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  1. #1
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    Default OT: Mini-Split A/C

    I think I've had enough of installing and removing the big window A/C. Think I'm going for a mini-split.
    Does anyone have experience with these things? Brands to avoid? Note A/C only, don't need heat.
    Comments?

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    Quote Originally Posted by machinistrrt View Post
    I think I've had enough of installing and removing the big window A/C. Think I'm going for a mini-split.
    Does anyone have experience with these things? Brands to avoid? Note A/C only, don't need heat.
    Comments?
    A neighbor got a Mitsubishi unit and her relatives were so impressed they bought a system also. The only drawback IMO is that although small, the in-room units somewhat spoil the look of a room and are there year round.

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    I clicked on the link and it did not go anywhere, but it has been discussed here before. I have had a unit with an American made inside part with the outside condenser made by Mitsubishi. Worked well and was so quiet you did know when it was on. Sold the place and as far as I know it is still working.
    I had 2 made by Janatrol I think, they were not quite as reliable and made just a little more noise in a mobile home.
    I have 2 in a new garage apartment and man cave. They share the same condenser unit. Quiet and reliable also, these 2 are made by Trane. The installer did not seal the hole through the wall and a mouse got in and could not back out. He chewed a wire in half before he starved, but that can happen to any unit if the installer does not finish the job.

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    I hear you about the frustrations of pulling the window units in and out.

    For what it's worth, I heard good things about the mini-split systems. But when I priced them , they were in the multi-thousand dollar range installed. Not unreasonable if it was for a few rooms, but pricy if it was to replace a single window unit.

    I ended-up installing a through-wall unit. Very similar to a window unit (self contained but going through the wall in a permanent sleeve instead of sitting on the sill). The cost was less than $1k. So probably 5-6x less than the split systems.

    I built an insulated box for outside that I put over it in winter to eliminate drafts.

    Cheap, simple, easy, no more lifting A/Cs.

    Probably not as valued upon resale, however.

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    Down heah the problem is humidity, so cutting a hole in the wall was not considered. I just installed a Frigidaire mini-split with a "drying" mode. It is 3/4 ton and set me back less than 2K installed. I'm very well insulated, 500 SF.
    I learned drying mode means it runs all the time, and keeps it a bit cooler than I would like, so I am letting the dehumidifier pick up part of the load. The dehumidifier releases heat, so it may get shut down next summer again.
    I bought the unit from a local HVAC supplier I have a professional relationship with, he recommended the Carrier, I trust him.
    Last edited by Rudd; 10-21-2019 at 06:43 PM. Reason: correction

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    Quote Originally Posted by machinistrrt View Post
    I think I've had enough of installing and removing the big window A/C. Think I'm going for a mini-split.
    Does anyone have experience with these things? Brands to avoid? Note A/C only, don't need heat.
    Comments?
    Two (or more) smaller and lighter window units might make more sense? More even distribution at lower noise and air-blast. Don't always need them both/all running. Can upgrade or downgrade either/any at-will, and you have inherent fall-back if one fails.

    Hong Kong, we have four split units in our 3-BR flat for two full-time residents. All of them replaced "ordinary" window units, so the distance between inside and outside units is silly-short.

    Upside is they are quieter.

    Also more expensive. Also shorter-lived and in need of more maintenance, given window units usually got NONE, just run to death and replaced.

    How Hong Kong can lead the warming world on smart air con use | South China Morning Post

    Extract:

    ..estimate is that our air-con penetration rate is easily three units per person.
    That would be around 25 -30 million units, maybe a quarter of them splits, max?

    Most durable and best value-for-money are China's own major brands. Think about it. Domestic population is what? And then they supply India, Africa, and the Middle-East as well the Americas and Europe?

    Built for durable over efficient, plus they LIE about the SEER ratings. Even so, not really all that bad vs major US or Japanese brands made in the same Chinese province if not same factory anyway.

    Bottom line?

    I use ignorant window units HERE. Buy them cheap as closeouts, end of season. Replace in minutes when I must. Basic 120 V ordinary outlet sizes (5000 to 10,000 BTU). No "local" refrigerant plumbing required.

    Need more? Make another hole in the wall.

    Not hard. Doesn't have to have ever been a "window".

    YMMV, but there is nothing magical to either tribe of them.

    Fixed-plant, or "central" AC is where the heavy thinking pays-off. Done well, the operating cost may be half or less the "point" type AC, the service life double to quadruple.

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    I put an earlier model (around 2012, no wi-fi) of this in my shop: 24,000 BTU Klimaire 17 SEER Ductless Mini Split Inverter Air Conditioner & Heat Pump Wi-Fi Ready System (220 Volt) - Ductless Split Systems - Products
    It was then advertised as an inverter-powered compressor of Japanese make, while the rest was from china. It cost me less than $1500 delivered from Florida to Utah and has functioned very well. It was easy to install (did it myself), only required a 2" hole through the grouted concrete-block wall.

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    It's throwing an error. What search term did you use?

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    I have had a Daikin, which is a japanese brand, in my 1000 sq ft apartment for a year now, I love it. Its used for both heat and AC, and has 2 heads in 2 different rooms, but only one outside unit. Quiet, easy to access if it ever needs service, simple, and cheap- my heating cost from an older, bigger heat pump has fallen by 2/3.
    I also have a pair of korean made single head units in another apartment I own- they have run 12 years now with nothing but filter cleaning once a year.
    I will never have another style of heat/AC again.
    I swear by em.
    Yes, they are more expensive than a simple window mount AC only. But they work better, are quieter, more efficient, and last longer. And, they will heat, too.
    I think, since they require a licensed installer to do the charging, where I live, I would depend on recomendations as far as brand goes, on the local guys who get the callbacks to fix em. Thats why I went with this Daikan- my installer, who has installed dozens and dozens, doesnt have to back when he puts these in.

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    I installed three mini-splits in my house this past summer, including the shop. In one full month, my electric bill dropped by almost 45% over what it was costing me to run the antiquated house central air unit by itself. Before, it stayed at 80 degrees F, now almost 74 degrees in each room of the house. 73 degrees in the shop! I love it. The brand I went with is Pioneer. They shipped from their warehouse near Tampa Florida to my door step on a pallet. I didn't even need to supply a forklift to unload, they took care of it all.

    Mini Split ACs, Inverter Heat Pumps, Ductless Ducted Multi-Zone & More – Pioneer Official Store

    Ken

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    I just had a 9K high efficiency Fujitsu unit installed in my house, for heating and cooling. It was great this summer for cooling and has been so far for heating as well, though we've only hit freezing a couple of times. It is almost silent. I have a pellet stove as well and am in the process of removing my oil boiler. Mitsubishi and Daiken are also popular around here because they make units that heat well in lower temps. These units tend to be very efficient at cooling as well.

    The equipment is nearly identical for heating vs cooling only units, so there is not much of a cost difference these days if you want another heating option, they are very efficient at that as well and may save you some money during should seasons. Pay attention to the performance. The higher efficiency units are not much more expensive and will pay for themselves every month.

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    I installed a 12K btu Pioneer mini split system in our cottage a year ago and love it. Super quiet and efficient. It has both heat and A/C. It cost me $730+tax from Amazon.

    Our cottage is about 500 SF and in a wooded area and the unit is able to heat and cool the place with ease. It replaced an old mobile home wall furnace that sounded like a jet in the living room and a window shaker A/C unit. I'm seriously thinking about adding a 24K btu unit to my machine shop to replace a 75K btu hanging furnace and an 18K btu window shaker.

    The one that I installed at our cottage is so quiet that you can barely hear it run. I thought I heard it the a while back but it was the refrigerator fan which was louder than the mini split. It runs all the time but slows to a very low speed when it is at or near temp.

    Everything was in the kit including the line set and all other wiring except the wiring and disconnect box that feeds it. It also runs on 120 volts so no need to run a 240 volt line.

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    The Mitsubishi's are pretty much the standard for them.

    Why not include heat also? It's not that much more and you can you use it for supplemental heat until the temperature really drops. There are also versions that will put out heat down to 0 F instead of 32F.

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    Freidrich seem to be the quietest units. Some other major brands are twice as loud on lowest settings. DB is a log scale so around 7Db louder is double the volumne to the human ear.
    Bill D

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    Installation needs a flaring tool for copper tubing and maybe tube bender. Also need 3" diameter hole through wall. Many install and pay ac tech to pull a vacum. If you decide to pull the vacum you need to buy an adapter to connect to the smaller then normal connection.
    I bought tubing from ebay since I needed almost a full roll. Need two different sizes. If tube run is too long or short you will need to add or subtract some freon . My first install I did not realize the tubes should be insulated together as one piece.
    Bill D.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill D View Post
    Installation needs flaring tool for copper tubing and maybe tube bender. Also need 3" diameter hole through wall. MAny install and pay ac tech to pull a vacum. If you decide to pull the vacum you need to buy an adapter to connect to the smaller then normal connection.
    I bough tubing from ebay since I needed almost a full roll. Need two diferent sizes. If tube run is too long or short you will need to add or subtract some freon . My first install I did not realize the tubes should be insulated together as one piece.
    Bill D.
    I had my heating contractor friend stop by to vacuum down the system. He didn't have the adapter so he said as long as I took the caps off of the ends of the line set one end at a time and hooked them up that way so very little air could get in it would be fine. He said the line sets are charged with argon when they are shipped so no moisture in there. It's been in for a year now and we have used it for heating and cooling. He said the price of $730 was very reasonable. This was before he noticed that it would heat too. I have a feeling he is buying them on Amazon now.

    Also, my brother saw our system and bought a system with 5 zones and one big condenser for a home that he is renovating. They used it as a main source of heat last winter and it was as low as -10 degrees F. while they went South for the winter. It kept things from freezing but was pretty pricey at around $200/month for electric to keep it at 50 degrees. If we used our cottage in the winter time I would add a pellet stove or natural gas furnace.

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    My first unit I bought thru Amazon. The last two we went direct to the supplier and saved about $150 unit. All of our units are Pioneer. And they are very quite and smooth running.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4GSR View Post
    My first unit I bought thru Amazon. The last two we went direct to the supplier and saved about $150 unit. All of our units are Pioneer. And they are very quite and smooth running.
    I've used "to the trade" sources in Florida for Donkey's years. Watch for those "online" who have high-volume, decent close-out/clearance, and great shipping arrangements. Then "go ogle" for praise or complaints. Not hard to research that.

    Much of the low-lying, hot, and HUMID US Gulf Coast, Air-con is a major need and faster-moving market, compared to cooler, drier, lower salt-air, inland, upland, nawthern climes. Competition and "deals" according.

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    As anyone installed one of these units with the lines inside the wall instead of running up the outside wall?

    I’m almost ready to put one in the new shop and in the wall would be so much cleaner looking.

    Thanks.


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