I am remodeling a place out in the country (pretty remote) and am considering using one or more ductless mini-split systems, probably heat pumps, would make it a lot easier because of the difficulty in running ducts. It's a pretty big house and much of time would not be fully occupied so the idea of multiple, independently controlled zones is attractive.
I'd like to tap into the pros on the forum for their collective professional wisdom on choosing such a system as well as any non-pros with actual experience. Questions are:
- Generally, how dependable are the systems compared to a conventional split system?
- Considering the closest town is 30 miles away and has less than 20,000 people, is a ductless mini-split system likely to be unusual enough as to make it a bad choice (i.e., not enough knowledgeable repair techs/installers)?
- What brands are better, both in terms of installed base from a repair/parts perspective and in terms of original quality? (If giving opinons/recommendations as to specific makers is a forum no-no - please disregard this question and forgive me.)
- Once the warranty expires, I'm likely to have to work on the system myself because of distance, etc. In that context, which manufacturers are the most friendly toward diy'ers and have the best lay support in terms of repair manuals, etc. My brief experience has shown me that Lennox is a lot more amateur friendly than is Trane in terms of diagnosing problems, repair manuals, determining part numbers, etc.