Can I Install a Mini Split Under a Chimney? A Comprehensive Guide

Installing a mini split under a chimney is a complex task that requires careful consideration of various technical factors. While it is possible, there are several critical details and specifications that must be addressed to ensure a safe and efficient installation. This comprehensive guide will delve into the nitty-gritty of each factor, providing a detailed, expert-level playbook for DIY enthusiasts and HVAC professionals alike.

Heat Source Proximity

When installing a mini split near a chimney that vents a wood-burning stove, the primary concern is the potential impact of the heat source on the mini split’s performance. The heat generated by the stove can affect the efficiency and operation of the heat pump lines, potentially causing damage or reduced performance.

To mitigate this issue, it is crucial to ensure that the heat pump lines do not come into direct contact with the chimney or any steel ductwork. This can be achieved by carefully routing the lines and using insulation or other protective measures to create a barrier between the heat source and the refrigerant lines.

One effective solution is to install a heat shield or insulation barrier between the chimney and the mini split components. This can be a custom-fabricated metal or fiberglass shield that is securely mounted to the wall or ceiling, creating a physical separation between the heat source and the mini split. The shield should be designed to allow for adequate airflow around the mini split while still providing thermal protection.

Additionally, it is essential to monitor the temperature of the heat pump lines and the surrounding area during operation. If the lines are exposed to excessive heat, it may be necessary to adjust the placement or add additional insulation to maintain optimal performance.

Code Compliance

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Before proceeding with the installation of a mini split under a chimney, it is crucial to thoroughly review and comply with all local building codes and regulations. These codes may include specific requirements or restrictions regarding the placement of HVAC equipment near chimneys, flues, or other combustion sources.

It is recommended to consult with a licensed HVAC professional or local building authorities to ensure that the proposed installation meets all necessary code requirements. This may involve obtaining permits, adhering to clearance specifications, and ensuring that the installation does not compromise the safety or functionality of the chimney or other building systems.

Failure to comply with local codes can result in costly fines, delays, or even the requirement to remove and reinstall the mini split in a different location. By proactively addressing code compliance, you can avoid these potential issues and ensure a smooth and compliant installation process.

Airflow and Ventilation

Proper airflow and ventilation are critical factors in the efficient operation of a mini split system. When installing the unit near a chimney, it is essential to consider the potential impact on airflow and ensure that the mini split has adequate space for air circulation.

One key consideration is the placement of the indoor and outdoor units. The indoor unit should be positioned in a location that allows for unobstructed airflow, with a clear path for the air to circulate throughout the space. Avoid installing the indoor unit in a confined space or directly adjacent to the chimney, as this can restrict airflow and reduce the unit’s cooling or heating capacity.

Similarly, the outdoor unit should be placed in an area with ample clearance and airflow. Ensure that the unit is not positioned too close to the chimney or any other structures that could impede the airflow around the outdoor coil. Proper clearance around the outdoor unit is crucial for efficient heat dissipation and optimal performance.

In addition to the unit placement, it is essential to consider the overall ventilation of the space. Ensure that the area surrounding the mini split and chimney has adequate air circulation, either through natural ventilation or mechanical means, such as exhaust fans or strategically placed vents. This will help prevent the buildup of heat, moisture, or other byproducts that could negatively impact the mini split’s operation.

Moisture and Condensation

Wood-burning stoves can generate significant amounts of moisture and condensation, which can pose a challenge when installing a mini split in close proximity to the chimney. Excess moisture can affect the mini split’s performance and potentially cause damage to the unit or surrounding components.

To address this issue, it is crucial to ensure that the mini split is installed in a way that allows for proper drainage and ventilation. This may involve incorporating additional drainage systems or condensate pumps to safely remove any accumulated moisture from the unit.

Additionally, it is essential to monitor the mini split for any signs of excessive condensation or moisture buildup, such as water leaks or the formation of mold or mildew. If these issues arise, it may be necessary to adjust the installation, add additional insulation, or implement dehumidification measures to maintain a healthy and efficient system.

Installation Height

The installation height of the mini split is another critical factor to consider when placing the unit near a chimney. Proper placement is essential for both the unit’s performance and accessibility for maintenance and repair.

When installing the mini split, it is generally recommended to position the indoor unit at a height that is easily accessible for the homeowner or HVAC technician. This typically falls within the range of 6 to 8 feet from the floor, depending on the specific model and manufacturer’s recommendations.

However, when installing the mini split near a chimney, it is essential to ensure that the unit is not positioned too high, as this can make it difficult to access for routine maintenance or emergency repairs. Conversely, installing the unit too low could potentially expose it to excessive heat or moisture from the chimney, which could impact its performance or cause damage to the unit.

To strike the right balance, it is recommended to consult the mini split manufacturer’s guidelines and consider the specific dimensions and layout of the installation area. In some cases, it may be necessary to custom-fabricate a mounting bracket or platform to achieve the optimal installation height while maintaining a safe and accessible placement.


Installing a mini split under a chimney is a complex task that requires careful consideration of various technical factors. By addressing the critical details outlined in this comprehensive guide, DIY enthusiasts and HVAC professionals can navigate the process with confidence and ensure a safe, efficient, and code-compliant installation.

Remember to always consult with local building authorities, follow manufacturer guidelines, and consider the expertise of licensed HVAC professionals to ensure the best possible outcome for your mini split installation near a chimney.


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