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Old 08-03-2010, 04:22 PM   #16
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Ductless Mini-Split


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Cost is probably the factor. I looked into one of these myself, as some can actually be done DIY, the refrigerant tube has a special connector kinda like a quick switch air compressor connection. But at their cost, may as well pay a bit more for central AC.

Ended up buying a portable unit instead, though I sometimes regret not getting a through the wall unit. The portable unit is east to setup, but is VERY loud and inefficient. It gets the job done though.

Mini splits will be louder then central AC because the fan is in the unit itself, not in the basement in the furnace, but the portable units will be even louder.
Window units are definitely very loud. From my experience, thru the wall units are just as loud.

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Old 08-03-2010, 04:24 PM   #17
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Some thru the wall are are so bad. They vibrate teh entire house when they run.
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Old 08-03-2010, 06:23 PM   #18
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Thats why they call them windowshakers. Now we have wallshakers or perhaps wallbangers.
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Old 08-03-2010, 06:26 PM   #19
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Yeah, both types are pretty much hit or miss. I would definitely rather have a mini-split over a window or wall unit, but the price is a big factor.
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Old 08-03-2010, 06:29 PM   #20
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I think part of the point of the sound discussion is what is ACCEPTABLE to the individual. I don't like the sound of high velocity air from a ducted AC but it is a necessary evil. Minisplits blow the air over a wider area but right at the top of your head or spray it at you in bed. Not nice. There is no perfect solution and what sound is acceptable is up to the individual. Minisplits are the only way to go if you have a boiler and no ducts. I prefer baseboard or electric heat as it is almost totally silent. The minisplit can then do the AC. I think cost is a huge issue as they are expensive. Lots of dealers don't know how to size or sell or install them properly and cannot be bothered. Draining the condensate is a HUGE problem in some houses. I have not met a customer yet who likes to spend $$ so it is cheaper to go ducted. Minisplits are special application units IMO.
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Old 08-03-2010, 06:37 PM   #21
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what sound is acceptable is up to the individual.
I agree with that.

Personally, I never liked the fact that you have to talk a big louder or raise the volume on your TV when the mini split was on. I was always into home theater and great sound, but the mini split got in the way. That's why i like central AC, it's hard to tell when it's even on and the sound never got in the way of something that I was doing. IMO, that could be a determining factor when comparing mini splits to central AC.

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Minisplits are the only way to go if you have a boiler and no ducts.
I have to disagree with you there. Central AC is retrofitted into homes without hot air heat very often, I am sitting in one right now as we speak.
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Old 08-03-2010, 06:46 PM   #22
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Is that those high velocity small pipe jobs? The logistics of running ductwork in older homes with steam pipes or hw piping and low headroom etc in the basement usually eliminates adding central air. Lots of them wont go in the attic as it is too low and the logistics of getting pipe from there is a big problem. Anything is possible if you want to throw enough $$ at it but most people don't.
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Old 08-03-2010, 06:54 PM   #23
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Is that those high velocity small pipe jobs? The logistics of running ductwork in older homes with steam pipes or hw piping and low headroom etc in the basement usually eliminates adding central air. Lots of them wont go in the attic as it is too low and the logistics of getting pipe from there is a big problem. Anything is possible if you want to throw enough $$ at it but most people don't.
I guess it depends where you live.

Up there in Canada I assume it's a little cooler and less need for air conditioning. Around here it's much hotter. Also, most houses are older, built before hot air heat. I grew up in an old Victorian and I bought a beautiful colonial built in 1930, both had central AC retrofitted.

Retrofitting central AC is a must in an older house with hot water or steam heat unless you want 10 window or wall units in the home.

It's VERY common, at least around here.
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Old 08-03-2010, 07:18 PM   #24
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We have a lot of older hw or steam heated mansions/character homes. They have huge mature Dutch elm shade trees, concrete and plaster walls and seem to hold their temps a long time. Don't heat up or cool down quickly. The rich folks spend their time at the cottage at the lake where it is cooler. Must be nice. Shoulda been born rich instead of handsome.
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Old 08-03-2010, 08:04 PM   #25
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Shoulda been born rich instead of handsome.
You got that problem too???
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Old 08-05-2010, 07:27 AM   #26
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Condensate. I forgot about that. How is it removed from the mini-split indoor unit? Drain pipe through the wall?

Back to the Emergency heat question. Does a mini-split have a supplemental heat source for those times when the unit cannot extract heat from the air?
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Old 08-05-2010, 07:30 AM   #27
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Condensate. I forgot about that. How is it removed from the mini-split indoor unit? Drain pipe through the wall?
Usually in a house a hose follows the same path as the coolant lines to the outside.
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Old 08-05-2010, 07:33 AM   #28
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1) It has to drain thru the wall AND have slope to get there. A huge pain in the arze if it is far from the wall. Poor slope and the drain line gets bacteria buildup and blockage. If the indoor unit does not drain properly serious water damage to walls is a common problem.

2) No supplemental heat. Fujitsu has a system with a small airhandler which may have that feature. Meant more for offices and drop ceiling application. The ECM DC Inverter units can produce heat at lower temps as they can vary the compressor speed at lower temps. Regular compressor cannot do that.
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Old 08-05-2010, 09:49 AM   #29
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If your in an area that has temps below the mini's abilities. A small electric baseboard heater can be used, for those few hours/days.
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Old 08-05-2010, 10:18 AM   #30
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If your in an area that has temps below the mini's abilities. A small electric baseboard heater can be used, for those few hours/days.
Yup. I know people who have had good luck with those electric oil heaters that look like radiators for supplemental heat during the colder days.

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