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The topics are:-

  • Unit installation – fan-coils (PART 1)
  • Unit installation – condensers (PART 2)
  • Refrigerant piping
  • Drainage
  • Ductwork
  • General installation considerations

Unit Installation - (PART 1):-

Split air conditioning systems are essentially are a two piece air conditioning system comprising essentially of an indoor fan-coil unit, and an outdoor condensing unit which houses the compressor, outdoor coil, and outdoor fan. These two parts can be separated by up to 50m, being joined by copper refrigerant piping and electrical cables.

Fan-coils (Wall Mounted Split Systems):-

Single split air conditioning systems are those that consist of an outdoor unit and a fan-coil unit mounted on the floor or wall. Although they are relatively light-weight (around 10 – 12kg) their mounting needs to be secure. Selecting the right location for positioning the indoor unit is important to ensure correct operation and maximise performance. An "easy" install location is not always the right position; additionally a customer's idea of where a unit should be positioned is not always ideal for maximum efficiency.


Installing the fan-coil unit requires consideration of the following points:-

  • The unit should be secured in a place that is capable of supporting its weight,
  • The wall is sufficiently rigid to avoid the unit vibrating,
  • Where the airflow from the unit is not restricted,
  • In a position that allows the air to distributed over the entire space being conditioned,
  • The unit is not directly exposed to sunlight,
  • The condensate drain line has sufficient fall away from the unit to allow the condensate water to run away,


  • There is a distance of approximately 1.8 metres between the bottom of the unit and the floor,
  • Access to the air filter is easy for removal, cleaning and re-fitting,
  • The unit is more than 1 metre from a TV or radio – electrical interference may impede the operation of equipment,
  • The (piping) distance between the indoor unit does not exceed the manufacturers recommendations,

NOTE:- Read and be fully aware of the manufacturers instructions when installing a unit. If you do not follow thier guidlines their warranty may not hold up if a problem occurs later down the track - installers and owners beware!

Almost all split air conditioning fan coils use a steel mounting plate to fix to the wall. The fixing of this plate is dependant upon the material the wall is constructed from. Therefore, the correct fixing method and fixing material for the surface it is being mounted should always be used. This is important to not only prevent the fan-coil from becoming dislodged, but also prevent vibration and allowing the unit itself and the covers to fit correctly. The table below can be used as a guide as to the most suitable type of fixing.


Surface Suggested fixing
Concrete, brick, masonry Plastic plug, expanding bolts (dynabolts), concrete coach bolts
Timber Self-drilling wood screws
Plaster stud, panelling Hollow wall anchors, toggle or expanding bolts, coarse thread screws
Metal Self-drilling metal thread screws, self-tapping screws

An important aspect for all types of split system units is to ensure that the unit is level. Although there will be condensation (water) forming and needed to be drained away, most units drain pan are located under
the cooling coil which allow for a fall to the drain line connection point even when the unit is level. The unit needs to be installed level for both appearance and operation. You should also ensure there is enough
clearance above the unit position to allow installation of the unit – as the unit is hung on the mounting plate.


Once the mounting plate has been fixed to the wall, a penetration through to the outside is needed to be made. This penetration is needed to accommodate the refrigerant piping, electrical wiring and the condensate piping. The penetration should be large enough to accommodate these services and should be sealed once these services have been installed to prevent bugs or rodents entering as well protecting it from the environment.

Tip:- make sure this hole has a slope running downward to the outside to allow condensation drainage to run away from the unit.

click on drawing to enlarge



This page was last modified on 24 May 2010 and maybe out of date with regards to its information at the time of reading this article. The information above is only intended for use a guide and should not be 100% relied upon as a substitute for official manufacturer technical advice. Quality Electrics disclaims responsibility for any damage, claim, or liability any person may incur, whether caused by negligence or otherwise, as a result of anything contained in our articles.

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