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DIY or Hire a Pro? Your Complete Guide to Installing a MRCOOL Mini Split System

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Updated on . 12 minute read

  • Unlock the ease of installing your own MRCOOL Mini Split with our detailed DIY guide. Learn the essentials for a successful home project.
  • Discover the advantages of the MRCOOL Mini Split system. Our blog walks you through the setup process and highlights the benefits of self-installation.

Table of Contents

    Introduction: Why Choose a DIY MRCOOL Mini Split Installation?

    Deciding to install a MRCOOL Mini Split system yourself can be a rewarding challenge that not only saves money but also gives you a deep sense of achievement. Whether you're a seasoned DIY enthusiast or a homeowner looking to dip your toes into home improvement, this guide is designed to help you navigate the complexities of installing both indoor and outdoor units of your MRCOOL Mini Split. We'll cover essential tools, step-by-step installation procedures, and important electrical considerations. Plus, we'll touch on when it might be wise to call in a professional to ensure your system is set up perfectly.

    What Components Make Up the MRCOOL DIY Mini Split System?

    Diving into a DIY project like installing a MRCOOL DIY Mini Split can be both exciting and daunting. Let's demystify the components that make up this system, so you know exactly what you're working with:

    • Indoor Unit (Air Handler): This is where the cool air you'll enjoy on those hot summer days is generated. It's designed to operate quietly and efficiently, ensuring you stay comfortable without a racket. The unit features a washable air filter and has adjustable airflow settings, including auto-swing louvers, perfect for spreading comfort evenly throughout your room.
    • Outdoor Unit (Condenser): Think of this as the workhorse of your mini split system. It efficiently expels heat from your home and is built tough to stand up against the elements—come rain or shine. Plus, it's designed to run quietly, so it won’t disrupt your backyard tranquility.
    • Remote Control: This isn't just any remote. It lets you control the temperature, fan speed, and system settings from the comfort of your couch. It's intuitive to use and includes a timer, which means you can set it and forget it, adapting your system to your lifestyle seamlessly.
    • Pre-charged Refrigerant Lines: These lines are pre-charged at the factory, which means less hassle for you during installation and ensures the system runs smoothly and efficiently right from the start.
    • Quick Connect System: Ideal for the DIYer, this feature allows for a secure and straightforward setup between the indoor and outdoor units. It’s about making your installation as painless as possible.
    • Wi-Fi Capability & Smart Home Integration: Step into the future of home comfort. Control your mini split with your smartphone or voice commands thanks to its smart home capabilities. Adjust settings from anywhere in the house or even when you’re away, ensuring your home is always just the right temperature.

    Each part of your MRCOOL DIY Mini Split system is designed with you—the homeowner—in mind, making installation and operation as straightforward and enjoyable as possible. This system isn't just about air conditioning; it's about making your home a haven of comfort and convenience.

    What Tools Will You Need for the Installation?

    Before you start, gathering the right tools is crucial. You'll need:

    • A stud finder and level to ensure proper placement of the indoor unit.
    • A drill and a 3 1/2-inch hole saw for making space for the refrigerant lines.
    • An adjustable wrench to tighten and secure components.
    • Electrical tools like wire strippers, a multimeter, and a voltage tester.

    Ensure you have a clear workspace and all necessary safety equipment, such as gloves and goggles, to protect yourself during the process. Always follow the manufacturer's guidelines for a safe and efficient installation.

    How Do You Install the Indoor Unit of Your MRCOOL DIY Mini Split?

    Step 1: Choosing the Right Location

    Select a wall that can support the weight of the unit and is free from direct sunlight, heat sources, and any obstructions that might block airflow. Ensure the location allows for adequate air circulation, easy connection to the outdoor unit, and good water drainage. Keep the unit at least 3 feet away from other electronic devices to avoid interference and steer clear of areas with flammable gases or combustible materials. Choose a place that minimizes noise issues and is on a stable, vibration-free surface.

    Step 2: Prepare the Indoor Unit for Mounting

    After securing the indoor unit's mounting plate, prepare the unit itself by gently bending the piping at the base of the unit. This should be done slowly to avoid damaging the pipes, ensuring they are oriented correctly for connection to the outdoor unit.

    Step 3: Mounting the Mounting Plate

    Use a level to place the mounting plate horizontally on the wall. Ensure that the space above the plate adheres to a minimum clearance of 5.9 inches from the ceiling and a side clearance of 4.75 inches. For ceilings over 9 feet, mount the plate about 90.55 inches from the floor. For ceilings under 9 feet, mount it around 78.55 inches from the floor. Drill the holes and secure the plate with screws.


    Step 4: Connecting the Electrical Wires and Refrigerant Lines

    Thread the electrical cables and refrigerant lines through the hole in the wall to the outdoor unit. Ensure that the lines and cables are properly insulated and sealed as per MRCOOL's guidelines. If you live in a particularly humid area or state, it's a good idea to double insulate your lines. Follow this guide to ensure optimal protection and efficiency, keeping moisture out and maintaining the integrity of your system.

    When connecting the pre-charged line set, start by carefully unwinding the required length of piping, taking care to keep any excess coiled. Connect the refrigerant pipes by aligning them with the corresponding fittings on the indoor unit. Hand-tighten the connections first, then secure them using wrenches. It's crucial to avoid over-tightening to prevent damage.

    Step 5: Connecting the Drain Hose Securely

    Connect the drain hose extension to the drainpipe hose from the indoor unit. Ensuring a secure and leak-free connection here is crucial for preventing water damage and maintaining the system’s efficiency. Follow the instructions carefully to make sure the hose is properly attached and positioned to facilitate smooth drainage.

    Step 6: Managing Your Mini Split Communication Wire

    The communication wire in your MRCOOL DIY mini split is vital for smooth interaction between the indoor and outdoor units. Correct installation of this wire is crucial to keep your system running efficiently without disruptions. To make sure everything is set up perfectly, it’s a good idea to hire a certified electrician who can handle the job professionally. These additional details ensure a safe and effective installation while adhering to the necessary specifications and manufacturer's recommendations.

    Step 7: Installing the Smart USB AC Controller

    After mounting your indoor unit, it's time to enhance its functionality with the MRCOOL Smart USB AC controller. This nifty device allows for intelligent control over your system, ensuring optimal efficiency and ease of use. Simply open the front panel of the indoor handler and locate the USB port on the underside. Insert the smart USB AC controller firmly to ensure a secure connection. This step is crucial as it enables you to control your system remotely, making your mini split smarter and more responsive to your needs.

    What About Installing the Outdoor Unit?

    Step 1: Choosing the Location

    The outdoor unit should be placed on a flat, stable surface that provides good air circulation and ventilation. Ensure it's away from busy streets, crowded areas, animals, plants, and sources of combustible gas. Choose a location away from excessive dust, salt air, or areas prone to forced water exposure. Protect the unit from prolonged sun exposure and rain. In snowy areas, take steps to prevent ice buildup and coil damage. Keep the unit at least 24 inches clear above, 79 inches in front, 12 inches on the left side, 24 inches on the right side, and ensure a back clearance from the wall of 12 inches if ground-mounted or 6 inches if bracket-mounted.


    Step 2: Connecting to the Indoor Unit

    Connect the refrigerant lines from the indoor unit to the outdoor unit. Use a torque wrench to ensure all connections are secure to prevent leaks.

    Step 3: Electrical Considerations

    Connect the electrical wires according to the MRCOOL installation manual. Use a voltage tester to ensure the connections are safe and correct.

    Step 4: Install the Sound Deadening Pads

    Noise reduction is a key factor in enjoying your new system. After connecting the refrigerant lines, take the supplied sound deadening pads and wrap them around the connection points where the indoor air handler's piping meets the DIY line set. This not only helps in reducing the operational noise but also minimizes vibrations, ensuring a quieter and more pleasant environment in your home. Make sure the pads are securely in place to avoid any loose ends that could affect their effectiveness.

    Step 5: Perform Leak Testing

    Ensuring your system is leak-free is essential for its efficiency and longevity. After all connections are made, use a leak detection spray or a simple soapy water solution to check each connection point. Apply the solution around the joints and watch for bubbles. If bubbles appear, it indicates a leak, and you will need to tighten the connections further. This step is critical in preventing refrigerant loss, which can significantly impact the performance of your mini split system.

    Step 6: Open Refrigerant Valves on the Outdoor Unit

    The final step before starting up your system involves opening the refrigerant valves. Locate the cover on the valves of the outdoor unit and remove it. Using the MRCOOL provided allen wrench, turn each valve counterclockwise as far as it will go to open them. This action activates the flow of refrigerant through the system, which is vital for its operation. Be sure to replace the covers securely after you've opened the valves. Properly opening these valves ensures your system runs smoothly and efficiently from the start.

    Understanding Power Requirements & Wiring Diagram

    When installing your MRCOOL DIY Mini Split, it's crucial to verify that your home's electrical system can handle the unit's power needs, as these mini splits need between 110-240 volts depending on the model. You can find specific details on the MRCOOL specification sheet right below the installation video.

    Ensuring that your home meets these power requirements is essential to prevent overloading your system or encountering electrical issues, which could affect both performance and safety.

    Additionally, getting the wiring right is equally important. Each wire color in the mini split system serves a specific purpose—like red for power, black for neutral, and green for ground. It's vital to connect everything correctly to avoid potential problems or damage. Always adhere to both local and national electrical codes, and consider having a licensed electrician perform the installation.

    Keep in mind that the wire colors in your MRCOOL mini split might differ from previous models or standard color codes, so always refer to the wiring diagram provided in your manual to ensure everything is set up correctly for a smooth and safe operation of your new mini split system.

    Lastly, Conduct a System Test After Installation

    After ensuring all components are securely installed and connected, conduct a system test. Power on the unit and cycle through all operational modes using the remote control to verify functionality. Begin with the cool mode, setting it to the lowest temperature, and then switch to heat mode at the highest setting. Monitor the system for any abnormalities and consult the manual for troubleshooting any issues that arise.

    Video Tutorial: Step-by-Step MRCOOL Mini Split Installation

    For a more visual understanding of how to install your MRCOOL Mini Split, check out our detailed video tutorial below. This guide will walk you through each step of the installation process for both the indoor and outdoor units, showcasing practical tips and techniques to ensure your setup is successful and efficient. Whether you're a seasoned DIY enthusiast or new to home installations, this video will help you visualize the entire process and address common questions along the way like considering hiring a professional instead?

    MRCOOL DIY Mini Split: Detailed Single-Zone Specifications Overview

    MRCOOL DIY Mini Split: Detailed Multi-Zone Specifications Overview

    Looking for Ways to Enhance Your MRCOOL Mini Split Installation?

    Maximize the efficiency and aesthetics of your MRCOOL Mini Split system with essential accessories that offer both functionality and style. Enhance your DIY project with the following key additions:

    MRCOOL Line Set Cover Kit ($137): Essential for protecting the refrigerant lines that connect your indoor and outdoor units, this cover kit safeguards against environmental elements, UV rays, and potential damage from animals. It also helps to insulate the lines, maintaining the efficiency of your system. The cover enhances the installation's aesthetics by neatly concealing the lines and can be painted to match your home's exterior, blending seamlessly with your decor. When installing, make sure the cover is fitted without pinching the lines and leaves enough space for easy maintenance.

    MRCOOL Condenser Wall Bracket ($127): Elevate your outdoor condenser unit with this robust wall bracket to protect it from dirt, snow, and debris. Installing your condenser on a wall bracket extends the life of the unit by preventing flooding and minimizing pest infiltration. It also reduces vibration and noise transmission to your home’s structure, ensuring a quieter operation. Choose a stable and sturdy wall that can support the weight of the condenser. Make sure the bracket is level and mounted at the correct height to facilitate optimal airflow and performance.

    MRCOOL Mini-Stat Smart App Controller (Battery Operated) ($168): Gain remote control over your mini split system with this smart thermostat, allowing you to adjust temperatures, set schedules, and monitor system performance from anywhere via a smartphone app. This convenience leads to better energy management and can help reduce utility costs by tailoring your system’s operation to your lifestyle. Ensure that the controller is placed within a good range of your Wi-Fi router for stable connectivity. Follow the setup instructions carefully to ensure effective communication with all components of your mini split system.

    These accessories not only improve the functionality and efficiency of your MRCOOL Mini Split but also add a layer of convenience and aesthetic integration, making them invaluable additions to your installation.

    When Might DIY Not Be the Best Choice?

    If you're unsure about managing electrical connections, it's safer to hire a professional. HVAC systems involve high-voltage electricity, presenting a risk of serious injury if mishandled. Professional installation also guarantees that your system adheres to the latest building codes and maintains its warranty.

    Additionally, certified installers can navigate local building regulations, ensuring compliance and avoiding potential penalties or mandatory modifications when selling your home. Lastly, professional installation is typically faster than DIY approaches, minimizing downtime and inconvenience. For HVAC systems, the value of professional expertise cannot be overstated.

    What Are the Benefits of Professional Installation?

    Professionals bring a level of expertise and efficiency that can greatly simplify the process. They can ensure that your system is optimized for performance, handle any unexpected issues during installation, and offer peace of mind with warranty protections. The cost of hiring a professional installer can vary widely depending on the complexity of the system and the geographic location.

    Typically, prices can range from $300 to $1,500 for basic installations, and significantly more for systems requiring extensive modifications or those in areas with higher labor rates. Investing in professional installation not only ensures a correct and safe setup but can also provide a smoother and more reliable operation from the start.

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    Q: What tools do I need for installing a MRCOOL Mini Split?

    Essential tools include a stud finder, level, drill, hole saw (3 1/2-inch), adjustable wrench, wire strippers, multimeter, and a voltage tester. Don't forget safety equipment like gloves and goggles.

    Q: How do I choose the right location for the indoor unit?

    Select a wall that supports the unit's weight, avoids direct sunlight, heat sources, and obstructions that block airflow. Ensure the location allows for easy drainage and minimal noise, and is free from flammable gases.

    Q: What are the steps to install the indoor unit?

    Start by securing the mounting plate, ensuring it's level and properly spaced from the ceiling and sides. Next, thread the electrical and refrigerant lines through a drilled hole to the outdoor unit, and connect the communication wire. Consider consulting a professional for electrical connections.

    Q: Where should I place the outdoor unit?

    Choose a flat, stable surface with good ventilation, away from animals, plants, and combustible gases. Ensure it's positioned to avoid excessive dust, salt air, or water exposure and has sufficient clearance around all sides.

    Q: What electrical considerations are there?

    Ensure your home's electrical system can handle the unit’s power needs, typically between 110-240 volts. Each wire color serves a specific purpose, so connections must be made correctly according to your manual and local electrical codes.

    Q: Should I consider hiring a professional for installation?

    If you're unsure about handling electrical connections or want to ensure your system retains its warranty and complies with building codes, hiring a professional is advisable.

    Q: What regular maintenance does my MRCOOL Mini Split require?

    Maintenance includes cleaning the filters, checking refrigerant lines for leaks, and ensuring the system operates efficiently. Check your user manual for detailed maintenance schedules.

    Q: Can I install any part of the system myself to save on costs?

    Yes, you can handle non-technical tasks like mounting the indoor unit or prepping the installation site. For technical steps like connecting refrigerant lines and electrical wiring, consider hiring a technician.

    Q: What are the benefits of professional installation?

    Professionals provide expertise and efficiency, optimizing system performance, handling unexpected installation issues, and offering peace of mind with warranty protections.

    Q: How Can I Access the Latest Installation Manual for My MRCOOL DIY Mini Split?

    To make sure you have the most recent installation manual, download the latest version directly from the official MRCOOL website. Equipping yourself with the most current information sets you up for a smooth and successful installation from the very beginning!

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    What is the length of the refrigerant pipes (max distance from outside unit to inside unit? I need AC on the second level of an old house.

    How do I determine if the plug I’m using for a window unit can be used instead of a new circuit?

    Is the kit used to hide the refrigeration lines a separate cost?

    Jerry Bittner,

    Wow, thank you for this in-depth guide on installing the MRCOOL DIY Mini Split! Your step-by-step instructions and tips have been incredibly helpful. Feeling empowered to tackle this project with confidence, all thanks to your expertise!

    tyrone loukas,

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