One advantage split air conditioners have over ducted systems is the ease of installation. A split unit has two components: the indoor air handler and the outdoor unit. The installation process is fairly easy and fast due to the absence of ductwork. However, failure to adhere to proper installation procedures can undermine efficiency. Therefore, watch out for these three installation mistakes when setting up your new split AC unit.
Wide spacing between units
The distance between the indoor air handler and the outdoor unit can affect the cooling capabilities of the air conditioner. During cooling, the refrigerant absorbs heat from the indoor air and releases it outdoors. The refrigerant travels between the indoor and outdoor units to cool your home. If the distance between the two units is long, the refrigerant will take longer to reach the evaporator and the compressor.
Consequently, the unit will take longer to cool your home, leading to inefficiency and poor indoor comfort. Therefore, observe the manufacturer's recommendations when spacing the two units. If you have multiple indoor air handlers, place the outdoor unit in a central location away from the indoor units.
Poor airflow around the units
Both the indoor and outdoor units require adequate airflow to function correctly. Airflow restrictions can cause the components to overheat, which shortens the lifespan of the air conditioner's parts. Thus, when mounting the indoor air handler on a wall, leave a few inches of space between the unit and the wall to allow proper airflow.
When installing the outdoor units, you need to consider two factors that can cause poor airflow: location and wall spacing. Choose a spot free of shrubbery and plants, as they can restrict airflow to the unit. If possible, mount the unit on a wall to protect it from overgrown plants. However, leave some space between the outdoor unit and the wall for proper airflow.
Lack of insulation on the low-pressure refrigerant line
Most split air conditioners have two refrigerant lines: a low-pressure refrigerant line and a high-pressure refrigerant line. The low-pressure line carries low-pressure refrigerant from the evaporator coil to the condenser or outdoor unit. The high-pressure line moves the pressurised refrigerant from the condenser to the evaporator.
After drawing heat from the house, the warm refrigerant travels back to the condenser through the low-pressure line. If the surrounding air is cold, condensation can form on the pipe, leading to water damage in your home. Insulating the pipe can curb condensation formation and protect your home from moisture damage.
Split AC installation may appear easy, but it isn't a DIY task. To avoid the above mistakes, contact an air conditioning contractor for professional installation services.