If your good working with tools then there's a good chance you can do most of your mini split install yourself and save some money. Now i says most because if you were a licensed HVAC tech you probably wouldn't be reading this so if your not then there is a crucial step you will not be able to perform your self. Installing most mini splits is not too difficult of a task but you want to be sure your up for the task because you will have to work with electric and mount parts on the wall as well as drill holes which have to be planned out so you do not hit plumbing or electrical. If your comfortable doing this than you shouldn't have any problems. Systems will come with instructions which will guide you through the process and generally there's not much to it. Measure and mount your bracket for the indoor unit. Drill your hole. Run wires to the outdoor unit with a small breaker box to safely shut the unit down for maintenance, then the wires and copper between the two units. That's just about it and depending on the make and model some steps may be done a little differently but you get the general idea. What you cant do your self is vacuum the air out of the line sets. This is the most important part of the whole process if you want the unit to work properly and last. Also most companies will not honor the warranty if this is not done by a professional as well. They will vacuum the lines down, check for leaks, open and adjust the charge on the system and make sure your system starts up and runs properly. this will give you a good piece of mind and this person will also be able to sign off you your warranty paperwork in case you have any future problems. By doing most of the install your self you will save hours in labor and only need to pay for this service to finish up. Having this option makes mini splits a great value and tough to beat when you throw in all the other benefits to owning one.
Tips on how to set up a ductless mini split.
Ok so you can physically install a mini split but where is the best place to actually put it? Your going to want to position the compressor in a place that you can reach the air handler with the line set you have. If you have a 16 ft line set then keep in mind the air handler will be around 7ft high so if your compressor is on the ground you have to subtract that from your distance leaving you with less than 9ft to play with. If you want air in the front of the house but want the compressor in the back you are going to need longer lines and to add charge to the system. Sometimes people want to mount there air handler on an interior wall. While this is possible it does take some more work and planning. You will need to make sure you can rout the copper pipes, wires, and condensation line outside. Also if at any time the condensation line has to travel upward you are going to need a pump to get the condensation out. Another thing to think about is possible shelter for the compressor. This is not always necessary but keep in mind in hot climates shielding the compressor from the sun over many years may help extend its life span. And in colder climates where you may get freezing rain or a lot of snow it is possible to ice up the compressor. This wont normally damage the unit but it will have to be defrosted before using and protection from this may again help extend the units life span. A cheap shelter may save you from replacing the unit in 6 or 8 years vs. possibly 12-15 years if you did protect it.
How to wire a ductless mini split with generic wires.
Wiring a mini split is generally not to difficult. The most dangerous part will be running the main 110v or 220v power source to the compressor. Doing this incorrectly can result in a dangerous fire, painful shock, or even death. Please be extremely careful dealing with electricity and never cut corners. The wires for the indoor units usually come with install kits or if not consist of usually four or five 14-16 gauge wires you can get at any common hardware store. You will run the wires the same route as the copper pipes and connect the wires following the manufacture's diagram.