How to install a split AC unit
Split AC units are typically used to cool only specific rooms in your home as opposed to central air conditioning systems that cool the entire house.
Where do you need services?
Home cooling systems can generally be classified into central systems, window-mounted units and split air conditioning systems. Another option is a split AC unit.
About split AC units and pricing
A split AC unit doesn't require the installation of ductwork, although you still need to run tubing for the refrigerant and electrical cables. The installation typically requires a contractor who's qualified to install HVAC systems.
The AC split system price is usually greater than window units, but less than a central air conditioning system. An air conditioner estimate should also consider the warranty when you're comparing the long-term costs of different AC systems.
Split AC units are typically used to cool only specific rooms in your home as opposed to central air conditioning systems that cool the entire house. The advantages of split AC systems include a lower cost of operation since you're not cooling the entire house.
To determine the size of the split AC unit you'll need, you can use a split system air conditioner size calculator. These calculators use a variety of information, including the construction materials and their insulation capability, the size of your rooms, and the number of windows.
A split system air conditioner size calculator requires you to consider only those rooms you plan to cool with the system.
Steps to install
Here's a quick overview of how to install a split AC unit:
- Select a position on the outside wall of your home where you want run the refrigerant line. It should be at least 1 foot from the corner of the house and near the bottom of the wall.
- Drill a hole into the exterior wall with a diameter of 1.5 inches using a hole saw.
- Place the pad on the ground for the condenser unit next to the hole and feed the refrigerant hose through the hole.
- Run the hose into the room of your house that will contain the evaporator unit. You'll also need to run a PVC line through the same hole to a drainage location in the basement.
- Run the electrical cable for the condenser to an outlet on the outside of the house and secure it in place with zip ties.
- Mount the evaporator unit to a wall on the inside of the house with the provided hardware, and connect the refrigerant hose and drain line to the evaporator unit.
- Connect the electrical cable to the evaporator unit. Plug it into an outlet in the same room if possible.
Because of potential snags, difficulty and warranty requirements, request installation estimates from several professional contractors in your area. You can discuss your specific split AC unit queries with each contractor. Hire the one you feel most comfortable with and who is within your price range.
Photo credit: greenleafheatingandcooling.com