costly to purchase upfront.

In the long run, the mini-split is the way to go. However, if you are worried about the upfront cost, then ask the dealer about finance options.

How much do mini-splits cost?

Since there is a huge variety in the mini-split market, the cost can range widely. Mini-splits can be as inexpensive as $700 and as much as $7,000.

When deciding what mini-split to get, you will need to factor in how many rooms, the size of rooms, and the climate of the area you live in.

What is the difference between a mini-split and a window unit?

Window units are less expensive than mini-split systems, but they are not as efficient. In addition, window units are also a temporary solution, whereas mini-splits are a permanent heating and cooling unit for your home.

Window units also do not offer the same heating and cooling options diversity as mini-splits do. Mini-splits are also much quieter than window units.

A window unit is mounted into the window and then plugged into an outlet. The way it works is similar to a mini-split, but they are way less efficient. However, window units are an inexpensive way to cool a small room costing on average $150.

A small air conditioner in the window of a brick apartment building.

Final Thoughts

Mini-splits are a great choice for heating and cooling your home if the condenser is installed outside. When the condenser is installed outside, you will be able to heat and cool your attic, bonus room, or a whole home. If you are not comfortable installing the unit yourself, it is best to call a professional to do the job for you.

For more heating and cooling articles, check out these:

Where Should A Ductless Mini Split Air Conditioner Be Installed?

Mini Split Air Conditioner Not Cooling – What To Do?

Can You Put A Mini Split Condenser In The Garage?

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