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School me on split heat pumps #4977265 01/12/19 06:45 PM
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expat Offline OP
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These split system have been becoming popular around here in the last few years. We got a quote on a two head system of $10k installed, but I was not keen on where 'they' wanted to fit the heads or having the fan unit at the front of the house.

I see DIY systems being sold for a fraction of the price in the US. Is this a viable DIY job for someone mechanically inclined?

I understand BTU's but some vendors use the terms like '2 ton' what is that?

What capacity should I look at to provide some cooling and heating for a 1,000 sq ft area (one floor)

Thanks.

Re: School me on split heat pumps [Re: expat] #4977273 01/12/19 06:53 PM
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A ton is 12k BTU. The Mr.Cool DIY units are absolutely DIY-able. They come with charged linesets (25', I think), so no vacuuming or flaring.

Check out https://www.garagejournal.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=26 for some good mini-split discussion and self installs.

Re: School me on split heat pumps [Re: expat] #4977305 01/12/19 07:32 PM
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My friend has Mitsubishi mini-splits in his house for AC, and has radiant heat in the slab with a tiny electric boiler for heating. He loves the mini-splits and said they're perfect.

Re: School me on split heat pumps [Re: expat] #4977343 01/12/19 08:18 PM
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When we lived in SE Asia, one of our homes had the split air conditioners in all the rooms. Very quiet and efficient. The modern units have sensors that detect if anyone is in the room and will adjust to the number of people or the direction. If no one is there the unit would go into eco mode.

I am considering the splits in our current residence.


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Re: School me on split heat pumps [Re: expat] #4977406 01/12/19 09:28 PM
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ecotourist Online Content
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We had a heat pump system installed 3 years ago. We have fairly warm temperatures (a cold night would be -5 C) , no access to natural gas and electricity is fairly expensive. We have baseboard heaters which work well enough but are very expensive to run. We don't use them at all anymore. We have a wood stove and a large pile of dry wood as a back up.

Our system has 3 wall units and an under floor unit for the entry/living room/dining room (the "public areas"). The outdoor unit is beside the house in an unobtrusive location.

It works very well. Our house is much warmer and our heating costs are lower. The pay out period would be very long but we got it mostly for the comfort it provides.

There is a cooling function as well but we almost never use it. It just doesn't get that hot here. We like fresh air so we leave the windows open during the day in the summer.

I don't think it wouldn't be practical for a do it yourselfer to install the under floor unit.


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Re: School me on split heat pumps [Re: expat] #4977443 01/12/19 09:50 PM
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Absolutely viable. Ive generally seen around $4k/interface. So a dual split should be $8-10k, that's sensible... And INSANE.

Around here, the HVAC guys claim that they dont know how complex the job could be, even if the placement is literally putting a hole in the wall in a baloon frame house. Its BS, and theyre unwilling to give an intemized bill. Their hourly rates end up being around $200/r billed, which is obnoxious. No, your training, HAZMAT, van and going to and from the distributor does not justify that sort of a rate.

So DIY if you can. I did mine and with the tools (all quality made in USA stuff), equipment, etc., I came out at less than half what the HVAC companies wanted. Its no different than auto HVAC, other than that the connections require some flaring.

We like to sleep with the house fairly cool, but Im up doing work right now. I am getting heat locally in the kitchen from one. Its great!

Re: School me on split heat pumps [Re: expat] #4977480 01/12/19 10:31 PM
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I have seen high on the wall mounted units and larger units at floor level. We would want to use the system for cooling and some heating. As I said, the total area would be no more than 1k sq ft.

The Mr cool units I see, seem to be mainly high wall units. If so, 25' feet of line/hose might be a bit restricting for location.

Re: School me on split heat pumps [Re: expat] #4977581 01/13/19 12:50 AM
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I have a Fujitsu AOU45RLXFZ with a ducted unit for the 2nd floor and 2 wall units for the main floor. The unit is rated at 48,000 BTU/h heating and 45,000 BTU/h cooling. It has performed excellent both summer (in cooling mode) and winter (in heating mode). Our house is very well insulated, is about 1000 sq.ft. on each level (two levels) and I live in Zone 4 for comparison so adjust for your situation accordingly. I am puzzled by the comments about the installation as these units (indoor and outdoor) can be installed wherever you want them within obvious renovation / construction limits for running electrical and pump lines. I determined where I wanted everything in consultation with the contractor and the contractor did exactly that. My outdoor unit is at the far side on my house and cannot be seen from the street, the indoor ducted system is in the attic and the two wall units are in a bedroom space and a public space spread out to provide good coverage for the entire lower floor. You can add more units if you need to, my numbers are fine for my situation. This outdoor unit had to comply with municipal noise bylaws and this unit is nowhere near the limits. I need to stand next to it and put my hand on the discharge to feel the air blowing to determine if it is on, it is that quiet. There is a small hum but that is pretty much masked by ambient noise (birds, trees, etc.). One ton is 12,500 BTU/h so this is roughly a 4 ton unit which, as I mentioned, is more than ample for our house and not oversized (which is not desirable). I have a small complaint about the wall unit controllers pertaining to schedule / vacation programming and set point / target point display, otherwise no complaints. Fujitsu has a solution for my programming issue but it costs some extra loot so I haven't decided if I need it yet.


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Re: School me on split heat pumps [Re: expat] #4977594 01/13/19 01:17 AM
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I paid 2100$ all in for a 12k unit incl install and warranty. Heats in winter too. Check the SEER ratings as well. Mine is a chinese unit called KeepRite. Costco (Lennox) quoted me 4500$. 10 yr parts warranty. 2 ton is 24k btu. I have a cottage so was able to make do with one but depends on how ur home layout is...so far im very happy with mine. Had it 3 yrs. Not supposed to heat when temp is below -10 but its -22 now and its still pumping heat!

Last edited by Rolla07; 01/13/19 01:33 AM.

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Re: School me on split heat pumps [Re: expat] #4977600 01/13/19 01:37 AM
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I cool 1400 sq feet with 12k btu. It could probsbly use 18k btu but it would make more sense just getting another 12k unit in my dining room. Unfortunately, 1000 sq feet doesnt mean much, really is all about if the install location makes sense and will provide cooling to whole space.


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Re: School me on split heat pumps [Re: expat] #4977845 01/13/19 11:12 AM
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First step would be a proper heat-loss calculation (Manual J) to get proper unit sizing.... 1 ton means 12k BTUs of cooling. There's many "guidelines" for sizing based on sqft, but a proper heat-loss is worth the effort nor difficult.

We DIY'd a LG flex-zone system (multiple heads) in the house and it wasn't difficult, which is relative based on skill level. While the LG was not technically a DIY system, after the installation a local HVAC came for the startup (including nitrogen purge, leak test and vacuum pump down). Everything went well and the system has been working well.

So 1300 sqft ranch-style house, 15k BTU cooling load and plans for addition. Went with LG 20k BTU outdoor unit (capable of 3 heads), 7k & 14k BTU heads (for time being), line-sets, line-set covers, outdoor unit bracket, wire, etc... ~ $3000 (DIY including $320 for HVAC tech startup).

Re: School me on split heat pumps [Re: expat] #4977896 01/13/19 12:11 PM
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Thanks a lot guys.

It seems the quote I was given was a rip off, and they wanted to do the 'easiest cheapest' install to boot :-(

I will look into a DIY install and options for head type and location.

Any other advice is more than welcome .
.

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