How to Make VTAC Installation Faster and More Efficient

How to Make VTAC Installation Faster and More Efficient

Unfortunately for HVAC installers, there’s no standard or recommended way to support vertical terminal air conditioning units. In fact, the onus is placed on installers to come up with and build a support system during installation.

Typically, these solutions look one of two ways. Installers have to create a wooden platform for each installation on-site or use cinder blocks, shimming as necessary to ensure the support system is at the correct height.

The issue with these on-the-spot solutions is that they don’t provide the proper:

  • Support
  • Stability
  • Alignment
  • Drainage required for efficient and reliable operation

A Simpler Solution for Installers

To alleviate this problem for installers, GE Appliances Air & Water Solutions developed the Quick-Install system in both the Zoneline® Ultimate V10™ and the Ultimate V12™ VTAC units.

The Quick-Install wall plenum and Insta-Platform™ not only make the installation process quick and easy but also can reduce installation times by 60%.

Quick-Install Plenum

Thanks to its expandable design, the Quick-Install wall plenum can fit walls with a thickness of 8 to 15 inches. The outdoor grill can be attached to the plenum, making the entire system easy to install for one person from the inside. Contrast this with other solutions that require multiple people on the inside and the outside.

Locking pins and alignment tabs line up perfectly with the Insta-Platform to ensure the unit is at the proper height and properly secured to the wall plenum.


The Insta-Platform solves four issues during the installation process:

  • Secure and proper alignment
  • A self-contained drainage system
  • Quick and easy access for initial plumbing
  • A more efficient and solid support system

With a self-aligning, lock-in-place system and dimpled surface, the Insta-Platform is engineered to allow the VTAC chassis to slide onto the platform with minimal effort.

Excess condensation is managed by two drain ports. Drainage from the chassis is isolated through the threaded drain ports for a simple hose connection to make plumbing hookups easier. The drainage pathways have three possible exit paths to help alleviate any complications during the installation process.

The Insta-Platform was designed to fit two two-by-fours into front support pockets. This, in turn, allows installers to simply and effectively hold the unit in place. Once the two-by-fours — which are usually in abundance at construction sites — are placed into the pockets, the platform is ready to be installed.

As the chassis is placed on the platform, the self-aligning ridges and lock-in-place recess ensure a tight seal with the wall plenum gasket.

Proper Installation Is Critical

Installing the Zoneline Ultimate VTAC series is easy, but it’s still important to ensure each unit is installed properly. If the Insta-Platform isn’t at the correct height, isn’t centered or isn’t level, it won’t form the proper seal necessary to keep outdoor elements from coming inside, which greatly reduces the unit’s efficiency.

Proper installation and sealing decrease the chances of additional humidity or excess water coming in through the exterior, or even allowing dirt and dust particles into the space that can clog the filter. Without proper installation, the system has to work harder — beyond normal wear and tear — and its life expectancy is diminished.

Tips for Installing the Zoneline Ultimate V10 and V12

To ensure proper installation and an effective seal every time, here are some tips when installing Zoneline Ultimate VTAC units.

  1. Ensure the Quick-Install wall plenum is square and tight before screwing it into the wall. This will save time and effort later on, as you won’t have to rehang the plenum to retighten the seal.
  2. Always caulk the plenum to the wall where it will meet up with the flanges. This will provide an extra layer of protection from the outside elements.
  3. Connect the plumbing and install the two-by-fours on the Insta-Platform before you start to install it in the closet. This will give you more room to work and create less hassle during the installation process.
  4. When measuring two-by-fours for the Insta-Platform, measure the height from the floor to the bottom of the plenum and add three inches to this measurement for each room or unit. Not every room has the exact same measurement. This measurement will save you time and money, as you won’t have to recut or try to shim the platform in place to reach the right height.
  5. Ensure you’re using a plenum-rated whip to plug the unit into the wall. This will help you meet stricter installation standards and help ensure a safer environment during maintenance on the unit.

You can find even more information in this step-by-step video guide to Zoneline installation.

Take a look at what the Zoneline Ultimate series of VTAC units has to offer.