How Close To the Ceiling Can You Mount a Mini Split Air Handler? - Ask the Expert Episode 218

Today's question comes from Robert Ferguson. "Hey Dan, how close to the ceiling can can you mount a mini split air handler?"

Of course we're going to assume that he is talking about the indoor air handler for a ductless mini split system. This is actually a question we get a lot.

The right answer is to always check the installation manual. In the installation manual, they should have in there somewhere the measurements - so far from the sides, so far from the ground, and so far from the ceiling - in which you can mount a mini split air handler.

For example, we get a lot of these questions for the MrCool DIY. There needs to be at least 5.9 inches from the top of the air handler to the ceiling. It is very important that you have that space because the air handler pulls in a lot of air from the top. Then it blows it out through the bottom. If you installed it flush with the ceiling, it's not going to be able to get any air and it's not going to work properly.

If you have questions, please ask in the comments below!

20 comments (view/add)
  • David W Morris
    David W Morris
    Posted on 6/27/2021

    Can you mount the condenser on the rear bumper of a travel trailer and the wall unit on the ceiling inside if there's no wall space available? if not what's your best recommendation?

  • Dan Danowski
    Dan Danowski from Ingrams
    Posted on 6/28/2021

    We have seen folks install the condenser on the outside of a trailer. But you definitely cannot install a wall unit on a ceiling. The condensate would be constantly dripping out of the unit. You would need a ceiling cassette for a ceiling.

  • Peter Rudis
    Peter Rudis
    Posted on 6/19/2021

    Where I need to mount the 12K inside unit, it's over a corner closet that juts out into the room and there's only 36" of wall space above. Can I center it for aesthetic reasons, or do I need to keep the side that's near another wall, the minimum side distance away? The wall is on the right side facing the unit.

  • Dan Danowski
    Dan Danowski from Ingrams
    Posted on 6/19/2021

    We always recommend adhering to the minimum installation requirements to ensure maximum comfort and long term performance.

  • Maurizio Facheris
    Maurizio Facheris
    Posted on 4/27/2021

    can a air handler meant to be mounted on a wall (vertical) be mounted on the ceiling (horizontal)?

  • Dan Danowski
    Dan Danowski from Ingrams
    Posted on 4/28/2021

    No, we would not recommend that.

  • Forest
    Forest
    Posted on 2/28/2021

    There are no intakes on the sides, so how important is side clearance? Mounting a 9k air handler above a hallway entrance, where there will only be 3 inches on each side (1 3/4 inches short of the recommended clearance).

  • Dan Danowski
    Dan Danowski from Ingrams
    Posted on 3/1/2021

    It is important to meet all the clearances. Strictly speaking, it will still work if you don't meet the side clearances.

  • James
    James
    Posted on 10/23/2020

    I only have 94 inch height from floor to ceiling will a mini split still be ok for me

  • Dan Danowski
    Dan Danowski from Ingrams
    Posted on 10/23/2020

    Yes, it should be.

  • Pete
    Pete
    Posted on 7/14/2020

    I have 10 foot ceilings in my gatage. I would like to mount bottom of mini split air handler at 100 inches from floor this will leave 7 inches from top of air handle to the ceiling. Manual say minimum top height is 5.9 inches from the ceiling. Manual say bottom of air handler suggested to be no higher than 90 inches from floor for ceilings over 9 feet.
    What is the rationale for no higher than 90. What will I lose by mounting unit at 100 inches.

  • Kyle
    Kyle from Ingrams
    Posted on 7/15/2020

    Most of the installation instructions I've seen do not require you to put the air handler a specific distance from the floor. For example, the MrCool DIY suggests a floor clearance of 90.55 inches on a 9 foot ceiling meaning that you need that clearance at minimum. You can have greater floor clearance without an issue.

  • Tim Moore
    Tim Moore
    Posted on 7/5/2020

    I have a limited space on the gable end of a wall, the clearances are there but it is above an exterior door. Can I still mount it above this door knowing I may loose some efficiency? Any other drawbacks?

  • Kyle
    Kyle from Ingrams
    Posted on 7/7/2020

    Your main concern is getting the proper clearance on the top, sides, and bottom. If you have all that, mounting it above the door isn't a major issue.

  • Bob
    Bob
    Posted on 7/1/2020

    My home has little exterior useable wall space since it’s a geodesic home. Can I install the interior air handler a few inches above the floor on a short wall?

  • Kyle
    Kyle from Ingrams
    Posted on 7/1/2020

    Technically speaking, it will still function installed not far from the floor. However, there are going to be some serious drawbacks. The fan on a mini-split blows the air out through the bottom forward corner of the air handler. It best distributes conditioned air when higher up on a wall. Near the floor, it's not going to distribute that air as well. Which means you will likely have inferior performance compared to mounting it up higher.

  • chuck dart
    chuck dart
    Posted on 6/23/2020

    How close can you install two mini split outside condensors assuming the long sides are parallel. ? I've purchased my first Diy 27k and want to plan for the second. The manual, page 23, shows 79" on air outlet side. No problem doing 79" for #1 facing a wall. But an additional 79" from #1 to #2 seems excessive. If that is indeed the case can you recommend a suitable layout. The connections side is facing a perpendicular wall where disconnect will be located.

  • Kyle
    Kyle from Ingrams
    Posted on 6/24/2020

    A mini split condenser needs to have the necessary clearances all around it, and that would include any obstruction caused by a second condenser. There would be no exception made for that.

    As to a layout that could work, you could mount one of the condensers using a wall bracket to get it up off the ground and away from the other condenser.

  • Michael
    Michael
    Posted on 6/23/2020

    Would there be any issues with mounting the air handler in a corner like a triangle like with one side next to one wall and the other side different wall

  • Kyle
    Kyle from Ingrams
    Posted on 6/24/2020

    I have not heard of that. I presume you would have the air handler on some kind of mounting board. Provided that you could place the air handler with all the necessary clearances on every side on a level and stable surface, it should work.


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