Cheapest DIY Mini Split: A Comprehensive Buying Guide for Homeowners
When we think about air conditioning systems, the first thing that comes to mind is a bulky, expensive, and complicated installation process. However, the latest innovation in home cooling systems has changed the perspective of how you can have a cooler and more comfortable home, and without costing you a fortune. Mini-split air conditioners, also known as ductless systems, offer an affordable way to cool your home without the need to have ductwork installed. In this comprehensive buying guide, we will provide you with all the information you need to know before buying the cheapest DIY mini split for your home.
1. What is a mini-split air conditioner?
A mini-split air conditioner system is a type of cooling system that comprises one or multiple indoor units that connect to an outdoor unit through a small conduit. Mini-splits operate using the same principles as any conventional air conditioning system, except they provide you with the additional benefit of zoned cooling. Zoned cooling allows you to control each unit individually, enabling you to set a specific temperature for each room.
2. How much do mini-split air conditioners cost?
As you are looking for a mini-split air conditioner, it’s essential to understand that the costs depend on several factors, including the cooling capacity, the number of units, and the level of efficiency. However, on average, a DIY mini-split air conditioner can cost between $1,500 and $4,000, depending on your requirements and the brand you opt for.
3. What are the benefits of a mini-split air conditioner?
Mini-split air conditioners come with several benefits, including:
• Energy Efficiency – Mini-split air conditioners operate with an inverter-driven compressor, which means they can adjust their speed based on the capacity required to cool or heat a particular room size, thereby improving their energy efficiency.
• Improved Comfort – As mini-splits offer zoned cooling and personalized temperature control, you can expect to stay comfortable in your home without suffering from the dreaded hot and cold spots.
• Simple Installation – Unlike central air conditioning systems, mini-splits do not require bulky ductwork installations; instead, they can utilize a small conduit that can penetrate the wall of your home. This means that installation can be much faster, easier, and cheaper to complete as a DIY project.
4. What are the drawbacks of a mini-split air conditioner?
Although mini-split air conditioners have numerous benefits, they may also come with some drawbacks, such as:
• Higher Up-front Costs – Mini-split air conditioners can demand a higher installation cost compared to other cooling options.
• Unsightly Appearance – Although the wall-mounted indoor unit blend into the room décor, the conduit can be visible on your home’s exterior, which may need a careful placement for aesthetics.
5. How to choose the best mini-split air conditioner?
When you decide to buy a mini-split air conditioner, you need to keep certain factors in mind. Some of these factors include:
• Your climate needs – If you live in hotter regions, you might consider buying a mini-split air conditioner with higher cooling capacity.
• Your budget – Mini-split air conditioners come with varying costs, depending on your budget and the brand you opt for. Hence, it’s essential to consider your budget before making your purchase.
• The size of your home – If you have a larger home, you might have to install multiple indoor units, which can increase your total installation costs.
6. Installation Steps for DIY Mini-Split Air Conditioners
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to install a mini-split air conditioner system:
Step 1: Pick your desired location for your air handler unit.
Step 2: Drill a hole in the wall to create a refrigerant line.
Step 3: Mount the air handler unit to the wall.
Step 4: Connect electrical wires from the air handler unit and run them to the circuit breaker box.
Step 5: Connect the refrigerant lines into the air handler unit and run them to the heat pump outside.
Step 6: Install and mount the heat pump outside and connect the refrigerant and electrical lines.
Step 7: Turn the system on and test.
7. How to maintain your mini-split air conditioner?
Like any other air conditioning system, mini-split air conditioners require regular maintenance to function at peak capacity. Some of the maintenance procedures include:
• Cleaning the filters every month – Dirty filters will reduce the system’s efficiency
• Schedule annual inspections – Hire an HVAC professional to inspect and maintain the system.
In conclusion, mini-split air conditioners offer a convenient way to cool your home without breaking the bank. They are energy-efficient, easy to install, and provide zoned cooling. By following our comprehensive guide, you can make the right buying decision and choose the cheapest DIY mini-split air conditioner that best fits your requirements.
1. How long do mini-split air conditioners last?
Answer: With proper maintenance, mini-split air conditioners can last up to 12-15 years.
2. Can mini-split air conditioners also work for heating?
Answer: Yes, you can use mini-split air conditioners for both heating and cooling.
3. Do mini-splits require ductwork or wall installation?
Answer: Mini-splits do not require ductwork to operate; instead, they use a small conduit to connect the indoor and outdoor units.
4. Can I install a mini-split air conditioner myself?
Answer: Although one can install a mini-split air conditioner as a DIY project, it’s advisable to hire a qualified HVAC professional.
5. How long does it take to install a mini-split air conditioner?
Answer: It depends on the number of units you need and how long it takes to run the refrigerant lines. On average, installation of a mini-split air conditioner takes about a day, with two or three units installed.