MRCOOL 101: What Is a DIY Mini Split?
by Pete Lader May 26, 2022
Source: tommaso79 / Shutterstock.com
Ductless split air conditioning systems, also called mini splits, are among the most popular indoor climate control systems in the United States. They are powerful and versatile and more cost-efficient than central AC. Additionally, many models can provide both cooling and heating; these systems are called heat pumps. Although many mini split manufacturers advertise their products as easy and quick to install, they usually require costly professional installation and aren’t truly DIY. However, one brand is the exception: the MRCOOL DIY mini split system. Learn how it stands out from other mini splits on the market and whether it’s the right mini split for you.
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How Standard Mini Splits Work
Standard mini split air conditioners typically require professional installation, even those marketed as easy install products, for two primary reasons: technical involvement and legality.
Installing a mini split air conditioner system requires specific technical skills, including familiarity with electrical lines and refrigerants. Depending on your local laws and HVAC regulations, a permit may be necessary to install a mini split system in your home legally. Typical steps involved in the installation of a new mini split AC include:
- Install the mounting brackets for each indoor unit in the intended rooms after verifying that the supporting wall is free of piping, wiring or ductwork on the other side.
- Drill boring holes through your walls to install the line set.
- Pull the line set from the outdoor unit and run it through the line set holes.
- Install the indoor unit on each mounting bracket.
- Set the outdoor unit on a dedicated pad, mount or concrete slab after ensuring proper clearance from bushes, vegetation and other obstacles.
- Connect the refrigerant lines between the outdoor unit and each indoor unit.
- Measure, vacuum and charge the refrigerant lines with the correct refrigerant type (R-32 or R-410A).
- Install the line set cover, complete with insulation and sealing.
- Power the system on for a test run.
According to Home Guide, the installation costs of a single-zone mini split system ranges between $2,000 and $6,000. Prices increase significantly with each additional zone. For instance, a typical 3-zone system’s installation costs range between $3,200 and $10,500.
How MRCOOL Differs from Other Brands
Unlike most other mini split air conditioners, all MRCOOL DIY mini split products are designed to be installed by the user with no professional involvement. By only paying for the system itself and DIY installing their system, a MRCOOL owner can save thousands of dollars. The MRCOOL DIY’s installation process features many simplified or streamlined steps compared to a traditional unit.
- MRCOOL systems are packaged with wall templates, plates and mounting hardware to install your indoor units on your wall.
- Although you still have to drill your own line set holes, the MRCOOL kit includes a wall sleeve to simplify the line set installation.
- One of the primary innovations of the MRCOOL system is the precharged refrigerant line set, eliminating the need for manual connection and refrigerant charging. The precharged line set comes factory sealed and pre-filled with the correct refrigerant, ready to be plugged in.
Is MRCOOL Right for Me?
Although DIY installation is a great option, you may be wondering, “Is MRCOOL a good brand?” MRCOOL HVAC systems are high-quality products manufactured using the best and latest materials and the most eco-friendly refrigerants, despite not being featured on the market as long as some more established brands.
All MRCOOL DIY systems are heat pumps capable of cooling and heating. They feature high performance and efficiency ratings across the board. Here are a few quick statistics to give you an idea of what to expect:
- Zones: Multi-Zone, between 2 and 4
- System capacity: From 18,000 BTU to 48,000 BTU, depending on the number of zones.
- Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (cooling efficiency rating): Ranges between 20 and 22, making them highly efficient in cooling mode
- Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (heating efficiency rating): All MRCOOL DIY units feature an HSPF rating of at least 10, making them more efficient in heating mode than the federal minimum of 7.7
The company stands behind all of its products, offering a three-point warranty on all MRCOOL DIY systems:
- 5-year warranty covering all parts (indoor and outdoor units, line set, hardware, etc.)
- 7-year warranty on the outdoor unit compressor
- 1-year warranty on the remote control unit
Premium Quality Climate Control with Premium Home Source
At Premium Home Source, we pride ourselves on offering only the highest-quality home and kitchen appliances available on today’s market. Our industry experts have over 75 years of combined experience sourcing and providing our customers with the most reliable equipment at the best possible prices. Browse our range of products online or contact our support staff at (800) 805-7102 for more information.