Where Should A Ductless Mini Split Air Conditioner Be Installed?

Location is important for the proper installation of a ductless mini-split air conditioner. Place the appliance in the wrong area, and you might not be receiving its optimal serviceability. Now you're wondering about the ideal location of your ductless mini-split air conditioner. We researched to help you find a possible solution to this issue, and here's what we found.

Keep in mind that an end-all location doesn't exist for all ductless mini-split air conditioners. Instead,  homeowners should think about important factors to ensure the installation area of their cooling systems will provide them with the most value. Some of the things to think about are:

  • Convenience
  • Air distribution and circulation
  • Distance between the indoor air handler and the outdoor condenser
  • Room dimensions

It's advisable to think about your options before purchasing your ductless mini-split air conditioner to avoid making costly mistakes. Continue reading as we talk about these factors in greater detail. We'll also tackle the steps to install a ductless mini-split air conditioning system to help you in this undertaking.

Mini split air conditioning on the wall, Where Should A Ductless Mini Split Air Conditioner Be Installed?

What Are The Clearance Requirements For Mini Split Air Conditioners?

Outdoor condensers of mini-split air conditioning systems should generally be 28 inches away from the front air outlet. It should also be at least:

  • 12 inches away from the side,
  • 40 inches away from the top,
  • and 12 inches away from the rear of the air outlet.

As for the indoor handler, it should be at least one foot apart from nearby objects. Some mini-split air conditioners may have specific clearance demands. If so, consult with your owner's manual or request help from the brand's customer service department to ensure a proper installation.

Four ductless mini-splits condenser outside of a building

Failure to follow these clearance requirements may reduce the performance of the mini-split system by up to 15%. Moreover, excess heat buildup may occur to surrounding objects, putting the area at risk of catching fire.

Don’t forget to read our post on mini-split systems and other types of air conditioners to gain additional insight on that particular subject matter.

Where Should A Mini Split Be Installed?

Mini-split ductless air conditioning unit installed in unfinished room

Homeowners should take note that there's no absolute location for every mini-split system. However, it's important to think about certain factors to ensure the appliance provides the most value. The elements concerning indoor air handlers and outdoor condensers you should ponder for efficient cooling setups are:

Indoor Air Handlers

  • Convenience: Easy access to air handlers is a must to ensure accessible care and maintenance procedures.
  • Air distribution and circulation: Air handlers should generally be at the center of rooms for these units to blow comfortable air throughout these spaces.

Outdoor Condensers

Air conditioning system installation embedded on wall of building

  • Distance from the air handler: Bear in mind that the further air condensers are away from the handler, the longer it takes for the refrigerant to travel. If so, the coolant loses its efficiency, making it tougher for the air conditioner to provide cold air.
  • Room dimensions: Calculate the cooling requirements of a particular space by multiplying the length times the width of the room’s dimensions. Then, multiply the result by 25 to acquire the BTU requirement for your air conditioner.

Additionally, most rooms should do well with a 6,000-BTU ductless mini-split air conditioner, particularly for homes with rooms that possess 168 to 224-square foot dimensions.

Check out this 9,000 BTU ductless mini-split air conditioner on Amazon.

How To Install Mini Split Air Conditioner In Wall?

Before initiating this project, you may need an assistant to help you with the heavy lifting. Generally, the air handler weighs about 29 pounds, and the outside unit’s heft is approximately 37 pounds. However, some models from specific brands might weigh up to 149 pounds.

Air Conditioner mini split system next to home with brick wall

If you have the strength to lift these heavy objects, you might be able to handle the installation by yourself. However, you need to pay extra care in lifting these components. Fumbling over the parts may lead to expensive repair and replacement costs.

Moreover, you need to have sufficient knowledge in installing air conditioners. An ample amount of confidence should also be present to go through with this project. Without these traits, installing the cooling unit improperly may lead to short- and long-term concerns.

You may also need to clear out foliage near the area where you’re going to install the condenser unit. It’s because this component can blow warm air, which may become the precursor to fires if left unchecked.

After understanding those precautions and you’d still like to proceed with this job as a DIY project, here’s how to do it:

What You’ll Need

  • Ductless mini-split air conditioner kit
  • Power drill
  • Appropriate drill bits
  • Allen wrench
  • Expanding foam insulation
  • Wrenches

Check out this 24,000 BTU ductless mini-split air conditioner on Amazon.

Step-by-Step Guide

  1. Unscrew the back mounting plate off of the indoor air handler.
  2. Place the mounting plate on the template on the box and mark the locations of the screws.
  3. Use the template on your preferred install location and mark the areas on the wall for the screws.
  4. Screw and secure the mounting plate onto the marked areas on your wall.
  5. Drill a hole into the wall with a hole saw for the line set. You may need a masonry drill bit if you need to drill through masonry.
  6. Set and secure the condenser unit on top of its outdoor pedestal.
  7. Mount the indoor air handler onto its bracket. Some units won’t need extra tools to secure this component because they’ll snap into place.
  8. Pass the line set through the hole in the wall.
  9. Bend the line set down carefully.
  10. Install expanding foam into the wall for insulation.
  11. Place the accompanying cover sleeve at the outside location of the hole.
  12. Uncoil the cords for the condenser unit and attach them to their appropriate adapters. Tighten the connection using wrenches.
  13. Attach the other ends of the wires on the line set to the condenser.
  14. Release the refrigerant in the condenser with an appropriately sized Allen wrench.
  15. Wrap the exposed wires with the provided insulation sleeves.
  16. Connect the air conditioner to the home’s circuit breaker system for the appliance to have sufficient power.
  17. Turn on the ductless mini split air conditioner to check for faults.

Watch the video below to learn more about the installation, particularly for the creation of the base of the condenser and the connections to supply power to the appliance.

You might also find it interesting to learn about how to remove a ductless air conditioner. If so, check out our post on that topic for the details.

Can Mini Splits Be Installed Near The Floor?

Floor-mounted ductless mini-split air conditioners exist on the market. As its name implies, this type of cooling system provides sufficiently cold air to a space while being installed at or close to the floor.

However, like its wall-mounted counterpart, a floor-mounted unit generally also has an indoor air handler and an outdoor condenser component.

Check out this floor-mounted mini-split air conditioner on Amazon.

Can You Mount A Mini Split Vertically?

It’s not recommended to mount a mini-split air conditioner vertically. Most if not all air conditioners possessing the mini-split design should be mounted horizontally for them to function as intended. Vertical installations may also put the air handler and/or the condenser at a higher-than-usual risk of parts falling.

However, some air conditioner models, which may not necessarily be mini-split units, may still work well when mounted vertically. Watch the video below to see a functioning vertically installed air conditioner:

How Do You Hide A Ductless Mini Split?

Oftentimes some property owners might find good locations for the indoor handler of their mini-split cooling systems but don't like their air conditioners' relatively plain looks. If so, here are some ways to hide ductless mini-splits while still enjoying their optimal serviceability:

  • Build a bookcase. Surround the air handler with shelves or cabinets.
  • Tuck the air handler in a corner. A blank space in a corner of your room might become the perfect spot for the indoor unit.
  • Build a sunken niche. If you plan on hiding the air handler of a ductless mini-split system, make sure that it has a 3-inch clearance on all sides.
  • Hide it in the ceiling. This option can be quite difficult for DIY beginners. Still, the setup is possible for dropped-ceiling mini-splits units.

Final Words

Each household will have an ideal location for its ductless mini-split air conditioner. Homeowners should ponder upon certain factors, such as the room's dimensions and the distance between the AC's components, to identify the best location of the appliance.

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One comment

  1. Thanks for the info about air conditioning. My home is always hot inside. I’ll consider investing in a new air conditioning system.

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