Can I Install a Ductless Heating and Cooling System Myself?

There is a time to DIY and a time to trust a true professional. Installing a Ductless Air Conditioner or a Ductless Mini Split is most assuredly a DDIY (Don’t Do It Yourself) situation.

DIY definition:
noun:  the activity of decorating, building, and making repairs at home by oneself rather than employing a professional.

adjective: done by oneself, as a non-specialist or person without relevant professional qualifications.

DDIY definition:  Don’t Do It Yourself… Really, it won’t be worth your time and trouble.

The dangers of do-it-yourself are endless. People think they can buy this product online and save a bunch of money with a self-installation. Nothing could be further from the truth. The amount of money you save is minimal not to mention the danger involved and the headaches you’ll incur.

Resist the urge EVEN if you have previous remodeling experience, electrical knowledge, or consider yourself a handyman.  The reason being is that although it may seem simple enough, it isn’t. There is a reason that contractors are required to train for 40 hour or more to make sure these units are installed properly.  There are inherent risks and special tools that are required, so chances are you won’t save any money when it’s all said and done and you most likely won’t have a proper installation. And you’ll VOID the warranty, which is reason enough to turn to a Ductless HVAC expert.

What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

Improper Product Selection: Let’s start with the first step which is making the proper product selection.  Most people have no idea how to buy the right system. Keep in mind that the goal of the online reseller is to move product out the door.  Choosing a product based on your square footage Is not adequate. A professional contractor will start you off on the right foot with a load calculation which will ensure you get the properly sized unit for your home.

The Cost of Specialty Tools:  Installing a Ductless System requires specialty tools that every HVAC truck has standard. Scales are required to weigh the refrigerant, vacuum pumps are needed to remove air from the system, gauges are required to charge the system, torque wrenches, and thread sealers, and more. The cost for a homeowner to get these professional tools are easily $400 or more.  Knowing how to use them properly is another topic entirely.

Refrigerant Leaks:  Lack of experience can lead to big problems.  In addition to specialty tools, you need the training and experience, so you don’t create refrigerant leaks.

High Voltage: You don’t want to get “bitten” by this. If you do, you’ll remember it for the rest of your life!  A Ductless system typically has 240 volts running through them.  There are some components that even after the unit is unplugged can provide electrical shock.  Not knowing this is dangerous.

Licensing is a Requirement:  You have to be licensed to handle refrigerant. EPA laws govern the use of refrigerants, ignoring this law is a Federal offense which can lead to big fines.

Void Your Warranty:  Say good-bye to your warranty. The Ductless Systems are reliable and dependable heating and cooling systems which come with generous warranties.  Some units have a 12-year warranty which will become void if your self-install.

Damage to your house:  Installation requires drilling a hole in your house. Would it be a surprise to know that some people have drilled into gas lines? Electrical lines?  A lot of damage can be done without proper knowledge and experience.

Loss of performance. The whole point in purchasing a high efficiency Ductless AC system is to get the high performance so you can save money on your utility bill.   Did you know that improper installation and improper sizing can cost you the savings and comfort you were trying to achieve?

Under Pressure. The last thing you want to go up is your blood pressure. Keep in mind that you’re working with high pressure refrigerant that can run up to 500 pounds of pressure. You don’t want to see a line blow off something that has 500 pounds of pressure. There are a lot of mistakes that can cause a line to blow off the unit and wreak havoc to you and our surroundings.

Even if you can deal with all these things, there are codes to adhere to which involve your health and safety.  You really shouldn’t mess with them, rather leave it up to the professional because they require specific knowledge, experience, and talent to work with them.

Ready to Go Ductless? Find a qualified Ductless Contractor, you’ll be glad you did!


Boise Idaho

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