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Community and Q&A

Installing ductless minisplit over refrigerator

tomk358 | Posted in Mechanicals on

Building an 800sf 2 story house, main floor is 400sf open floor plan. Would there be any problems if I were to install the ductless mini split head above the refrigerator?

I was thinking of mounting it on the front of the soffit so it would be flush or slightly proud of the front of the fridge, allowing it to spread air down without hitting the fridge. It would also be further from the coils on the back of the fridge. I read that it should be 7-10″ below the ceiling.

Additionally, not sure if it’s possible, but if I could somehow add some sort of screen to visually hide it, that would be even better. I’m concerned that would conflict with the efficient operation of the air exchanger, though you’d think a highly air permiable screen would be ok?

Finally, I may add a passive make-up-air vent for the stove hood behind the fridge, just to throw another variable in there.

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  1. Expert Member
    Dana Dorsett | | #1

    You have to be a bit careful about screening it in- anything that impedes air flow or creates a short-circuit path from the input to the head (typically on the top) and the output air (front) will cut into it's effectiveness and efficiency. More than just an air-permeable valance, it would need an air barrier or shelf between the anticipated air flows being pulled into the top of the unit and the air coming out the front of the unit, and the air paths should not be as restrictive as a duct. (If you really can't stand the look of the thing, go with a mini-duct cassette.)

    Putting it above a refrigerator isn't particularly an issue, as long as you give it ample distance to the ceiling for free air flow on the input side. Go for MORE than the minimum clearances spelled out in the installations if you can.

  2. tomk358 | | #2

    Thanks Dana. Do you know if there is a limit to the length of the refrigerant pipes? Since the head would be 3' further from the outside unit, I'm wondering if that would be problematic?

  3. STEPHEN SHEEHY | | #3

    Tom: you need to look at the specs from the specific minisplit manufacturer. There are varying minimum (usually 10-15 feet) and maximum (50-60 feet) distances from indoor to outdoor units. The minimums are primarily to keep vibration and noise down.

  4. Expert Member
    Dana Dorsett | | #4

    What Stephen said- read the fine print in the spec.

    You can run the refrigerant lines longer than the max length spec if you can live with the capacity & efficiency derating that goes along with that.

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