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Mini Split or A/C? #4653267
02/01/18 03:11 PM
02/01/18 03:11 PM
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 796
Scituate MA
coopns Offline OP
coopns  Offline OP
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 796
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.


Coop
Re: Mini Split or A/C? [Re: coopns] #4653271
02/01/18 03:16 PM
02/01/18 03:16 PM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,149
Coastal South Carolina
edwardh1 Offline
edwardh1  Offline
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,149
Coastal South Carolina
very quiet machines


These products are all new every year?? They are a revolution!!! Razor blades, mens shirts, TVs, wiper blades, gutter guards, hearing aids... according to the ads. But also all new last year
Re: Mini Split or A/C? [Re: coopns] #4653290
02/01/18 03:42 PM
02/01/18 03:42 PM
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 42,277
New Jersey
JHZR2 Offline
JHZR2  Offline
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 42,277
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.

Re: Mini Split or A/C? [Re: coopns] #4653305
02/01/18 03:55 PM
02/01/18 03:55 PM
Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 1,588
USA
mk378 Offline
mk378  Offline
Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 1,588
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.

Re: Mini Split or A/C? [Re: coopns] #4653307
02/01/18 03:56 PM
02/01/18 03:56 PM
Joined: Aug 2016
Posts: 31
CentralPA
SilverGt Offline
SilverGt  Offline
Joined: Aug 2016
Posts: 31
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.

Last edited by SilverGt; 02/01/18 04:10 PM.

1984 Ford Mustang GT Castrol GTX 10w-40
2017 Chevrolet Trax Castrol Edge 5W-30
2003 BMW 325xi. Castrol Edge 0w-40
Re: Mini Split or A/C? [Re: coopns] #4653331
02/01/18 04:19 PM
02/01/18 04:19 PM
Joined: Nov 2011
Posts: 4,961
MTL, CANADA
Rolla07 Offline
Rolla07  Offline
Joined: Nov 2011
Posts: 4,961
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.


2007 Corolla Red Pearl 155k miles
PP 0w20 & ST 4967

Re: Mini Split or A/C? [Re: coopns] #4653339
02/01/18 04:37 PM
02/01/18 04:37 PM
Joined: Jul 2015
Posts: 4,017
New England
madRiver Offline
madRiver  Offline
Joined: Jul 2015
Posts: 4,017
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.

Re: Mini Split or A/C? [Re: coopns] #4653428
02/01/18 07:01 PM
02/01/18 07:01 PM
Joined: Aug 2017
Posts: 660
MN
14Accent Offline
14Accent  Offline
Joined: Aug 2017
Posts: 660
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.


2013 Chevrolet Volt - Saves enough in fuel to pay for itself!

2003 Cadillac Seville STS - The winter "beater", it uses the Volt's fuel
Re: Mini Split or A/C? [Re: coopns] #4653695
02/02/18 07:28 AM
02/02/18 07:28 AM
Joined: Mar 2015
Posts: 1,297
New York City
SeaJay Offline
SeaJay  Offline
Joined: Mar 2015
Posts: 1,297
New York City
I'd go with SilverGt's suggestion with his 4 decades in the business.

Re: Mini Split or A/C? [Re: coopns] #4653706
02/02/18 07:50 AM
02/02/18 07:50 AM
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 386
Long Island,nassau county NY
nickaluch Offline
nickaluch  Offline
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 386
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.


2007 G6 beater.2012 E450 box truck. 2018 Chevy Traverse.2017 E450 box truck.2017 Chevy 3500 extend cargo van.
Re: Mini Split or A/C? [Re: mk378] #4653725
02/02/18 08:17 AM
02/02/18 08:17 AM
Joined: Jan 2013
Posts: 2,065
Texas
WyrTwister Offline
WyrTwister  Offline
Joined: Jan 2013
Posts: 2,065
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 .


Wyr
God bless
Re: Mini Split or A/C? [Re: coopns] #4653832
02/02/18 10:21 AM
02/02/18 10:21 AM
Joined: May 2013
Posts: 150
Peace valley, Missouri
Fitter30 Offline
Fitter30  Offline
Joined: May 2013
Posts: 150
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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