Most of us, when using the word «air conditioner», represent a compact indoor unit that is installed on the wall in the room. But you probably have noticed rectangular metal boxes with fans on the facade of any residential building more than once. Yes, and in a private house you can find a similar device. This is the so-called outdoor (external) unit.
The split system consists of two blocks: internal and external. We will talk about the internal block in the following articles, but for now we will focus on the external one. In this article, we will tell you in detail what are the features of outdoor units and how to install them correctly.
What is an outdoor air conditioner unit and why is it needed? Every master should know the answers to these simple questions.
Let’s start from afar. Modern air conditioning (split system) consists of two units: external and internal. The outdoor unit can be seen on the facade of the building from the outside, and the indoor unit can be seen on the wall in the room. They are connected to each other by means of copper tubes and wires. The refrigerating agent (freon) circulates through the tubes, while its state changes from liquid to gaseous, and vice versa. Due to this, the air is cooled or heated. This process is impossible without an outdoor unit. The exception is an air conditioner of the «monoblock» type, but in this article we are talking about split systems.
The outdoor unit contains many important components: from the compressor to the fan. Because of this, the device weighs a lot, so it is better to involve third-party specialists to install it. We do not recommend installing the outdoor unit yourself.
The external unit is constantly exposed to various precipitation, since it is installed on the street. Therefore, it is made of durable steel that can withstand heavy loads. For additional protection of the master, a visor is used, which is hung over the block.
The service life of the outdoor unit of the split system largely depends on the intensity of operation and the quality of installation. During operation, the device emits strong vibrations, which must be extinguished with the help of special gaskets installed between the mount and the unit. And this is just one of the nuances that you should pay attention to.
Experienced master installers are aware of such features and anticipate possible problems in advance. When choosing a master for installing an outdoor air conditioner unit, give preference to experienced specialists with good recommendations. Do not contact the masters who are ready to do the work quickly and cheaply. After all, an outdoor unit installed on the facade can cause an accident. It is better to entrust the installation of the unit to specialists from the service center, with the signing of the contract and other papers.
The order of installation of the air conditioner is as follows:
Selection and marking of the place for the installation of the indoor unit;
Wall chasing, laying communications;
Installation of the outdoor unit, connection to communications;
Installation of the indoor unit, connection to communications;
Vacuumization of the system, filling with freon and testing.
As you can see, the installation of the external unit is carried out in the middle of the installation of the air conditioning system.
Installation of an outdoor unit is not an easy task, and it is also troublesome. And also dangerous. Theoretically, you can install the air conditioner yourself at your own risk, but we strongly recommend that you entrust this task to professionals.
Many masters try to save money and put the device on their own, but often you have to call the master and start the installation over again. Study the article for general reference, and entrust the installation work to specialists. We will list the main points that are worth paying attention to.
For installation, it is necessary to use only high-quality components and tools that have passed certification. An outdoor unit mounted on the facade of the house is a danger to passers-by. The safety of people directly depends on the quality of the bracket and other fasteners.
When choosing a place for installation, make sure that the wizard should have direct access to the device later. It should be possible to easily and quickly service the air conditioner if necessary. But it is not necessary to mount the device on a glazed loggia. This will not lead to anything good.
If you do not provide direct access to the outdoor unit in advance, you will have to resort to the help of industrial climbers every time. Such services cost a lot of money.
There must be a free space of at least 10-15 cm between the device and the wall (or base). Otherwise, the air convection will be insufficient, the compressor will start to overheat. Sooner or later, it may fail.
When installing the outdoor unit, it is important to provide for the presence of a protective visor. A visor is not required in all cases, but sometimes you can not do without it. For example, if the device is mounted on the south side of the house and is subject to constant overheating. Or it regularly accumulates a large amount of snow.
It is important that the installation is carried out using professional tools and high-quality fasteners. We also recommend that you entrust this work to masters with experience. Installation can be done with your own hands, but this is not the best idea. The indoor unit can be hung independently, but there may be problems with the outdoor one.
High-quality installation of an air conditioner with your own hands is impossible if the master does not have enough experience and the necessary tools. You should not do this work on your own. Believe me, such a desire to save money often leads to additional expenses. With inept installation, serious errors are made that cannot be corrected independently. As a result, you still have to call the wizard.
Optimal installation location
The weight of the external units of air conditioners can hardly be called small. Nevertheless, these devices have been hanging on facades for years, withstanding precipitation, snow and ice. What is the secret? Firstly, in high-quality strong brackets. We will tell you about them a little later. Secondly, in a well-chosen place and method of installation.
If the unit is mounted on the roof, it means that it must be flat. Installation of an outdoor unit on a pitched roof (even if the angle of the slope is small) is CONTRAINDICATED!
If the installation is carried out on the facade, the material of the walls and the presence of reinforcement inside are taken into account. It is most reliable to keep air conditioners on brick walls. Additional reinforcement is required on panel and wooden houses. In frame houses, a mortgage is provided in advance in the frame itself, then a block is hung on it.
The installation of an outdoor unit on a ventilated facade requires special attention. The plates must be removed, part of the thermal insulation must be removed and only then the bracket must be mounted. After that, the thermal insulation and the stove are installed in place, and only then the outdoor unit is hung on the bracket.
When mounting on a flat roof or on a blind area, a special horizontal bracket is used. In this case, the requirements are much less, since the probability of a spontaneous fall of the block is minimal. And it is easier to maintain the device when it is on the ground or on the roof, to which there is direct access.
Fasteners for the outdoor unit
The outdoor unit weighs a lot of kilograms, so it is important to fix it correctly. Especially if you plan to install it on the facade of an apartment building. After all, an outdoor unit that has broken off from the attachment can cause an accident.
So, the outdoor unit can be mounted either vertically on the wall, or horizontally on the roof/blind area. In all cases, a special mounting bracket is used. It must be made of strong steel.
Manufacturers indicate the weight for which the strength of a particular bracket is calculated. We recommend selecting fasteners with a margin of weight, since a cap of snow or ice may form on the block, which also weigh a lot.
We do not recommend buying cheap or non-certified brackets. You should understand that the block will be held on the wall only by the bracket. The safety of passers-by directly depends on its quality and reliability.
For the same reason, you should not engage in amateur activities and try to make a bracket for an air conditioner with your own hands. Often, the use of such devices leads to sad consequences, and sometimes to a prison term.
When installing the bracket on a ventilated facade, it is necessary to use strong anchors. They are driven into the wall of the house and only then a bracket is hung on them. If the wall is brick, it is better to drill the seam. This is easier and faster than trying to make a hole in the masonry.
At this point, the installation of the outdoor unit can be considered complete. If you have installed an internal and external unit, and also connected them with pipes and wires, do not rush to turn on the system. Many inexperienced craftsmen immediately after installation are trying to find out how to start the air conditioner. But at this stage, you can make several fatal mistakes.
First of all, before starting the system, you need to remove excess air from the system and fill the device with a refrigerating agent (freon). We recommend starting the air conditioner after completing these tasks.
The process of removing air is called vacuumization.
After vacuuming and refueling, the system is tested. This usually takes about an hour. It is necessary to check the operation of all the main modes of the device (cooling, heating, ventilation, etc.). If the air conditioner is working properly, the installation and inspection work can be considered completed.
A device mounted on a wall in a room is called an indoor unit. The outdoor unit is located on the facade or on the roof of the building. It is important to understand this so as not to make a mistake during installation.
The installation of an outdoor unit is fraught with many difficulties. Especially if the weight of the unit exceeds 15 kg and its installation is required on a high floor. Therefore, soberly assess your strength and capabilities before you start carrying out the work. We strongly recommend that you entrust the installation to professionals. Working at height can be dangerous for your life and health.
In this article, we have described in detail how to install the air conditioner yourself and what features you should pay attention to. Any other questions? Ask them in the comments below. There you can also share your experience of installing and operating modern split systems. We wish you good luck!