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The many benefits that come with installing a mini-split for your home make it really tempting to switch to a ductless air conditioning system. Mini-splits make way for you to customize your heating or cooling needs by only installing the aircon units in specific rooms you choose.
All you will need to equip your home with a ductless system are the indoor and outdoor units plus the lines that connect these units together. But what if you want to install your mini-split on an interior wall of your home?
So, can a mini-split be installed on an inside wall? Yes, the indoor units in a mini-split system can be mounted on an interior wall of the house. It may take a few more steps versus the common way which is having it mounted on an exterior wall. But, this is not impossible to do for almost any structure.
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Cost and Aesthetic Considerations Of Interior Wall Installations
The two things you have to consider when mounting your mini-split indoor units on an interior wall are aesthetics and cost.
A ductless air conditioning system needs a continuous flow of refrigerant and air within its components. You will need to find a way for the pipes and power lines to connect with each other.
With a regular installation that’s mounted on an exterior wall, the pipeline is out of sight and runs outside of the house. But once done on an interior wall, the pipes will have to run indoors towards the outdoor unit. If you don’t want these pipes disturbing your home decorations, there will be additional construction needed in order to hide them.
The distance of your outdoor unit from your indoor units will also be farther away so a long tube system should be in place. This also requires additional construction, more refrigerant and more tubes.
Additional work and materials will, of course, translate to more labor and material expenses
Concealing Pipeline with Sleeves and Existing Decor
A way to hide away the pipeline needed for an interior wall-mounted unit is by concealing them within sleeves or existing home decor. You can incorporate the design of the sleeves with your interiors by choosing materials and colors that compliment the interior design of your home. You can also make use of shelving and cabinetry that can be strategically positioned to accommodate the hidden tube work.
The important thing is for the refrigerant and air to have an unobstructed passageway throughout the whole ductless system.
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Can mini-split ac lines be run inside the walls?
If you want your tubes hidden away, you might be thinking of running them within your walls. This is also something that’s totally possible to do especially for homes that are still under construction.
Some homes are constructed with double walls. The space between the two panels can definitely make way for the tube work to run in-between them. Just make sure that your wall panels are sturdy enough to accommodate the weight of your mounted units.
Construction and Maintenance of Running Pipeline Within Walls.
Running the tubes within the walls is probably the most effective way to have the pipes out of sight. However, a few things should be considered before going through with an in-wall tubing system.
It was said earlier that your walls have to be sturdy enough to carry the weight of your indoor blowers. The most important element here is the material of your wall. You have to make sure that the wall will not break or disintegrate over time because of the weight of your unit.
The strength of your wall material is dependent on its nature, age, and position. When we say nature, it is a question of whether your material is wood, fiber, plaster, brick, or stone. Each of those bases offer different strengths and construction flexibility. Age can, of course, affect the integrity of your walls. Position also plays a significant part since it affects the weight distribution within your walls.
Another thing you may want to consider is having access to your concealed pipes. Since they are hidden inside your walls, it will be difficult to access them again if repairs and adjustments will have to be done in the future. Repairs on the pipeline aren’t so much of an issue if your lines were installed by a competent professional, though.
If you plan to add more units in the future, it will be smart to ensure that this can be done in a cost-effective and safe manner. Remember that repeatedly tearing up your walls will affect the strength of your walls. It’s best to plan these things ahead so you can properly prepare for them.
Also, watch out for nails and other elements that may get into contact with these tubes. Drilling and nailing to your wall may end up damaging your pipeline and this will entail a very expensive repair work on your home and air conditioning system. Have your installer apply safety nets like nail plates, steel brackets, and other techniques to cover and protect your hidden pipelines to ensure this does not happen.
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What About the Drain Line?
Any air conditioning unit manages humidity as it transfers cold and hot air within the system so moisture will definitely be present. With mini-splits that are mounted indoors, you have to figure out where the drain line goes.
Oftentimes, the drain line is combined with the home plumbing drain system. As with other waste drains, a trap is required to ensure that sewer gases won’t get into the house. An HVAC expert will, of course, have a better idea of how to layout your aircon drain best. Trust us, moisture and refrigerant leaks is not something you would want your house to go through.
The drainage can not go up the ceiling. Liquid moves down because of gravity. Condensate pumps can be used but this is an additional process that can be an unnecessary complication for your mini-split installation process. This also entails an additional set of significant costs that can be prevented with careful planning. You should only go with this layout if there is completely no other choice.
Choosing Where to Place Indoor Mini-split Units
Mini-split blowers are usually mounted on an exterior wall because this makes a shorter tube work for the power and condensate lines to run in. Placing the blowers on an interior wall can complicate this, that’s why it is not always preferred by installers.
There are cases, however, wherein this cannot be avoided. Before you decide whether to place them on an inside or outside wall, you must assess the best rooms to place your units in.
Think about the capacity of your mini-split system against your heating and cooling requirements. Not all rooms need to have blower units installed within them. Prioritize and think about quality before quantity. Before you start adding up the number of indoor units you will install, assess if a unit can be strategically placed to more efficiently service an area of your home instead.
Every house has a unique set of requirements. The best way to figure out an ideal HVAC system for your home is to consult an experienced and skilled professional. This will ensure all the expenses that you put in this project will not go to waste and will not make way for even more problems in the future.