Installation of the air conditioner should begin with choosing a place for installation. And it is not as simple as it seems. It is necessary to take into account the requirements of manufacturers of equipment, restrictions of local authorities, ease of maintenance, requirements regarding ergonomics. So you will have to solve a complex task, trying to meet all the requirements for how to install an air conditioner, especially if you do it yourself.

What are the main requirements for installing an air conditioner that must be taken into account:

  • Requirements of equipment manufacturers. This is the maximum and minimum length of the track, the distance from the walls, the ceiling.
  • Restrictions of local authorities. Not everywhere, not on all buildings, you can hang an external air conditioner unit. And this creates additional complications, especially for older homes. The design of modern high-rise buildings takes into account the presence of air conditioning. And there are no questions about where to place the external unit. In some cases, the external unit of the air conditioner is placed on a balcony or loggia, taking care of free air access or installing fans for forced cooling of the unit.
  • Convenience of service. It is not the cheapest option to call industrial climbers every time for prevention.
  • Requirements for ergonomics – that cooled air masses do not fall into places of rest or work.

How to install an air conditioner

Choosing a location for the indoor unit

Let’s start with the simplest: choosing a location from the point of view of ease of use. The indoor unit should be placed so that the cooled air spreads throughout the room, but does not fall directly on the bed, desk, or chair. In principle, it is possible to redirect the flow with the help of movable blinds, but it is better to think about it first.

The most correct decision in this case is to place the air conditioner above the head of the bed or on the side of the table. In this case, the flow of cold air will “flow around” the place of rest or work, which is much more comfortable and less dangerous to health.

In addition, there are technical points that must be considered before starting the installation of the air conditioner with your own hands.

The indoor unit is connected to the outdoor unit using a copper pipe route and a control cable. The outputs for connecting the track are on the right (when looking at the unit from the front), but they can be bent so that they are on the left or below. These outlets are copper tubes 30 cm long.

The track is connected to them (soldering or flaring), and the connection point must be accessible for maintenance. Therefore, this section of the track is not buried in the wall (in the gate), but is covered with a decorative box. At the same time, the track can be placed in different ways – depending on which wall the internal block is hung on and where the external block is located in relation to it.

Block to the left of the outer wall

If the internal block is to the left of the external wall, and the route is level, the minimum distance from the wall to the block is 500 mm. The distance can be reduced to 100 mm if the track is wrapped around the adjacent wall, but its total length should not be less than 500 mm. If this is not possible, you can take out the taps from the left and put the pipes in the gate. This is possible when the point of connection of the terminals and the track comes out under the cover of the case, which makes it accessible for repair and maintenance.

If it is not possible to run cables, pipes, etc. on the external walls of the building (so as not to spoil the appearance), the entire route will have to be laid indoors. A less costly option is to hold it in a corner, closing it with special boxes. This location is convenient, because then you can close the box with curtains.

There is another option, which is more time-consuming (it is more difficult to make a strobe), but from the aesthetic point of view, it is more profitable – it is to transfer the outputs to the left side panel and put everything in the cut.

On the wall to the right of the outer one

This option can be called typical – it is a standard solution when choosing such a location. Most often, the track in the box is led directly into the wall, but, if necessary, it can be lowered into a corner (also covered with a box).

If necessary, it can be placed in the strobe (the connection point is in the case). If the track cannot be laid outside the building, it can be laid in a strobe indoors.

Where to install the outdoor unit

In fact, it is not the easiest task to choose a place for the outdoor unit. Not all houses allow them to be placed on the walls. In this case, there are only two ways out: to install the external unit of the split system in a specially designated place – an air-conditioned room. If there is no such room, only a balcony or a loggia remains. In such houses, they are usually glazed, so the appearance of the placement of the block is not affected.

Inside the balcony

When placing the outdoor unit in the room or on the balcony, it is necessary to provide a system for cooling the equipment and exhausting the exhaust air. If the balcony is spacious enough, during the operation of the air conditioner, open the windows for ventilation or ensure the access of fresh air in any other way. The solution is simple and clear, but it leads to overheating of the equipment, which can lead to breakdowns and frequent replacement of the damaged external unit.

Installing fans for more active air exchange can improve the situation somewhat. Correctly fence off a small room, make it effective ventilation, separate ventilation ducts for the removal and supply of air. And they should be separate. This is done with the help of air ducts, which are removed instead of a part of the glazing.

Outside the balcony or loggia

If there are no prohibitions on the placement of third-party devices on the walls of the building, usually the external unit of the air conditioner is hung on the balcony fence (side or front) or on the wall, but in such a way that it is possible to reach it for maintenance – to wash, clean, check, repair.

If the balcony is glazed, there should be an opening window sash above it. Otherwise, servicing the air conditioner will be very difficult. To protect against precipitation and objects that may fall from the window, a visor is placed over the block. The choice of materials is something similar to a balcony finish or a white plastic visor, but full-bodied. It is better not to use hollow and metal ones (including corrugated board and metal tiles), because during the rain they turn into a drum, and during a hailstorm they can generally stun.

One more point: how to run the route — on the ceiling or the floor? You will have to drill in both cases, but in the case of the floor, it is possible that you will make it from boards, then the pipes and cables connecting the external and internal units can be laid on the surface, but it is better – in a box.

How to install an air conditioner

Under or next to the window

In those rooms where there is no balcony or loggia, the outer part of the split system is hung on the wall from the outside. It is most convenient if the block is under the window or on the side of it. And under or next to the opening part. In this case, maintenance is possible without calling the climber.

When installing the outdoor unit of the air conditioner with your own hands on the wall next to the window, consider the height of its installation. You can place the upper surface of the block flush with the upper edge of the window. In this case, after sticking out of the window and securing yourself, you can carry out work standing on the windowsill. The second option is to align the lower edge with the lower edge of the window opening. Here you will be able to lie on your stomach on the windowsill, but you will not be able to reach the place where the pipes exit. That is, after all, it will be necessary to call industrial climbers.

What is needed to install an air conditioner with your own hands

For those who install and connect split systems professionally, it takes an average of three hours to get to work. The cost of this service is considerable, and it is explained by the need to use expensive equipment. Good devices really cost a lot, but many of them can be replaced with simpler ones or rented. The only thing that will be difficult to find is a vacuum pump. This is really expensive specialized equipment, but there is technology that allows you to do without it. This is exactly what some installers do, who simply do not have such equipment – they simply drain part of the freon, cleaning the pipes. This method can be used for self-installation of a split system.

Necessary equipment and what it can be replaced with

What is necessary for the installation of an air conditioner with your own hands to be successful? First of all, you will need some set of tools. With their help, things will go faster. But if there is no special toolkit, it can be replaced with simpler devices. It will take more time to work with them, but if you try, it will not affect the quality. So, everything for installing a split system:

  • A powerful perforator. In the outer wall of the house or building, it is necessary to make a through hole through which the copper pipes and cables connecting the inner and outer units are brought out. Also, through this hole, a drainage tube is brought out for the removal of condensate and excess moisture when the humidity is normalized. A punch is not so rare, the only thing that can cause difficulties is the selection of the necessary nozzles.
  • Pipe cutter with a sharp blade. Blocks of the split system are connected to each other by copper pipes. They are sold in bundles, so you will have to cut them into pieces of the right length. If the pipe cutter blade is dull, the edges of the pipe will be dull or jagged. This will have to be corrected with a file and a reamer (a special device for removing burrs). The pipe cutter can be replaced with a hacksaw with a metal blade, and the edges can be leveled and burrs removed with a file (over file), finally finishing the edge to smoothness with sandpaper. Only when working, make sure that the hole being processed is directed downwards. This way, copper dust will not get inside the pipe (it can damage the filling of the air conditioner, so this is very important).
  • Pipe bender or spring. To give the copper pipes the desired shape.
  • Drill with drills of different diameters. It is needed in order to make holes for the mounting plates of the indoor unit and the corners for installing the outdoor unit.
  • Expander and calibrator for copper pipes. This device is, of course, specific, but it costs little.
  • Strobe cutter When laying a track in a strobe (groove in the wall), this device significantly speeds up and simplifies the work. But you can get by with a regular chisel and a hammer/sledgehammer.

Well, as was said before, a vacuum pump is needed for a high-quality start-up of the system. To replace it with nothing, the only possibility is to release part of the freon on the tracks up to 6 meters long (the method of the sprayer).

In addition, you will need screwdrivers, hex keys, a level, a hammer, maybe some other tools, but they are usually in the household or easy to find.

How to install an air conditioner

Materials and consumables

In addition to tools, you will need several materials to install the air conditioner with your own hands. One cannot do without many of them.

Copper thick-walled seamless pipes. Do not confuse with water or heating. Pipes used in refrigeration and air conditioning systems are required. They can be distinguished by the fact that their edges are muted on both sides. And, if it is cut off, then the section must also be sealed – so that nothing gets inside. The length of the copper pipe is equal to the length of the track, taking into account all bends, plus 20-30 cm. The diameter depends on the manufacturer’s requirements. You need one piece of a smaller diameter, the second of a larger one. All dimensions are indicated in the instructions for the air conditioner. When choosing, consider that the main thing is the thickness of the wall. And the diameters can be taken as follows:

  • with a wall thickness of 0.6 mm, it is desirable to find a diameter of 0.76 mm (recommended), 0.71 mm (minimum) is possible, and ideally 0.8 mm.
  • with a wall thickness of 0.9 mm – the recommended diameter is 0.81 mm, 0.76 mm – the minimum.

Electric cable. The requirements for it are also written in the instructions, but most often a four-wire copper cable with a cross section of 2 or 2.5 squares is needed. The length is equal to the length of the track with all bends plus some margin.

Drainage tube. There are two options. The first is to use a special drain (corrugated pipe with a plastic spring inserted inside). The second is to use a polypropylene water pipe. It serves no worse. The length of the drainage should be 80 cm longer than the length of the track.

Insulation for pipes. A rubber “sleeve” is usually used. It can be gray or black. You can take any. It’s not about the color, but about the diameter. The length is twice the length of the track with a small margin.

Plastic box – to close the part of the track laid along the wall in the room. This box is also special for air conditioners, and its width should be such that it contains all communications. In principle, they are standard. So it is difficult to make a mistake.

Mounting for the outdoor unit. There are special corners and brackets for air conditioners, but you can weld something similar from a steel corner.

You will also need bolts, anchors, fasteners for the track running along the outer wall (plastic light-stabilized screeds, plastic clips, but can also be fixed with tin plates).

As you can see, installing an air conditioner with your own hands requires serious preparation. It requires both a special tool and specific materials.

Installation of blocks

If you want to do everything right, installing an air conditioner with your own hands should begin with a careful study of the instructions for the equipment. They are mostly similar, but allowances, cable cross-section requirements, track lengths, etc. may differ. Another advantage of reading the manual is that you will have a clear idea of ​​the order in which the work should be done. In general, here’s what you need to do:

  1. We mark on the wall the expected locations of the block, the route, etc. We take the device for detecting the wiring and walk along the entire track. If you don’t have such a device, you can take a phone, turn it on to radio reception mode, adjust it so that it starts to make noise when approaching the wires. It is also possible to determine the location of the wiring, but only under voltage.
  2. We fasten the mounting plate of the indoor unit. It must be placed strictly horizontally, therefore a building level is required for control (a bubble level is possible, but a laser is better). We attach the plate, level it, and mark the metal for fasteners. We remove the plate, drill holes with a drill, install fasteners (in brick and concrete houses we use dowels, in wooden houses you can use screws).
  3. We put the plate in place, fasten it. We wrap the fasteners carefully, paying special attention to the lower part. There are latches that hold the block.
  4. We check the horizontality of the plate installation, fix the inner block.
  5. External unit. The procedure is the same as with the internal: at the required distance (depends on the size of the block and is in the instructions), we install the brackets/corners, mark the places for fastening, drill, fasten. Be sure to put as many fasteners as there are holes on the bracket. It must withstand the weight of the block, wind and snow loads. Stainless anchor bolts 10*100 mm are usually used as fasteners.
  6. We check the horizontality of mounting brackets. This is also very important. We carefully lower the external block tied with ropes onto them, fasten it to the brackets in all the holes.
  7. In the designated place, a through hole is made in the wall with the help of a perforator. According to its size, all communications should pass through it. Moreover, the pipes must be in a heat-insulating shell. This is a must if you don’t want to have wet walls.

This completes the first stage of self-installation of the air conditioner. Next, we will lay the track.

Connection of blocks

The external and internal units of the split system are connected by two copper pipes and a cable. A drainage tube is also brought out. All these communications can be laid from above along the wall, and they are placed in a special box. The second option is in the strobe, and then you need to make a groove that will connect the two blocks. But, first of all, you need to drill a hole in the wall. This is done after installing the fasteners for the blocks. And only after that, the installation of the air conditioner with your own hands continues.

  1. Pipes use two diameters: larger and smaller (the dimensions are specified in the instructions, and the length is equal to the length of the track + 30 cm). We cut off a piece of the desired length from the bay, straighten the edges, remove burrs, tightly plug the edges with corks/plugs, and especially the one that we will pass through the hole in the wall.
  2. We put heat insulation on the pipes, pass them through the hole in the wall, bend them with a pipe bender in the right places.
  3. Special tips are put on the cable from both ends (strip the wire from the insulation, insert the stripped part into the holder, crimp with pliers).
  4. Also put the wire into the hole, connect it as shown in the instructions. There are terminal blocks on each block, to which it will be necessary to connect wires by color.
  5. The drain pipe is connected to the corresponding outlet of the indoor unit, and its other end is brought out into the street (it is also better to muffle it). Moreover, it must end 80 cm from the wall or be discharged into the drainage pipe. Another way to remove condensate is to lead the drain pipe into the sewer (for multi-story buildings, this is the right way).
  6. Drainage is fixed every meter, preventing sagging.

When placing in a plastic box, all communications are tied into one bundle. This can be done with screeds, but more often they are wound with metallized tape – to further reduce heat transfer from copper pipes.

Connecting copper pipes

We have already connected the cable before, and the installation of the air conditioner with our own hands is completed by connecting copper pipes and drainage. It’s easier with drainage. There is an outlet in the lower part of the indoor unit, that’s where we insert the hose or pipe. The joint can be additionally sealed with a plumbing fum tape. Silicone sealant can also be used for sealing.

Next, we connect copper pipes. We start in the inner block. There are two ports on the side wall – one with fittings of a larger diameter, the other with a smaller one. It doesn’t matter which one to start with. The procedure is as follows:

  1. We twist the nuts from the ports for connecting copper tubes. At the same time, a hissing sound is heard. This is the nitrogen pumped into the block at the factory. It protects the insides from oxidation.
  2. Remove the plugs from the prepared pipes and check the edge again. It should be equal.
  3. Put the union nuts on the pipe (do not confuse where the thread should be directed).
  4. Roll up the edges of the pipes. During operation, hold the tube with the opening down – so that shavings and dust do not fall inside. Clamp the tube in the holder so that exactly 2 mm sticks out. We install the roller, tighten the screw. Rolling is finished when the cylinder no longer descends.
  5. The flared edge of the pipe is brought to the outlet of the internal unit, connected with a union nut. It is tightened with a key. It is not necessary to use any gaskets and seals. Copper is a soft material, and under pressure it will press tightly, ensuring tightness. But to ensure a tight fit, it is necessary to provide a force of 50-60 kg.
  6. Similarly, we connect the external unit.

In fact, everything is already connected, but it is necessary to carry out vacuuming or simply remove moisture and air from the working organs of the air conditioner.

How to install an air conditioner


Why carry out this procedure? During installation, air got into the system, and argon residues are also kept there. This mixture must be removed, otherwise it will significantly reduce the working life of the equipment. Of course, it is better if there is special equipment. But, as a last resort, you can do without it.

In the presence of a vacuum pump

If there is a vacuum pump, it is somewhat easier. It usually comes with two manometers (low and high pressure), they can be used to monitor the pressure drop in the system, that is, to detect leaks.

  1. The vacuum pump is connected to the output on the external unit with a spool (refueling port), it is turned on for 15-20 minutes. During this time, it removes residual air and nitrogen from the system.
  2. After that, the pump is turned off, but not disconnected, but left connected for another 20-30 minutes. All this time, it is necessary to observe the indicators of the manometers. If they have changed, there is a leak in the system. Most likely, this is the place of connection of copper pipes and they need to be redone.
  3. If the pressure gauge reading is stable, without turning off the pump, fully open the valve located below. Freon begins to come out of the unit, filling the system (hear a noise).
  4. We put on gloves (freon can damage the skin) and quickly unscrew the hose of the vacuum pump. After disconnecting the equipment, open the valve on the route from above (smaller diameter outlets).

Now the installation of the air conditioner yourself is finished. You can turn it on.

Without vacuum pump

If the length of the track is up to 5 meters, the installation of the air conditioner can be carried out without a vacuum pump. To clean the equipment, you will have to drain the troy freon, but nothing else. The procedure is as follows:

  1. Unscrew all three plugs (two on the lower port, one on the upper).
  2. We will work with the output of the lower port (it is perpendicular to the side wall of the split). There is a socket for a hex key, we select it by size, but we do not do anything yet.
  3. Insert the key, turn it 90° counterclockwise for a second or less. At this time, freon starts to come out of the unit. It combines with the air and residual argon currently in the system, creating overpressure.
  4. On the same port there is an output with a spool. For a short time (a fraction of a second), press the spool (not with your fingers, but with something long enough to keep your hands away). The gas mixture hisses out, carrying air and argon with it. Part of the mixture should remain inside so that air does not enter there again.
  5. We repeat everything once again: open the freon supply with a hexagon, then release the gas mixture. If the track is 4 meters long, that’s all. If it is 3 meters, you can repeat it again.
  6. We screw the plug on the fuel outlet (which has a spool).
  7. Open the valve on the lower and upper ports with hexagons, releasing freon into the system.

And in this case, the installation of the air conditioner with your own hands is completed and the equipment is ready for work. But in this case, the tightness of the system is not checked by anything, and freon can slowly evaporate, and there is still some air and argon left in the system. In general, the solution is not ideal.

How to install an air conditioner yourself