How Disruptive Is A Mini-Split Installation?

If you're looking for an alternative to traditional duct-based central air conditioning systems, then mini-split units offer many advantages. These systems remove the need for complicated ductwork by combining the evaporator and air handler into a single unit. In theory, this means a quicker and less disruptive installation process along with a more energy-efficient system.

Of course, theory and reality don't always entirely line up. If you're looking for the cold, hard facts on mini-split installations, then you've come to the right place. Keep reading to discover the exact process used to install these compact and efficient air conditioning systems.

Wall Modifications

Unlike a traditional air conditioning system, your home's walls won't require significant modification for a mini-split system. Where ducted systems need holes cut for vents, the only interior change necessary for an indoor mini-split unit is the evaporator/air handler mounting. In most cases, you will install the indoor unit on a wall in a relatively central location.

Fortunately, installing the indoor unit itself does not require causing any extensive damage. Aside from holes for the screws that hold the mounting plate, you'll only need a single hole to run refrigerant lines outside. In most cases, a mini-split system causes no more interior damage than installing a wall-mount television bracket.

Exterior Work

Like a ducted central air system, your new mini-split system will rely on an outside condenser unit. This device provides a housing for the compressor, condenser coils, and associated electronics and refrigerant plumbing. Mini-split system condenser units are often smaller than traditional units, so you may have more placement options.

In many cases, homeowners choose to mount their exterior units on exterior walls or the roof. If this is an option for you, then it may be necessary to drill some additional holes in your home's exterior for a mounting bracket or support. Refrigerant plumbing will also be required, although this typically only requires a few mounting brackets for support.

Multi-Zone Systems

If you've chosen to have a multi-zone system installed, then a few extra steps will be required. Many mini-split systems can operate multiple interior units with a single condenser unit, so only a small amount of extra exterior work will be required. Aside from this, your installer will need to make similar wall modifications in each room where you have chosen to install an interior unit.

Aside from these relatively simple steps, there won't be much for your installer to do on a typical mini-split installation. A professional can usually complete the job in no more than two days, even for complex multi-zone systems. The quick and easy air conditioning installation makes mini-split systems particularly well-suited for anyone interested in keeping their home cool while minimally disrupting their life.