Installing a split system is a difficult job, and sometimes, frankly, it’s even creepy to watch the process of installing an external air conditioner unit on the wall of some high-rise building. But there is nothing supernatural in this work, and below it will be told how to install the air conditioner yourself, however, you will probably need an assistant.

Tools and consumables

Installing an air conditioner yourself will require the use of expensive tools. This primarily applies to the vacuum pump, the simplest version of which costs a couple of hundred dollars. This equipment can be rented, asked from a friend of the master, etc., because it is very difficult to properly install the air conditioner without it. True, looking ahead, let’s say that it is possible to do without a vacuum pump, there will be no guarantee of quality.

So, you will need the following materials for installation:

  1. The vacuum pump we just talked about.
  2. A professional SDS+ rotary hammer with a power of at least 750 W with a drill with a diameter of 22 mm, but it is better to use a special industrial rotary hammer with a 40 mm drill, then you do not have to drill two holes in the wall.
  3. The puncher will also require 6×60 mm drills for mounting the indoor unit and 12×200 mm for mounting the outdoor unit.
  4. Good rolling preferably with a polished cone. Otherwise, when rolling, you will definitely cut copper dust and shavings, which will disable the compressor.
  5. Pipe cutter. Pipes cannot be cut with a regular hacksaw. The reason is again in the large amount of chips formed and the uneven edges of the cutoff point, which will make it impossible to perform high-quality flaring, and the installation of the air conditioner with your own hands will be performed poorly.
  6. A pair of brackets with a weight capacity of up to 60 kg for attaching the outdoor unit.
  7. Copper tubes for arranging the route with a diameter of 3/8 and 1/4 inches — this is for household air conditioners of small power 7 and 9 BTU / h (British thermal unit, the number is indicated on the package). More powerful devices use other diameters.
  8. Spongy special insulation for thick and thin copper pipes.

You will also need a plastic drainage tube, aluminum tape for winding pipes behind the wall, a 60×80 mm box for the track in the apartment, as well as a level and other installation materials, usually always in stock.

More about the air conditioner device

To understand how to install the air conditioner yourself, you need to understand some of the details of the device and the principle of operation of the air conditioner. The main element is the outdoor unit and, accordingly, the compressor. into it freon has already been pumped at the plant to fill a five-meter route, although self-respecting installers usually take a refrigerant bottle with them just in case. You can read about how to charge the air conditioner here.

There are two fittings on one side of the outdoor unit.

Fittings on the air conditioner

On one you can see a couple of nuts:

  • the first, with a copper or plastic plug — for connecting a thin copper tube of the route;
  • the second, deaf, under which the control valve with a valve for a hexagon is hidden — by turning it, freon is launched into the system after the installation of the air conditioner is completed with your own hands.

The second fitting has three nuts:

  • with a plug — for connecting a thick copper tube;
  • a blind nut under which there is a valve;
  • the third, located in the opposite direction of the highway, hides the filling port.

It is connected to the system until the control valve is turned and is used for topping up and measuring the pressure of the refrigerant. When installing the air conditioner with our own hands, we will use it — it will be needed to connect the vacuum pump.

Brass nuts with a cone connect ports to copper pipes without any gaskets — tightened with a force of 70-80 kg, it completely presses the copper to the cone hermetically. These nuts can be slightly loosened, but the plugs cannot be removed — nothing should get inside. Next, we will tell you how to install the air conditioner yourself.

Mounting the indoor unit

Air conditioner indoor unit

It is better to mount it closer to the outer wall, so that installing the air conditioner with your own hands is not accompanied by laying a long route. Thirty centimeters must be left from the ceiling for the indoor unit so that nothing interferes with the air intake.

The metal mounting frame of the device is mounted horizontally in level. Next, you need to decide where the box will be, for which you can attach the indoor unit to the frame. Drainage will go through the box to remove condensate, so it should be placed under a slope, but a small one — about 5 mm per 30 cm of length.

Difficult stage

After completing the installation of the indoor unit and marking where the box will go to the outer wall, you can start drilling the hole out. You can use a powerful professional puncher, but you will have to drill not one, but two, and in some cases even three holes.

Drainage will be output to the bottom, electrical wiring and copper pipes to the top. For obvious reasons, both holes should be drilled at an angle — the same or even steeper than that of the box. At the end of the work, communications should be stretched.

Outdoor unit installation

It is installed on the outer wall. If there is an open balcony — great, installing an air conditioner in winter will even be safe. On the loggia, the air conditioner can be mounted on the front or side, which is usually in the shade. The rules for installing an air conditioner prohibit installation inside a glazed balcony, or the windows must be open during its operation.

First, the brackets are attached — holes are marked and drilled, the first bracket is set according to the level, then the second. The distance between the mounting tabs of the outdoor unit must be measured in advance in order to know at what distance from each other to mount the brackets.

A block is installed and twisted on them. The route should have been stretched by this time. Copper pipes in concrete do not need to be insulated, but in other areas they must be insulated — stretch the sponge insulation pipes, rewind the joints with electrical tape, ensuring the tightness of the connection, otherwise the installation of the air conditioner with your own hands will be carried out poorly.

Assembly of the track

Brass nuts are unscrewed from the short tubes of the indoor unit and plugs are removed, copper tubes are connected. At the beginning of the process, a hiss will be heard — this is an inert gas pumped into the block at the factory to prevent corrosion.

Before installing the air conditioner yourself, it makes sense to practice cutting and flaring copper pipes, as this is a very responsible process. After the indoor unit, the outdoor unit should be connected to the route in the same way. At the same time, you do not need to be afraid of freon leakage — you have not yet opened the ports.

Vacuum system

Although the air conditioner is installed independently, a vacuum pump is still needed. It connects to the filling port and turns on for 15-30 minutes.

The main thing in this process is not the removal of air from the system (which happens literally in a minute), but the removal of moisture from the system, which is detrimental to the compressor.

Within a quarter of an hour, watch the pressure gauge needle, which should not “creep” back to zero. If the arrow is stationary, you can proceed to the next step, if not, then the tightness of the connections has not been achieved. In this case, before installing the air conditioner with your own hands, you need to find and fix the leak.

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System start

All that remains is to fill the system with freon. For this:

  1. Insert a hexagon into the control valve of the lower port (near the thick copper tube) and carefully turn it until it stops. Until this moment, the pump hose must not be disconnected!
  2. After filling the route with freon, the filling port will be locked — the vacuum pump hose can be unscrewed.
  3. In the same way, open the second port next to the thin tube on the top fitting.

valve opening

When you mount the electrical part, start the air conditioner in cooling mode. After a few minutes, cold air will come out of the indoor unit.

Installation Secrets

By the way, installing an air conditioner in winter is also quite possible. True, the installation of an air conditioner in winter is carried out in less comfortable conditions, but you need to be more careful that snow or water does not get into the line during work. But it is better to open the valves and let freon into the system at a positive temperature — the rubber seal of the valve “dubs” and may fail.

In conclusion, we will tell you how to install the air conditioner yourself without a vacuum process and, accordingly, without a pump. This is possible on a hot summer day when the air is very dry. To do this, the nut on the thin copper pipe must not be completely tightened, and then very slowly open the control valve near the thick pipe.

Freon will displace air with its pressure, but you need to accurately catch the moment when cold freon comes out from under the nut on a thin tube and quickly tighten it. This method, we repeat, is wrong, especially if the air conditioner is installed in winter, you will not be able to check the tightness of the connections, but in certain situations such an independent installation of the air conditioner is possible.

Video instruction

Below we present a video in which in five minutes the process of installing an air conditioner is described in some detail — installing an external unit, an internal one, connecting the route and filling the system with freon.


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