Can you put a mini-split condenser in the garage?

Find out whether you can put a mini-split condenser in the garage by considering the functionality and airflow of the unit and alternative locations to install it.

Mini-split units work by splitting the air conditioning system between an indoor and an outdoor unit.

Both of these units need to be installed properly for the unit to function optimally. This is why the condenser unit cannot be installed in a garage, where it will not have adequate airflow and increase the temperature of the space.

How do mini-splits work?

Mini-splits work the same way that most other air conditioners (AC) do. The warm air from your room is passed over cold, refrigerant-filled coils that can cool the air in your space.

A condenser or compressor continually changes the refrigerant from a liquid to a gas and back again to move the extracted air and moisture throughout the system.

In order to do this, a mini-split system, as the name implies, splits these functions into an indoor air handling unit, which houses the air filters and coils, and an outdoor condenser unit that houses the compressor and fan.

Can you put a mini-split condenser in the garage?

Both the indoor and outdoor unit of a mini-split system are vital for the functionality of the unit. This means that both units need to be installed in a way that enables them to work optimally.

Since the condenser unit of a mini-split system needs to be installed outside your home in order for it to function properly, many homeowners wonder whether they can just place the unit in the garage, which is connected to the house.

Unfortunately, you cannot and should not put a mini-split condenser unit in the garage. This is because the function of this condenser unit revolves around the fact that it needs to expel any latent heat from the inside of your house and take in air to cool down the compressor.

If the mini-split condenser is installed in the garage instead of outdoors, the latent heat that is left over from the air conditioning process inside your home will be pumped into your garage, which will make the space extremely hot and there will not be adequate airflow for the AC unit as a whole.

In addition to this, installing the condenser unit in the garage can be noisy and the additional heat that it releases can start radiating to the rest of your house from the garage.

Since it is so impractical to install your mini-split condenser unit in the garage, there are some other factors that you should consider that can help you find the best way to install it somewhere else.

Why installing your condenser unit in the garage can increase the temperature

The latent air which is absorbed by the refrigerant during the air conditioning process needs to be expelled by the outdoor condenser unit.

When this unit is installed outdoors, as it should be, the heat quickly dissipates, and the condenser unit can pull in regular air from the outdoors to cool down the compressor.

However, when this unit is installed in a closed space, like a garage, the heat cannot dissipate, and it will just end up making your garage extremely hot.

When the condenser unit stays this hot, this means that it cannot extract as much heat from the air in your room and, in turn, the entire system will not be as effective as it could be at lowering the temperature of the room.

Not to mention the fact that the increased temperature of the garage can radiate to the rest of your home and can even increase the temperature of the room in which the air handler unit is installed.

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Why adequate airflow is important for a mini-split condenser unit

You cannot install your mini-split condenser unit in the garage because it will increase the garage’s temperature, but also because the unit will not have the adequate airflow to function properly.

The compressor in the condenser unit needs to be able to “breathe”. This means that air needs to be able to flow freely to and from the unit, but in a garage, the airflow is more limited than it is outdoors, which prevents the unit from operating properly.

Other factors to consider before installing your mini-split condenser unit

Since you should not install the condenser unit for the mini-split in the garage, it can be difficult to find the right space to put it.

The most important fact is that the unit should have sufficient airflow and be protected from the sun. Covers like this fence can improve the appearance of the unit without impairing its functioning.

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