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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Question: Is there any code prohibiting me from mounting the outdoor section of a mini split way up high, like at the 2nd floor level? I know it will make servicing a pain but hear me out.

The reason I'm asking is because I live in a historic district which is governed by the Historic District Commission (think HOA) which does not allow any unsightly modifications to the house that are visible from the street. That includes AC condensers.

My house is 2 story in the front, with a 1-story ell extending back behind it. I have already installed a mini split in the back part, which was pretty straight forward, but now that my wife has experienced the magic of A/C she wants it in the bedroom too. If I want to add mini splits in the front part of the house, the only feasible place to put the condenser outside will be a bracket on the back wall, up above the 1 story roof. The roof is a 10/12 gable.

I am fine with bringing in some equipment / staging for the install, but I wanted to ask, is this something that is done? In the US I've only seen mini splits mounted at ground level or maybe 2-3 feet off the ground. However I have seen split units mounted way up on the outside of high rise apartment buildings in Europe. How do they get them there and how are they serviced? Does anyone know? Thanks
 

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From a technical point of view, you can mount them as high as you want, within limits of the lineset. With that said, you're asking the wrong people. You need to talk to the HDC and municipality for their codes. The local building inspector will likely be of help. It's very geographically dependent. IE. In some areas here you can't mount anything above the ground, while a few blocks over, the codes change and they have units straight up the side of the condo low rise. Typically when it's above the ground we try to keep them on balconies, otherwise you don't service them. They get installed during construction and replaced in whole, with a crane or hanging platform, when needed. Unless you're like these guys I guess.....
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yeah, I know they go on roofs all the time, flat ones... I guess I could argue that this location would be "accessible" by standing on the lower roof but it's a steeply pitched roof.
 

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You can do what you wish, or are permitted to do. But I wouldn’t want to work on it. I imagine your going to have a tough time finding folks willing to service it. And if they are, they’re price is likely going to reflect it.
 

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Yeah, I know they go on roofs all the time, flat ones... I guess I could argue that this location would be "accessible" by standing on the lower roof but it's a steeply pitched roof.
For whatever it's worth, I have seen units installed on non-flat roofs. A building near me has a modestly pitched shingle roof with a platform constructed for the unit to perch upon. It also has guardrails around it for the repairman's safety (I think code requires it). But you said your pitch is steep, so I'm not sure that will solve your problem. <shoulder shrug>
 

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do you have the space to mount it low toward the eve on a condensor bracket? not really a big deal with a steep roof if the ladder is right there for assistance. usually the deciding factor is the ease of running the lineset and electrical and their penetrations
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
do you have the space to mount it low toward the eve on a condensor bracket? not really a big deal with a steep roof if the ladder is right there for assistance. usually the deciding factor is the ease of running the lineset and electrical and their penetrations
Yeah I think I can make this work. Just to be clear, I am not proposing to put it on the roof but on the wall just above it. Like so:


Rectangle Slope Triangle Font Schematic


I will most likely be the person servicing the unit for the foreseeable future anyway, so I'll just have to kick myself everytime I climb up there.
 

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Do note that the electrical side in on the right in that picture, so you won't want it too high off the roof. You'll need to make sure that snow and ice won't sluff off onto it. If you get a heat pump model, you'll have to make sure that snow doesn't accumulate there.
 

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Quick slings are made for wall mounted units and even pitched roofs. Id be concerned if its below a bedroom as you will get vibrational noises that will travel through your house.

Id look into some sort of spring isolators between the quick sling and the condenser.

It may make it more difficult to find someone to service, but what other choice so you have?

 

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The numbnuts that installed our air conditioning compressors on the ground floor at our church, didn't do us any favors. Especially since there was a series of 200' linesets lifting 40 feet vertically. After haggling with the GC for a few years, they lifted them on metal framing the 40' making lift not a problem.
 

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The numbnuts that installed our air conditioning compressors on the ground floor at our church, didn't do us any favors. Especially since there was a series of 200' linesets lifting 40 feet vertically. After haggling with the GC for a few years, they lifted them on metal framing the 40' making lift not a problem.
40ft lift of liquid is only about 20psi - ish. We have units lifting over 200 ft. Piping design is critical though.
 

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It may not have been the vertical lift that caused the problem, but the 200' of lineset made it worse. By lifting the units, they were able to alleviate one problem. They couldn't shorten the linesets.
 
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