Choosing the right mounting product for the outdoor unit of a ductless mini-split system is an important decision when installing the system. Overall, you need to find the best option that will keep the unit secure and stable, protected from the elements, and allow for easy access for any maintenance or repairs that may need to be done. In this article, we’ll explore the different factors that should be considered to figure out which equipment mount is best for the job.
What Mounting Options Are There?
Typically, there are three main categories for mini-split mounting products: pads, stands, and wall brackets. Each has its advantages and disadvantages, but it will always come down to the application.
Condenser pads like those offered by DiversiTech are the standard for mounting conventional HVAC outdoor units. They are usually constructed out of concrete or composite material and designed to provide a level and stable surface for the condenser. Keep in mind that to provide a level surface, the pad must also be installed on a level surface.
A mini-split stand consists of a metal frame and is used to elevate the outdoor unit off the ground for protection from any environmental hazards that are common in that area. They are available in different heights to suit the installation site.
Brackets are designed to mount the condenser directly to the exterior wall of the home or building. The metal bracket is attached using bolts and should be adjustable to ensure a level mount for the unit.
Now that we’ve briefly covered the options, let’s get into the 3 factors.
The most important factor is making sure every mounting option you are considering is compatible with the manufacturer’s specifications for the unit. The mount must accommodate both the size and weight of the condenser to ensure a secure installation.
2. Geographic Location
Depending on your geographic location, here are the items to keep in mind:
- Building codes. These may dictate where the mini-split condenser can be placed. Some areas may require the unit to be mounted on the ground while others may require it to be on a wall.
- The environment. Does your region get lots of rain or snowfall at different times of the year that would require the unit to be further off the ground?
3. Installation Location
By installation location, we are referring to the spot where you are going to mount the actual unit. The best location for the condenser will take the following into account:
- The outdoor unit needs to be in a place that is easily reached for maintenance or repair.
- The system needs proper airflow and ventilation for optimum performance. Refer to the manufacturer's specifications for the minimum requirements.
- Distance from the indoor unit(s). The condenser should be installed within the recommended distance from the air handler(s) inside to ensure proper operation.
When A Pad Is the Best Option
There are certain scenarios where it makes sense to use a condenser pad as the mount for the condenser.
- Ground conditions. If the ground is either soft or unstable a pad provides a solid and stable base, whereas a stand may cause the unit to become unlevel over time.
- High winds. In areas where high winds are a factor, anchoring the outdoor unit to a concrete pad will prevent it from becoming dislodged and damaged.
A pad can also be used as an additional support mount for an equipment stand, providing more weight and stability.
When A Stand Is the Best Option
Mini-split stands are the best option when the outdoor unit must be off the ground. Some areas’ building codes may require a certain height off the ground. Stands should also be the primary option when the area is prone to snow or flooding. The height will keep the unit away from those hazards and ensure that the system will continue to run efficiently. Adding a pad beneath the stand (as shown here) will provide an even more stable and level base for the unit.
When A Wall Bracket Is the Best Option
Space is the biggest advantage when choosing a wall bracket to mount the mini-split condenser. There may not be the necessary ground space to install a pad or stand, where the wall bracket allows for the unit to be installed closely to the exterior wall. Don’t forget the minimum clearance from the building to maintain the required airflow.
DiversiTech offers a full range of HVAC equipment mounting products for both mini-split and conventional installations. To learn more about DiversiTech and the complete offering of HVAC solutions they have for mounting, condensate management, tools, electrical, and indoor air quality, please visit www.diversitech.com.