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Finished with the sweltering heat of summer or dreading the cold winter months? Installing a mini split heat pump is one way to ensure energy efficiency while keeping your home comfortable.
Mini-splits use refrigerant lines and an outdoor compressor/condenser coupled with an indoor air handler, making them highly efficient for cooling and heating.
• Mini-split heat pumps are a great energy-efficient alternative to traditional HVAC systems, with up to 30% or more savings.
• DIY installation of a mini split is an economical way to save on installation costs, but skilled professionals may be needed for larger rooms and legal considerations.
• Before installing the system, homeowners should consider room sizing, electrical requirements, and air circulation; choose the optimal location; have the necessary tools and equipment; and take safety precautions.
• Government incentives can help offset high initial equipment costs and might also be available for installations that meet specific criteria.
Understanding Mini Split Heat Pumps
The main components of a mini split heat pump are an outdoor compressor or condenser and an indoor air-handling unit that is connected via a conduit.
Components Of A Mini Split Heat Pump
Mini split heat pumps are an efficient way to heat and cool spaces, as they come with multiple advantages compared to traditional HVAC systems. They have two main components – an outdoor compressor/condenser and an indoor air-handling unit.
Understanding each component is essential to install a mini-split system successfully.
The three primary parts of a mini-split system are the outdoor unit, the indoor unit(s), and the conduit that connects them both.
- The outdoor unit is generally located outside the building or house near some open area without obstructions from nearby buildings or trees. This will ensure proper circulation for efficient cooling and heating.
- The indoor units are usually mounted on walls within individual rooms, allowing for customized temperature control by room type and size. These units draw in fresh air from outside the home while simultaneously pushing out warm air generated by the system back into the living space using fans inside each indoor component of the mini-split system.
- The conduit runs between the components, linking them together via insulated refrigerant lines and wiring designed specifically for these purposes.
It’s essential to understand how these different components work together when installing a mini-split system, as this will help you execute installation properly, ensuring maximum efficiency from your new appliance.
Mini split heat pumps are great energy-efficient alternatives to traditional HVAC systems. Unlike conventional heating and cooling units, mini splits offer energy savings of up to 30% or more, depending on the team used.
Advanced heat pump technology in mini-split systems can significantly improve their energy efficiency and effectively heat/cool homes with less power, allowing homeowners to cut electricity bills and carbon footprint.
Mini-split ductless systems come with individual air handlers that can be run independently, giving users greater control over airflow adjustment and reducing wasted energy consumption.
Additionally, these systems retain valuable internal warmth during winter for reduced cost of running the unit over time.
Cost And Feasibility Of DIY Installation
DIY mini-split heat pump installation is a great way to save on costs while maintaining the efficiency and versatility associated with these systems. The main advantage of DIY for homeowners is that it can effectively cut installation costs in half or more compared to hiring an HVAC professional.
Before beginning, however, it’s essential to understand how much equipment will be required and which areas must be addressed to ensure safe and secure operation. This includes considering room sizing and electrical requirements when choosing the optimal location, necessary tools and equipment; safety precautions; preparation & planning steps; connecting refrigerant lines/electrical wiring and adding refrigerant before system inspection & finally, setting up specific models.
Generally speaking, skilled handypersons with extensive experience installing other appliances are recommended for DIY projects like this. However, even those without this expertise may still succeed with guidance from online video tutorials or detailed instruction manuals that accompany many modern mini-split systems.
When To Hire A Professional
Hiring a professional to install a mini split heat pump is often advised, especially as many states require the services of registered contractors. The refrigerant line must be cut and appropriately charged to ensure no leaks occur in your system, which can be difficult for even experienced DIYers to do with absolute certainty.
Additionally, some units need special tools or body protection that only trained professionals possess and can use safely. Huge rooms may also require additional wiring work that should only be handled by an electrical specialist with the proper knowledge and experience to comply with local building codes.
Planning for a successful mini split heat pump installation is essential by considering room sizing, choosing the optimal location, having the necessary tools and equipment, and following safety precautions.
Room Sizing And Electrical Requirements
- Proper sizing and checking electrical requirements are essential to a successful mini-split system installation. The incorrect unit size for the room can cause an uncomfortable living environment with too much or not enough heat, increased noise, and short cycling.
- Insufficient electrical capacity may trip breakers or overload circuits, resulting in dangerous conditions such as fires or shocks.
- It’s essential to properly determine the dimensions of the space you plan on utilizing, calculate load details correctly, ensure the wiring is ample for additional units if necessary, and check that flammable materials do not create dangerous fire hazards during installation.
Choosing The Optimal Location
Finding the optimal location when installing a mini split heat pump is critical to ensuring energy efficiency and comfort. Factors such as room sizing, electrical requirements, air circulation, and accessibility should be considered when deciding where to install the system.
Indoor and outdoor units should also be placed at optimum distances, depending on the selected product brand type. Both teams must be positioned in areas of good airflow with minimal condensation or excess humidity exposure.
The correct positioning can improve overall performance while providing efficient air movement resulting in lower energy consumption due to less strain on components like fans and improved temperature controllability between rooms based on seasonal needs.
For example, choosing an above-ceiling option might work better depending on space constraints compared to going through the flooring, allowing more consistency throughout smaller rooms needing climate adjustment levels with greater accuracy versus window unit prospects (which may not fit either).
Necessary Tools And Equipment
• Vise-Grip Pliers: Used to secure the lines connecting the indoor and outdoor units.
• Utility Knife: Used for cutting wire, ducts, or insulation materials.
• Multi-tension Screwdriver: Use this tool to tighten set screws on furnace boards.
• Drill/Screwdriver Bit Set & Hole Saw Bits with Arbor: Essential for drilling mounting holes in walls and drilling through electrical boxes.
• Stubby Box End Wrench Set (Metric): Good for tightening nuts on refrigerant line sets and compressor pipes during installation.
• Piping Deburring Tool/Beveler Kit: A must-have when working with copper manifolds, as its smoothest beveled edges after pipe cutters are used.
• Digital Voltmeter Tester/Low Voltage Relay Test Lamp Tool Kit: Highly recommended for ensuring that power is supplied correctly during installation and testing and validating system components’ performance once a mini-split system has been installed.
• Pipe Thread Sealant Tape & Cone Nuts & Fittings de Press kit Pack Tools: Necessary tools are used by technicians who install gas units like furnaces. This is so they can install propane or natural gas service lines correctly and according to local regulations, as well as applicable fire codes. Job site setting safety is prioritized before any work begins, particularly when dealing with dangerous natural gasses. The amount of combustible sources, like propane used in residential homes, is a concern in types of areas around there, mainly due to its inflammable nature. Despite these qualities, it’s safe to use them in preventative ways. Technicians should be able to get documentation approved by locally certified inspectors, handling these requests accordingly.
When attempting to install a mini split heat pump system, it is essential to ensure that all safety precautions are followed. Failure to follow these guidelines can result in severe injury or damage to the environment and property.
It is essential for those engaged in mini-split installation to complete a pressure test before beginning the process. This will help prevent refrigerant leaks and other environmental harm caused by a misconnected pipe or tubing connection which could compromise indoor air quality and cause excess energy consumption from an improperly installed unit.
It’s also essential for anyone involved in the installation process of a ductless mini-split system heat pump to stay informed about best practices through resources such as certification guides provided by heater manufacturers, DIY websites offering step-by-step tutorials on how to install appropriate models like Senville, LG, Daikin), Home Depot or Lowes retailers provide specific instructions for individual models/brands regarding wiring and assembling components.
Step-by-Step Installation Process
Installing a mini split heat pump involves four main steps: preparation and planning, installing the indoor unit (blower), connecting refrigerant lines and electrical wiring, adding refrigerant, and inspecting the system.
Preparation And Planning
A successful mini split heat pump installation starts with proper preparation and planning. Installing a mini-split system is not the most straightforward job, which means it’s essential to ensure that all necessary considerations have been taken into account before embarking on the project.
Electrical requirements are essential when selecting a location for the units; an electrician should be consulted if any questions arise around wiring compatibility or local codes, as improper wiring can lead to significant issues such as inadequate cooling or heating of the home and even property damage.
Room sizing is also paramount in ensuring efficiency: If too large of an indoor unit is installed, it can over-cool or improperly dehumidify a room. At the same time, too small an indoor unit will limit performance capacity and diminish energy savings potential.
Furthermore, the availability of nearby power sources and free space must be considered when selecting a location for installing both indoor and outdoor units; failing to consider these factors can result in increased energy costs due to inefficiently placed components.
The final piece involves gathering the tools needed for installation: Refrigerant line set (pre-charged at 1/3rd line length), drill bits set suited for concrete casing work (1-inch bit minimum), tubing cutter (optional), 3/8” wrench/nut setters, PVC primer & glue torch & durable plastic bags, chiller pipe insulation, etc.Failure to bring along requisite tools may ensure the process is smooth.
Installing The Indoor Unit (Blower)
- Installing a mini split heat pump’s indoor unit, or blower, requires careful planning and attention to detail. Someone with experience in HVAC installation should only undertake this task.
- Before beginning the process, ensure you have all the necessary materials, tools, and safety gear, such as non-slip shoes, work gloves, hard hats, and protective glasses/goggles.
- When attaching the blower to an interior wall or ceiling mount bracketing system, use lag screws or other screw-type anchors, which are designed for this purpose to attach it into place securely.
- Properly ground wires must also be connected before running refrigerant lines that link between the outdoor condenser unit and the inner evaporator coil, where power supply wiring will come together via jumper cables from each end.
- Jumpers must be at most 6 feet long; if the extra wire is needed, another short run of the electrical cable must be used instead of previous runs already present alongside connecting tubing sets.
Installing The Outdoor Unit
- Installing the outdoor unit of a mini split heat pump requires careful consideration and precise execution.
- Before starting the installation process, choosing a convenient location for the outdoor unit that provides easy access for maintenance purposes is essential.
- This area should be cool and shaded as much as possible to help maximize energy efficiency. The ground surface should also be even, stable, and sturdy to support your mini-split system adequately.
- Once an optimal location has been selected, installers must secure the outdoor unit with mounting brackets or a pad on this surface.
- Refrigerant lines must now be connected from indoor and outdoor units using special tools such as a torque wrench or crimper tool to ensure all line connections are securely fastened.
Connecting Refrigerant Lines And Electrical Wiring
- Connecting the refrigerant lines and electrical wiring of a mini split heat pump is essential in correctly installing a ductless unit.
- Refrigerant lines, consisting of copper tubing insulation line sets, circulate the system’s Freon or other coolants between the indoor and outdoor units.
- The connection should be made according to manufacturer instructions, typically attaching connectors at either end.
- Pre-flared copper lines can also be purchased separately and connected to their respective components using a torque wrench to ensure correct attachment.
- Electrical wiring usually consists of several low-voltage wires connecting power from one component to another within the system, such as from the air handler to condensing unit, sensor probes, etc., as well as dedicated high-voltage supply cables that need professional expertise when handling live electricity connections safely.
Additionally, some systems may require actual AC power wire whipping without a pre-installed disconnect box, further complicating matters if DIY installation is attempted without sufficient knowledge or skill set.
Adding Refrigerant And System Inspection
Adding the proper amount of refrigerant and conducting a system inspection are integral to installing a mini split heat pump. Too much or too little refrigerant can decrease efficiency and improper cooling, leading to higher energy bills in the long run. Leaks and other problems that could arise without a thorough system inspection may also reduce efficiency or increase repair costs down the line.
To properly inspect your mini split heat pump after the installation, check for loose connections or wires and any potential leaks using bubbles containing soapy water at all points where the pipes connect inside and outside your home.
It is also essential to measure voltage levels on both ends, one on the high capacity side & one end on the low capacity side, and ensure that they don’t exceed 14/24 Volts (standard for 220 Volt systems).
Lastly, it’s essential to check the amperage draw to validate operation parameters established by manufacturers based on specific findings from room size calculations during the designing stages before the installation follows manufacturer standards applicable per equipment model type.
Wiring The Mini Split Heat Pump
Correctly wiring a mini split heat pump is essential for its safe and successful operation. The main power supply and the control lines of communication between the indoor and outdoor units should be adequately wired before installation.
The correct wire for most ductless mini-splits is a 14/4 stranded conductor cable, commonly found at all home improvement stores if not supplied by the installer. To ensure proper safety, a disconnect box must be installed alongside it.
This disconnect box will contain two contactors: one for turning off power from the indoor unit when necessary and another for turning off electrical current running to both compressors in an emergency.
For this reason, ensure that no other items besides essential air conditioner components are connected to these wires.
During installation, one must connect the inside wiring labeled with the same number as on the present outside wire; otherwise, the system won’t function correctly or may suffer from electrical shorts.
In addition, improper resting spots can cause issues such as water leakage near compressors; hence take time to plan and research appropriate locations beforehand.
Setting Up Specific Models (Senville, LG, Daikin)
Installing the specific models of mini split heat pumps from Senville, LG, and Daikin requires attaching electrical wire whips to the disconnect box. This is followed by revealing wires and plugs, which will be connected to the main panel or subpanel onsite.
The exact connection process for each model varies slightly; however, each system requires its specific wiring components to meet manufacturer standards.
It’s also important that all steps are done perfectly for it to work correctly and remain energy-efficient over time.
For instance, when installing a Senville LETO Series Mini Split Air Conditioner Heat Pump unit with Wi-Fi connectivity, a dedicated circuit breaker must be installed, and an outdoor antenna must also correctly interface with home networks securely.
Similarly, LG’s systems require additional wiring components and detailed instructions on proper placement within walls or other spaces because improper installation can cause water leakage later on down the road increasing repair costs significantly over time.
Once the installation is complete, it is important to ensure that the mini split heat pump is properly functioning with temperature and settings adjusted accordingly.
Temperature Control And Settings
Once the installation is complete, ensuring that the mini split heat pump is properly functioning with temperature and settings adjusted accordingly is essential.
Temperature Control And Settings
- Controlling the temperature of a mini split heat pump is an integral part of maintaining ideal comfort levels in any home, and it also plays an essential role in avoiding the wastage of energy while operating.
- However, until recently, controlling the temperature was usually cumbersome, requiring manual adjustment for each connected unit or setpoint.
- Though still available depending on the model, many modern-day mini-split systems feature intelligent control options with relatively quickly used keypads to help make setting and adjustment simple.
- Some popular models, such as Senville, come complete with user-friendly LCD remote controls that provide access to all climate settings, such as fan speed, airflow direction, and air exchange rate, and can even vary these parameters according to room location sortation algorithms which make use of dedicated directional fins attached to indoor units at various heights within rooms for optimal comfort delivery.
- Mitsubishi Electric offers its range controlled by special controllers, enabling users to preset individual modes or grouped sets based on seasonal usage patterns.
Maintenance And Troubleshooting Common Issues
Maintenance and troubleshooting are essential for any heat pump system, including mini-split systems. Here is a list of the most common issues to look out for:
- Low refrigerant – Low refrigerant levels may indicate a leak that needs to be immediately addressed by a professional technician, as insufficient cooling can cause damage or fire hazards.
- Dirty filters – Clogged air filters restrict airflow and should be regularly cleaned or replaced after six months to maintain peak performance and efficiency.
- Lack of airflow – This is usually caused by blocked grills, registers, and vents that need to be cleared so the system can work properly again.
- Leaks – Refrigerant leaks form when houses become cracked or worn due to age or weather conditions, resulting in decreased efficiency and an increased risk of other problems such as frozen coils and high electrical bills if not adequately solved quickly enough. It’s essential to have them checked regularly, depending on their work season and climate. This ensures their longevity begins with proper maintenance against general wear and tear over time.
- Noise – Unusual noises could mean improper installation (such as loose screws) or an issue with fans needing replacement/repairs from qualified technicians specializing in electricity/HVAC services, amongst other areas within mechanical engineering(refrigeration).
- Faulty compressor – A failing compressor requires immediate attention because it will affect your comfort and put extra stress on your energy bill every month without you knowing. Inspecting coils regularly prevents these types of problems from occurring sooner rather than later, so preventive steps taken frequently help ensure smooth running operations through the years ahead.
- Failures with thermostats – When having any internal detections, through algorithms being sent into motion based upon changes detected inside temperature ranges, it becomes imperative that these components do not get interrupted during regular operation cycles. This ensures user settings are kept at optimal values while nullifying events that might otherwise impact end users negatively. This can occur when using non-compatible hardware accessories, such as touchscreen interfaces, etc., or through erratic conduct due to voltage drops. Feedback loops are an essential aspect of addressing these issues.
Lifespan And Energy Efficiency Rating
Mini split heat pumps are an increasingly popular choice for heating, cooling, and dehumidifying a single room or multiple rooms in the home. This type of system offers significant advantages, including highly efficient heating and cooling in one integrated unit.
To maximize the efficiency and lifespan of your mini split heat pump, specific considerations should be considered regarding energy efficiency rating and longevity. The term “energy efficiency rating” (or EER) indicates how well a particular mini split heat pump performs relative to other models with similar specifications.
Factors that can affect this performance include air temperature outside the building, static pressure within the ducts, noise generated by blowers, condensation levels from coils, or any other structural elements within the system.
It is recommended that homeowners install their systems according to manufacturer guidelines to ensure proper operation at peak efficiency while considering any applicable local codes based on climate control requirements in their area for maximum benefit over time.
To extend its lifespan, a mini split heat pump must be installed appropriately per manufacturers’ standards by suitably qualified personnel, such as technicians specializing in these residential HVAC systems.
Additionally, regular maintenance helps keep things running smoothly while preventing minor issues from becoming major problems down the line; making sure filters are always clean is an essential part of basic maintenance, as dirty filters can contribute significantly to reduced life expectancy due to less airflow throughout the system leading minimal overall performance and effectiveness.
Government Rebates And Incentives
Rebates and incentives are available to help offset the cost of installing mini-split systems, which can often be substantial.
Understanding Available Incentives
Various government rebate programs have been created for homeowners who install energy-efficient HVAC systems to promote energy efficiency and reduce costs at home and across the country.
These incentives can include federal tax credits of up to 30% of the cost of purchasing and installing a qualified heat pump, including mini split heat pumps.
Depending on your chosen model, the Inflation Reduction Act offers point-of-sale rebates for purchasing Energy Star appliances like electric air conditioners or furnaces.
Additionally, there may be state or local incentives available as well.
For instance, homeowners in some states can receive an extra incentive when they purchase an installation package from local solar contractors, including ground-mounted photovoltaic panels and a mini-split system.
The state’s Green Jobs Initiative offers this additional incentive so that more individuals can benefit from green technologies with minimal upfront expenses.
How To Apply For Rebates And Incentives
Applying for rebates and incentives can often be challenging because of their different eligibility requirements, application procedures, and deadlines. However, taking advantage of these financial programs whenever possible is essential, as they can help offset the installation cost and even provide additional savings on energy bills.
Below are some tips for applying for rebates and incentives when installing a mini-split heat pump:
- Research Available Incentives: The first step is to research available incentives in your area. ENERGY STAR Rebate Finder is a great tool to locate specific rebates and incentives offered by your area, state, or utility companies. Additionally, many states have energy efficiency programs that provide renewable energy rebates and other forms of assistance.
- Check Requirements: Different programs may have requirements such as income limits or equipment models that must be purchased to qualify for certain benefits. Check conditions beforehand to plan accordingly before purchasing any equipment or supplies.
- Complete Paperwork Promptly: Many times, applications for rebates or incentives will have deadlines for submission, so it is essential to complete all necessary paperwork promptly to receive the full benefit of the program.
- Please read Terms & Conditions Carefully: It is essential to read through all terms and conditions carefully before signing anything or submitting an application to make sure you understand what you agree to and any potential limitations that may apply to the program.
- Follow-Up with Program Administrator: After submitting all necessary documents, it is essential to follow up with program administrators periodically to determine if any additional steps are needed or if there have been any issues with your application so that your rebate or incentive can be processed successfully without delays.
DIY Mini Split Heat Pump Installation Guide
• Safety should be the top priority when installing a mini split heat pump. Potential hazards include electrical shocks, falls from ladders or scaffolding, overheating components due to insufficient ventilation or lack of maintenance, and refilling refrigerant lines with too much pressure.
• Before starting the installation process, it’s essential to read through and understand all manufacturer instructions and manuals.
• Be sure to take necessary precautions when handling tools and equipment, including wearing protective gear such as gloves and eyewear during installation.
• Always use a stable ladder or scaffold for increased elevation work to minimize potential slip-and-fall accidents while working at height.
• Double Check that power outlets have been correctly installed so as not to overload wiring systems leading up to them or nearby plugs/sockets to avoid shock hazards while connecting wires for operation.
• To avoid damage from condensation build-up on surrounding walls due to excessive exposure of indoor units outdoors, install outdoor units away from doorways/windows if possible
• Depending on whether manual temperature adjustments are required, locate temperature sensors near electric boxes in walls rather than air duct return grills which may lead to incorrect settings-related errors.
Installing A Mini Split Heat Pump In Specific Scenarios
For optimal energy efficiency, consider installing a mini split in specific scenarios, such as small bedrooms, older homes with limited space or cost-effective options for those on a budget.
Choosing a mini split heat pump for a small bedroom requires careful consideration to ensure the unit performs optimally and is within budget. Room size, energy efficiency rating, and cost are all critical factors when deciding which model to use.
For small bedrooms, 9-12 SEER range units are typically appropriate. The Daikin Cora FTXM25QVMA model is especially well-suited for smaller rooms; this wall-mounted indoor unit offers quiet operation and exceptional energy savings without wasting too much valuable space.
Similarly, Senville’s AURA series provides powerful air conditioning while delivering an impressive 24 SEER of efficiency in areas like garages or lofts where regular AC can’t reach due to limited space.
Older Homes With Limited Space
Older homes with limited space can significantly benefit from ductless mini-split heat pumps, which provide an energy-efficient and convenient way to add comfort without costly installations.
Unlike traditional heating systems, they don’t require additional insulation and venting, nor do they take up any valuable floor or wall space. Installing a mini-split is relatively straightforward and requires little expertise compared with other HVAC equipment; in most cases, it’s simpler than window unit installation because it doesn’t involve exterior modifications.
Mini split systems are more efficient than even high SEER window units since they use inverter technology to vary their speed depending on the climate inside your home rather than constantly running at total capacity as a window unit does, resulting in lower energy bills year-round.
Cost-Effective Options For Those On A Budget
Mini split heat pumps are an excellent option for those looking to reduce their energy costs without sacrificing comfort. They are an increasingly popular choice because they are both cost-efficient and eco-friendly, enabling homeowners to save on utility bills while contributing to a healthier environment.
Additionally, building code requirements have made mini splits more affordable due to government rebates and incentives designed for this system.
When looking for an economical option, it is essential to consider each model’s features and the size of the area that needs heating or cooling to maximize savings.
Smaller models often feature inverter technology, allowing them to use less energy while still providing consumers with consistent temperature control. More expensive units may also offer greater sophistication, such as Wi-Fi connectivity and smartphone apps allowing customers more precise thermostat control from any room in their home.
For older homes or apartments with limited space, specific models like Senville’s Aura series can prove ideal because they include whisper-quiet operation at 30 decibels reducing sound levels by as much as 62% compared to other systems today.
Operators should also take advantage of DIY installation kits when possible since these involve fewer additional costs associated with labor fees, particularly if planning allows time for ordering parts online or prepping the area beforehand using simple tools around the house like hammers, and drills is also advisable to keep track of current rebate programs offered by energy providers when determining overall value; solar credits might even be available depending upon local availability.
• What is a mini split heat pump?
A mini split heat pump is an air conditioning system in which two separate components are housed in different units. The indoor unit includes an evaporator coil and blower fan, while the outdoor unit houses the compressor. Both components provide cooling during warm months and heating during cold winter months.
• How much does it cost to install a mini-split system?
The installation cost will vary depending on the size of your space, existing electrical wiring, and HVAC requirements. It may range from $1,000 for single-zone systems to $4,500 or more for multi-zone systems.
• Is a mini-split system energy efficient?
Yes. Mini split systems are among the most energy-efficient climate control methods available today, with efficiency ratings upwards of 25 SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio).
• Does a mini-split require regular maintenance?
As with any air conditioning or heating system, regular cleaning and maintenance can help extend its life and improve efficiency. Steps such as changing air filters regularly and keeping the condensate drain line clear are all recommended upkeep activities for a mini-split system.
• Are there any government incentives for installing a mini split heat pump?
Incentives such as federal tax credits or local utility rebates may be available for those who install an energy-efficient ductless AC system or choose other eligible energy-efficient products. Check with your local electric company for information about current offers.
Installing a mini split heat pump can be an energy and cost-effective way to keep your home cool in the summer or warm during the winter. Homeowners can install their mini-split system with some DIY knowledge and quality tools.
It’s essential to research various system components beforehand, understand your room’s size requirements, know what space you have available for wiring ductwork, and become familiar with local incentives that may help offset costs.