Is Ductless Air Conditioning a Do-It-Yourself Project?

Do-it-yourself projects are all the rage, and for good reason. After all, why pay someone to install a ductless air conditioner if you can manage it on your own?

Unfortunately for the handymen and women among us, an HVAC install isn’t something you should undertake yourself. Even experienced do-it-yourself mavens need an expert for ductless air conditioning system installation. Consider these factors.

You Will Void the Warranty

If you opt for do-it-yourself ductless air conditioning installation, you are highly likely to void the warranty. If your air conditioner breaks, the company will ask about installation. Improper installation (e.g., one not performed by an HVAC technician) means your warranty is worthless.

You Might Need a Permit

Ductless air conditioning units are a popular choice in older homes or for people who are building an addition. But installing ductless air conditioning may require a permit. An HVAC contractor can tell you if you need a permit for your ductless air conditioning install. At Newcomb and Company, our technicians guide you through this process. In many cities, only a licensed contractor can obtain an HVAC installation permit.

Why does a permit matter? If your HVAC breaks and you don’t have a permit, your warranty may be invalid. Even if it doesn’t break, a permit is crucial. Want to sell your home? Buyers are going to want to see those permits. Getting a permit after the fact is expensive, time consuming, and potentially destructive. Your inspector might need to take down part of the wall to ensure your ductless air conditioning installation do-it-yourself job was up to snuff.

You’ll Need to Handle Refrigerant

Cracking open the walls and fishing wires through may not be difficult for the savvy DIYer, but handling refrigerant? That’s another story. Only EPA-certified technicians are able to purchase refrigerants, since they are ozone-depleting substances. If you do get your hands on refrigerant, you’ll need to be careful. The rules and regulations for managing it are complex.

You May Pay More

Botched ductless air conditioning installation do-it-yourself projects aren’t uncommon. And a failed DIY project can cost double what you would have spent to hire an expert in the first place. Hopeful home installers may become overwhelmed by the cost and time it takes to complete an installation project. Calling in an expert at this point can be more expensive than going with one from the start.

You Need the Right Size

Choosing the proper ductless air conditioner for your project is far more complex than just measuring square footage. You might have two rooms with the same footprint, but if one has a gas stove and picture windows, you’ll need a bigger HVAC. A certified technician can perform Manual J load calculations to take climate, windows, and other factors into account so your system works properly.

Small Errors = Big Consequences

Many people choose ductless air conditioners because they offer significant benefits. They’re less expensive to install (even when you aren’t taking a DIY approach). ENERGY STAR certified ductless mini-split heat pumps can cut cooling costs by 30%. They also use 60% less energy than other heating systems. That’s a real savings…

…if they’re properly installed. You won’t see those benefits if your ductless air conditioner isn’t affixed well. Small gaps and cracks let that air – and those cost savings – leak out.

Is a Ductless Air Conditioning Installation Do-It-Yourself Project For You?

Still not convinced? Before you head to the hardware store, do one thing. Call Newcomb and Company. We’ll come out to your home and give you an estimate. We’ll explain exactly what we do when we install a ductless air conditioner, so you know what you’re getting into if you decide to DIY. That way, you’ll go into your project armed with good advice and your eyes wide open.

Need help? Call now.