Can I Install a Split System Myself?

Can I Install a Split System Air Con Myself?

So, you’re wondering if you can install a split system air conditioner yourself without the help of a professional?

The simple answer is: Yes. The more complicated answer is: Proceed with caution. If you don’t want to hire a fully qualified air conditioning technician and you have some experience with plumbing and electrical work, you can give it a shot.

As heating and cooling systems go, a split system air conditioner has a relatively straightforward installation process. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy.

What is a Split System Air Conditioner?

As the name suggests, a split system air conditioner involves both an indoor and an outdoor unit connected through your wall.

While a ducted air conditioner requires the installation of ducts into your roof, a split system can be added onto any room. Split systems are available in a variety of sizes, so they’re ideal for any kind of property. Because of this, split system air conditioners are highly popular for all types of homes.

What Practical Skills Do I Need?

You’ll need some knowledge of plumbing and electrics for a start, along with skills in accurate measuring, access to certain tools and the ability to use them competently.

For the indoor unit of a split system air conditioner setup, you’ll need a clear indoor wall space that will allow pipes to feed through the wall to the outdoor unit. Make sure you mount the unit away from direct heat and sunlight with good airflow around it.

The outdoor unit must also be placed in an appropriate spot that is protected from dust and direct sunlight, and away from walkways. The next step is connecting the two air conditioner units with pipes, wiring and cabling, allowing it to be set up to your preferences.

You need to be highly skilled to install an air conditioner.

Tools for a Split System Installation

So do you need specific tools and other equipment to install a split system air conditioner?

Aside from screwdrivers, electrical tape and plastic anchors, you’ll need a keyhole saw or a drill with a hole-cutting attachment. Don’t forget to check that there are no pipes or wires in the section of the wall you’re drilling through.

You’re then going to need to know how to connect the copper pipes, power cable and drain pipe. Make sure the drainage pipe allows water to drain in an appropriate place.

After attaching the air conditioner to the indoor wall you’ll need to set up the outdoor condenser. Be aware, the unit will be heavy so you might require help from a friend. When setting up the outdoor condenser, you’ll need to know how to connect a vacuum pump hose, pipes, power cable and other connections.

Do not set up the outside unit on the ground. If it’s going to be near the ground, place it on a concrete pad. Finally, you’ll need to clamp up pipes and cables to the outside wall and seal up the hole in the wall with expanding polyurethane foam.

Is It Worth the Risk Installing My Split System?

There are many jobs around the home that DIYers can take care of, but installing a split system air conditioner is one of the trickiest.

Considering you require a knowledge of plumbing, electrical cables, safety switches, refrigerant and more, the installation process might be one step too far for the non-professional.

You even run the risk of voiding the unit’s warranty if it’s installed incorrectly. The same goes for DIY repairs to an air conditioner unit. Split systems are relatively easy to install for a fully qualified heating and cooling system specialist, but a lot can go wrong if you don’t have the experience.

Before even attempting to do the job yourself, it might be best to consult with a professional.


Published: 5 Jul, 2022

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