Many homeowners in the Boston area are interested in switching to a ductless, mini-split heat pump from their old furnace or boiler.

Although these convenient and eco-friendly alternatives have been used in Europe and other regions for decades, they’re just now starting to gain traction in the states.

If you’re seriously giving it some thought, you’re probably wondering how long it takes to put in one of these HVAC units. And what exactly the process entails.

Here, we’ll take a look at what you can expect from the typical ductless, mini-split heat pump installation.

Step 1: Choose Your Ductless, Mini-Split System

Before the installation process can begin, you need to determine which type of ductless, mini-split system is most appropriate given your current needs. Here are the three primary types:

Single Zone

This system is designed to control the temperature in a single, confined space like a bedroom, enclosed patio, or garage.

Dual Zone

As you can guess from the name, homeowners rely on this system to cool and heat two different areas at the same time. It requires two individual air handlers; one in each room.

Multi Zone

For homes that require temperature control over more than two rooms, a multi-zone system is ideal. Since there are more components involved, it’s common for the installation process to take a little longer.

Step 2: Mount the Indoor Air Handler Units

After you’ve settled on a ductless, mini-split heat pump, the next step is to have the indoor units installed. These air handling units need to be hung on a wall that has easy access to the outside of your home as electrical wires and refrigerant lines need to connect to the outdoor unit. It’s also important to have an air handler mounted high off the ground to ensure proper air circulation.

When a suitable location is determined, installers will locate studs and drill a bracket into the wall to properly secure the unit. However, before the air handler can be placed, holes need to be drilled into the wall, so the electrical wires, refrigerant lines, and tubing can be fed through to the outdoor condenser.

Once all of the loose ends have been properly situated, the air handler can be secured to the wall mount. This process will be repeated in each room where you want to have an air handler.

Step 3: Setup the Outdoor Condenser

No matter what kind of ductless heat pump you’ve chosen, there’s a good chance you’ll only need to install one outdoor condenser. Location is just as important in this phase of the installation process as it is when handling the indoor units.

To keep the condenser from absorbing moisture on the ground, installers can place it on a concrete pad, secure it on some sort of suspension system, or even place it on your roof. Protection from precipitation and debris can come in the form of a makeshift roof or overhang.

Installers will usually place the condenser as close to your home as possible because it can offer some extra protection from the weather. This placement also allows the outdoor unit to be properly connected to the indoor air handlers.

Step 4 Connect the Indoor and Outdoor Units

After finding a suitable location for the condenser, it’s time to connect all of the wiring and tubing that run from the indoor units to the condenser. As this step might require the charging and cutting of lines and handling of refrigerant, it’s important to leave this to a professional.

In the summertime, the refrigerant lines work to carry heat energy between the handling units and the condenser by absorbing heat in your home and releasing it outdoors. This process is flipped during the wintertime. The electrical wiring simply brings power to the outdoor unit, so you don’t have to deal with an external power source.

To help prevent the wiring and tubing from becoming damaged or tangled, installers will secure them to the closest wall using brackets or some alternative method. Covers are also sometimes used to hide the wires to maintain your home’s aesthetic.

Once all of these steps are completed, you’re ready to enjoy all of the advantages of a ductless HVAC system.

Common Ductless HVAC Installation Questions

Q. Can I install a mini-split system on my own?

  1. While installing a ductless heat pump is less involved than a traditional HVAC system with ductwork, it’s still an intricate process. It’s advisable to hire an experienced professional to ensure everything is installed correctly.

Q. How long does it take to install a ductless heat pump?

  1. It usually only takes one or two days to fully install a mini-split system. The more units you’re installing, the longer it can take.

Q. How many professionals are required during the installation process?

  1. Typically, it only takes one or two HVAC professionals to successfully install a mini-split system quickly and efficiently.

Get More Answers. Talk to the Ductless HVAC Pros

If you want to learn more about the installation process or you’re ready to schedule an appointment, feel free to contact New England Ductless. We’re one of the most experienced ductless HVAC installers in the entire Boston area, and we’re ready to answer all of your questions.