Ductless or mini-split air conditioning systems can be installed in virtually any part of the house. However, there are areas where they can provide optimal cooling. In today’s post, the local HVAC contractors at ACS Air Conditioning Systems share four essential placement tips for ductless air conditioners.
- Consider the available exterior wall space. While ductless air conditioners only require a small hole in the wall for the connections between the indoor and outdoor units, the outdoor unit will still need to be mounted somewhere. This is not a problem for ground-level rooms because it can be mounted on a platform like a central air conditioner. On upper-story rooms, however, you may need to find an area where the outdoor unit (or units) can be mounted without sticking out like a sore thumb.
- Find a good drainage spot. No matter the type of air conditioning system, it has to drain the condensate properly. Poor drainage can result in the water backing up to the indoor unit and into the room. It is possible to have a condensate pan outside like on a central air conditioner, but you have to make sure it’s emptied regularly. This can be difficult if it’s located in areas that require climbing, such as on a roof. An alternative to this is to find a spot in your home’s drainage system where the condensate line could terminate. ACS heating and cooling technicians can help you find such a spot in your home prior to installation.
- Avoid direct sunlight. South-facing walls may be great for natural lighting and for harvesting solar energy, but they’re not the best for ductless air conditioners. Too much exposure to direct sunlight can result in reduced efficiency and shortened lifespan. If a shaded part of the outer wall isn’t available, you can choose to build a small shed on top of the unit.
- Allow airflow. If you need to mount the unit in an enclosure — perhaps to protect it from outdoor conditions, animals or vandalism — make sure it has sufficient airflow around the unit. The condenser coils need airflow to expel heat gathered from the indoors, and lack of airflow around the outdoor unit can affect its efficiency. At least 18 inches from all sides of the unit should allow sufficient airflow.