Mini-Split Musings

Homeowner Do-it-Yourselfer? Installing a Ductless Cooling and Heating System

May 20, 2019

During a heat wave, life can be miserable without air conditioning. Our kids are cranky, we’re cranky and even our pets behave differently. If you are a Do-it-Yourselfer (DIYer), you may be tempted to install an energy-efficient ductless cooling and heating system by yourself. There are many off-brand ductless systems online that one could order. And, one can always consult YouTube and the Internet for installation instructions (which can yield mixed results). Before you hitch up your tool belt, please think it through.

Choosing the Right System

On the face of it, a ductless system seems deceptively simple. The systems are so well designed, they appear to be a very uncomplicated appliance. One would assume that choosing the right system would be equally simple. However, there are many factors to consider when deciding on the right system for one’s home.

Size and Placement

The size is critical. Incorrect sizing can affect the system’s performance and efficiency, and your family’s comfort. And we’ve had inconsistent results when we tested some of those online sizing calculators. Incorrect placement will also affect how the unit senses temperature and communicates with the compressor. Size and placement are only two of the factors that inform the choice of systems. A professional consultant measures and calculates to determine the best fit for your home and your family’s needs.

The Tools

As a DIYer, you probably have a good supply of construction tools. Most of the tools required for installation of a ductless system are typical homeowner tools. But there are a few specialized tools that represent a sizable investment for the average homeowner. And they are tools that you will likely never need again. A professional installation contractor will have the tools, knowledge, and expertise to quickly and safely get the job done.

Experience

If you’ve done many home projects, you know that unforeseen situations can arise, making even a simple job more time consuming and costly than you had planned for. For instance, DIY plumbing jobs require about 30 trips to the plumbing department of the big box store (a bit of an exaggeration, I know). In the case of installing a ductless system, it’s best to have experienced professionals do the job. Having installed thousands of systems, encountered almost every thorny situation you could think of and solved every conceivable problem, their knowledge and expertise are worth every penny you invest. Even with a self-install, you must have a ductless installer ‘fire off’ the system and most ductless contractors will not work on a system they haven’t sold.

The Warranties

Manufacturers will only warranty systems installed by trained professionals. Most warranties are good for 10- to 12-years covering the failure of parts like the compressor. Some will even offer labor as part of the warranty. And seasoned, professional installation contractors should offer a guarantee of their work.

We know ductless. It’s all we do!

As a ductless installation contractor, we get several calls from homeowners wondering if we can repair the off brand system that they installed. Unfortunately, we cannot repair an unfamiliar system we have not installed because we have no idea how it was installed in the first place. Doing it yourself provides a sense of independence and pride and there are countless Do-it-Yourself projects that you can and should do around the home. But when it comes to installing your home’s ductless cooling and heating system? Go pro!

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