Items You Need for Ductless Installation

When it comes to ductless installation, we get a lot of questions. What do I need for complete installation? Are special tools required? Am I going to have to buy extra stuff to make this work?

Those are all reasonable questions. Hopefully, these answers will help.

Ductless Installation Requires More Than A Condenser & Air Handler

You want to buy a ductless mini-split air conditioner for your house. You know enough to know that you need an outside condenser and an inside air handler. Great! But what else do you need?

There are a couple things you must have for ductless installation outside the condenser and the air handler. Some manufacturers include a few of these, some none of them. It just varies from brand to brand.

Air Handler to Condenser Connections

The first area to cover is the connection between the air handler and the condenser. This means you will need refrigerant piping and communicating wire. Some products include this, but not all. Make sure you know what you're getting before you start your ductless installation. The last thing you want to do is to open up the box and realize you're missing a critical component.

And don't forget the drain line. It is usually bundled with the refrigerant piping and communicating wire. The drain line is critical. The condensate will escape one way or another, and you really would rather it be via the drain line than out the front panel of the air handler.

We also recommend you use a wall sleeve and insulation for the hole through which the air handler and condenser are connected. Many manufacturers will include a sleeve. If they don't, you can either buy one or make a simple sleeve from properly sized pipe.

Ductless Installation Items Specifically for the Condenser

Next you will need a wall mounting bracket or a base pad for the outside condenser. Which one you want depends on your ductless installation. If you need or want to lift the condenser up off the ground, get a mounting bracket sized for your condenser. However, it is perfectly fine to use a base pad. They're easy to install and durable.

Which brings us to the electrical. In a standard ductless installation, your inside air handler will be wired to the outside condenser. That condenser will be in turn wired to an outside disconnect box. For that, you will need an electrical whip to connect to the disconnect box, and the disconnect box itself. The size you'll need will depend on the amperage requirements of your condenser.

Ductless Installation Tools

Knowing what you need for ductless installation is great, but what tools are you going to need to get all that stuff to work?

At minimum, you're going to need a hole saw, a drill, and some wrenches. You will also likely find a level and stud finder to be quite useful.

At maximum, ductless installation requires a micron gauge, flaring tools, and vacuum pump. But that's only for the person vacuuming and charging the refrigerant during ductless installation. Unless you are certified to do it, we recommend you leave that portion to a professional. Without proper training, it is very easy to screw up and ruin brand new equipment. It's also against the law to charge refrigerant without proper licensing. Plus, it voids the warranty.

Anything Else Necessary for Ductless Installation?

And that's actually about it. There's always more to add, of course. Maybe you want your ductless installation to use a line set cover kit for the exposed line set or you want to build a custom rain cover for the outside condenser. Depending on your ductless installation, you might also want a condensate pump. As with a lot of home projects, there is always more to tinker with.

As always, if you have questions or comments, please ask them here, on Facebook, or on Twitter.

2 comments (view/add)
  • Kurt
    Posted on 7/26/2019

    Why could be necessary a condenser pump?

  • Kyle
    Kyle from Ingrams
    Posted on 8/6/2019

    Depending on where you want to install the unit, you might need a condensate pump. For example, if the air handler were installed in a location where a gravity drain would not work, you would need a condensate pump.

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