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#4653267 - 02/01/18 03:11 PM Mini Split or A/C?
coopns Offline


Registered: 02/16/05
Posts: 790
Loc: Scituate MA
We are moving to a new home (built in 60's). 2 Floors. We were thinking about mini splits or a/c.

I see more and more mini's and I guess the new ones throw heat down to low temps.

Just looking for advice/recommendations. Price is a factor.

Figure to do it now, house does need some work so not too concerned with some wall/ceiling work.
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#4653271 - 02/01/18 03:16 PM Re: Mini Split or A/C? [Re: coopns]
edwardh1 Offline


Registered: 01/17/03
Posts: 2941
Loc: Coastal South Carolina
very quiet machines
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#4653290 - 02/01/18 03:42 PM Re: Mini Split or A/C? [Re: coopns]
JHZR2 Offline



Registered: 12/14/02
Posts: 41773
Loc: New Jersey
Mini splits are superior in every way to forced air AC, IMO. Being in MA, I assume that you have radiator heat (hot water)? No way Id want to lose that... Mini splits do put out heat down to low temperatures, but they do so essentially by taking less and less energy from the environment, and more and more from supplemental heaters (as I understand it). I didnt opt for more heat capability, and ours will throw some down to 10-15F, below which it really doesnt do much (I believe the ones with supplemental heat are good to -4F or so). IMO it would be too expensive to do so anyway, compared to gas.

For AC they are awesome. Super-high efficiency that forced air can't beat, super quiet, no ducting losses, etc.

HVAC contractors are some of the biggest crooks around though. You can install ducting and forced air for the same, sometimes less than the splits... Though the split units are cheaper to buy... And only require a lineset to be run from point A to B. Their strawman excuse of that they dont know what theyll encounter when running the lines is garbage, as they typically get run on the exterior in line hide, or have very short runs through walls that require little more than a 3" hole.

The downside to doing too many rooms is that you either have to buy a multi-channel unit, or else you need more linear area along your house to put the condensers.

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#4653305 - 02/01/18 03:55 PM Re: Mini Split or A/C? [Re: coopns]
mk378 Offline


Registered: 09/27/15
Posts: 1416
Loc: USA
If there is a heating system already in place, you can buy cool-only mini-splits. They cost less than the heat pump ones.

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#4653307 - 02/01/18 03:56 PM Re: Mini Split or A/C? [Re: coopns]
SilverGt Offline


Registered: 08/01/16
Posts: 22
Loc: CentralPA
I do both for a living (40yrs) Been a long time lol. If you are looking for A/c only and have the attic space a central air system will be the least expensive to install. Stick with the major brands Carrier,Bryant,Trane,Lenox. Stay away from the vendor and box store and online brands,nothing but headaches! If you are wanting to heat also I advise not installing in attic but in basement if you can. There userally issues getting heat down from the ceiling vente but rarely a problem getting cooling from floor vents If you don't have the space either attic or basement or you like having individual control in each room mini-splits are the way to go but can be more expensive.Also with mini-splits it is VERY important to stick with Mitsubishi,LG,Bryant,Fugitsu,Sanyo in that order and stay FAR away from the cheap Chinese brands Trust me on that one ! Most important is having a proper install. The best product is junk If improperly installed
I heat and cool my home with Mitsubishi Mini-split heat pumps. Since 2006 on the coldest day the worst I've had was 6 degrees below set point which I have no problem with. There is no backup heat in these.


Edited by SilverGt (02/01/18 04:10 PM)
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#4653331 - 02/01/18 04:19 PM Re: Mini Split or A/C? [Re: coopns]
Rolla07 Offline


Registered: 11/05/11
Posts: 4734
Loc: MTL, CANADA
Depends on the layout of your 2 story. My 2nd level has a stairway on an outside wall so a Mini split worked just right for us. Installed it on the outside wall halfway up the stairs (but installed close to the ceiling). The theory being the cold air will fall down and in winter it mainly provides heat to my top floor. (The heat doesnt seem to drop down since i suppose hot air rises). I have a 1400 sq feet house on 2 levels not counting the basement and our 12,000 btu unit does its job just fine. A 15,000 btu unit or even 18, 000 might of been a better option, although I wad advised it would be best to get a 2nd mini split unit to install in my dining room on the outside wall. This unit was supposed to heat up until -15 I believe, but it seems to have worked just fine up to -24 celsius so far.. Never saw it shut off or not operate. By the end of this year, I will see the impact on my hydro bill. It should in theory save me a bit in winter but cost me in summer since I only had a portable AC unit prior. Brand of my system is called KeepRite. https://www.keeprite.com/en/us/products/ductless-systems/
Its been installed for 1 year now, and I'm quite satisfied. Only negative thing is my basement gets very damp in summer...

So in order to decide:

Does the house have duct work done? If not, that would be pretty costly. If you do not plan to spend that much, Id suggest a mini split system but get a dehumidifier and run it continually during summer and have it vent to a drain if there is one in the basement.
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#4653339 - 02/01/18 04:37 PM Re: Mini Split or A/C? [Re: coopns]
madRiver Offline


Registered: 07/11/15
Posts: 3534
Loc: New England
My neighbors who have oil heat use min split heat pumps and find the cost significantly cheaper for heating. The owner is an engineer and knows his costs. They used to retrofit a recent home with AC.

Below 10-15F oil heat has to kick on in home.

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#4653428 - 02/01/18 07:01 PM Re: Mini Split or A/C? [Re: coopns]
14Accent Offline


Registered: 08/03/17
Posts: 390
Loc: MN
I've been looking at doing a mini-split... but I'm not sure how to go about it. I'm sure it would work for my house but I almost need a hybrid system. The main floor is all open and could easily be served by a 10k BTU cooler, upstairs is a narrow corridor with all closed off rooms (5 of them). So I was thinking of installing a system in the attic, but it would need individual vents to each room PLUS a run of connection lines outside the house and down to the main floor. I wonder...

For your question, though, how many wall units will you need? I think the larger systems can run 4 wall units off a single compressor unit.
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#4653695 - 02/02/18 07:28 AM Re: Mini Split or A/C? [Re: coopns]
SeaJay Offline


Registered: 03/05/15
Posts: 1088
Loc: New York City
I'd go with SilverGt's suggestion with his 4 decades in the business.

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#4653706 - 02/02/18 07:50 AM Re: Mini Split or A/C? [Re: coopns]
nickaluch Offline


Registered: 10/04/08
Posts: 376
Loc: Long Island,nassau county NY
Silver gt is spot on. I would definitely get a load calculation done because bigger is not always better.Also your AC system is only as good as the installation of the system.Pick your installer carefully and make sure the system is sized correctly.
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#4653725 - 02/02/18 08:17 AM Re: Mini Split or A/C? [Re: mk378]
WyrTwister Offline


Registered: 01/13/13
Posts: 1506
Loc: Texas
Originally Posted By: mk378
If there is a heating system already in place, you can buy cool-only mini-splits. They cost less than the heat pump ones.


The price difference is small . No brainier to buy the Heat Pump version . Bought both locally at a HVAC supply house .

With the help of family members , we installed 2 Mini Splits in our house .

They also give the ability to easily turn on HVAC only in the rooms you are currently occupying . You can run the HP's in winter & switch over to the existing heat , if it gets cold enough to need it .

Neither of our MS's have backup heat .
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God bless

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#4653832 - 02/02/18 10:21 AM Re: Mini Split or A/C? [Re: coopns]
Fitter30 Offline


Registered: 05/05/13
Posts: 99
Loc: Peace valley, Missouri
Have a crawl space house pulled all the duct work and package unit heat pump out replaced it with two two ton three wall unit mini split heat pumps variable refrigerate compressor's. Seer 20.7 very efficient. Installed two systems for zoned cooling and heat ,in a very rural area, did so because parts for these system for the most parts have to be shipped in also like Silver GT stated when they go into defrost they just shut off and there is no back up heat. Have a propane fireplace for backup / emergency heat,got a nice rebate from my Coop electrical. In southern Missouri and it bets down to -5 sometimes when its gets below 10 sometimes it needs a little help.

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