Das Beisler Haus: Air Conditioning Install

This week the entire Northeast is in a significant heatwave.

But last month Europe was under the grips of a Saharan wave that broke all kinds of records...

The thing is, in the years I lived in Germany, I don't think I even saw a single air conditioning unit.  I think there's a couple reasons for this - Germany didn't get so hot for long periods of time, the majority of houses were built of stone or block which helped keep them cool, and most of the windows I saw were casement, making it difficult to install a window unit I suppose.  Nonetheless, if Germany ever needed air conditioning, it was this past June.  It might be a little late for this past heatwave, but with a brand new baby, Nephew is preparing to keep his family cool in the next run of extreme heat by installing a Ductless Mini-Split Air Conditioner.  I've heard of these, but I've never seen one in the wild, but Nephew, a man after my own heart, is installing his himself!  Here's a little how-to from This Old House combined with Nephew's pictures of his install...


1. Turn off the electricity to the circuit. - I'm going to make a safe assumption that Nephew did this a number of times!

2. Hold mounting bracket to the wall, level it, then mark the screw hole locations and where to bore a hole for the refrigeration lines, condensate discharge line and electrical cable.

3. From inside, bore hole into the block wall with rotary hammer and 3-inch-diameter masonry coring bit. Once the bit's pilot penetrates the wall, finish boring the hole from the outside.

NOTE:  Nephew didn't install the same unit the This Old House folks did, so I have to ad lib a bit!

4. Pass the refrigeration lines and condensate discharge line through the hole in the wall.

5. Mount the exterior bracket for installing the compressor outside:

6. Attach a vertical chase directly below the hole in the exterior wall; the chase will house the refrigeration lines, condensate discharge line and electrical cable.

7. Extend the condensate discharge line down to within a few inches of the ground by attaching a length of PVC pipe. Secure the discharge line to the pipe with duct tape. Fasten the lower portion of the pipe to the chase by screwing on a metal C-clamp.

NOTE:  From here are several intermediate steps that I don't know if they are the same for all of these systems.

From here we have a shot of the interior.  When I last exchanged messages with Nephew, he was just waiting for the final inspection before running the AC.  He wasn't exactly sure when that would be, but I'm looking forward to hearing how well this AC cools his house, and I hope it's running before their next heatwave!

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