Best Practices for Installing Ductless Heating and Cooling Systems

Sep 04, 2019

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Quality service and installations generate referrals, increase sales and improve customer satisfaction. Help your customers get the most from their ductless systems by following installation best practices and providing education about using and maintaining their system. Installers can also find these recommended installation practices in an illustrated, easy-to-read document here.

Before You Begin

  • Review the existing heating and cooling system location and layout with your customers. Consider occupancy, usage and climate when integrating the ductless system as the primary heating and cooling system in the home.
  • If there is an electric furnace, determine if it is the best backup heat source or if other backup options are most appropriate.
  • Review utility rebates and tax credits.
  • Install system on a dedicated electrical circuit.

Outdoor Unit (Compressor)

  • Set the unit on a stable, level surface
  • Use adjustable risers to prevent debris and snow buildup and allow better drainage
  • Secure outdoor units to the pad, risers and/or resting surface using bolts and/or adhesive

Refrigerant Tubing

  • Create new flares using appropriate R410A flaring tool and measurement gauge; do not use manufacturer-provided tubing flares and fittings
  • Apply refrigerant oil to the end of each flare
  • Connect tubing with R410A nuts (supplied with your outdoor unit) and tighten to manufacturer’s specifications

Refrigerant Charge

  • Adjust refrigerant charge only if necessary; most installations do not require adjustment
  • Gauges are not needed to verify refrigerant levels; if adjustments are necessary, use a scale when adding/removing refrigerant
  • Consult the manufacturer’s installation manual to verify refrigerant protocols

Line Set Insulation and Protection

  • Insulation must cover entire line set length to avoid condensation and decreased efficiency
  • Protect the outdoor line set from insulation damage with rigid line hide and building code-approved line set protection
  • An insulative sealant must seal penetrations through the shell of the home; return any insulation disturbed by installed line set to original (or better) condition

Condensate Drain

  • Must slope downhill; can be routed with line set and run to a suitable termination point, away from crawl spaces and walkways

Cold Climate Recommendations

  • Avoid installing outdoor unit along pathways; freezing discharge can pose a slip hazard
  • Use a pan heater to prevent defrost discharge from freezing inside the compressor
  • Use wall-mount brackets to maximize clearance under the outdoor unit for easy drainage and reduced snow and ice buildup

Learn additional recommendations by reading our blog post titled “9 Recommendations for Cold-Climate Ductless Heat Pump Installations.”

Required Tools

Dhp Tools

Properly Installed Indoor and Outdoor Units

Dhp Outdoor Dhp Indoor

Keep Your Customers Comfortable and Reduce Callbacks

Installation Tips for Maximum Efficiency

  • For homes with electric furnaces, consider shutting off the furnace at the breaker or set back the furnace thermostat to prevent competition with the ductless system.
  • For homes with zonal electric heat, consider shutting off the heaters at the breaker or set back the zonal heater thermostats to prevent competition with the ductless system.

Finish With Customer Education

Reduce callbacks, generate referrals and ensure customer satisfaction by educating homeowners about the proper use of their ductless system. Ask your satisfied customers for a testimonial for your website and marketing materials.

Emphasize cleaning and maintenance requirements to ensure long life and efficient performance.

Ensure homeowner has a copy of the manufacturer’s operation manual; refer to the manual during your unit operation walk-through or training.

Provide your customer with a copy of the NW Ductless Heat Pump Project’s Homeowner’s Guide and remind them that has more information.

If you install a system in a home with electric resistance heating, discuss ways the homeowner can ensure the new ductless system acts as the primary heating and cooling system, providing optimal comfort and savings

For complete information regarding ductless system features, benefits, operation, maintenance and installation requirements, review the manufacturer’s installation manual and attend a manufacturer training. Images of specific manufacturer product lines are not endorsements, and this guide does not guarantee their quality. This guide goes not replace manufacturer's specifications. Follow manufacturer's installation instruction and building code requirements.

Is Ductless right for your home?

Click on the house that best fits your home style to view more information.

Is Ductless right for your home?

Click over the house that best fits your home style to view more information.

  • Single-story

    Is your home:

    • Less than 2,200 sq. ft.
    • Electric resistance with baseboard heaters or wall heaters
    • Infrared panels/ceilings
    Learn More
  • Two-story

    Is your home:

    • Less than 2,600 sq. ft.
    • Electric resistance with baseboard heaters or wall heaters
    • Electric forced air furnace
    Learn More
  • Manufactured or mobile

    Is your home:

    • Electric baseboard/wall heating
    • Electric forced air furnace
    Learn More
  • Split-level

    Is your home:

    • Less than 2,400 sq. ft.
    • Electric forced air furnace (preferred)
    • Baseboard heating, infrared panel, wall heaters
    Learn More