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mikeyd 06-16-2007 09:51 AM

Ductless split system - advice
I would like to install (have installed) a ductless split system in my 3-BR raised ranch located in a northern suburb of NYC. Home is 56' wide X 26' deep. From what I've read/heard so far, I'm thinking the best approach for this type of home would be a multi (4) zone system for the left side of house, which includes the 3 bedrooms and the basement play room, which are all currently cooled by window units. Followed (probably next year) by a single zone unit for the right side of house, living & dining rooms and open kitchen (all three really one big room), which is currently cooled by a single 28k btu unit in dining room. I've had good experience with Friedrich, which is the brand I'm considering, but am open to any preferences.

My reasons for wanting a ductless split system:

Can do in stages (spread out the expense).

Ease of installation. Obviously, no ducts required. My skill level is not up to the task of ductwork.

Ability to selectively cool / heat rooms (regarding heat, since most multi zone units I've seen thus far are also heat pumps, I'm thinking I can offset my current $ 2.50 p/gal. heating oil bill during the milder part of winter).

Much less noise.

Windows (never designed for ac units) not further damaged / stress.

I would appreciate your input / comments / recommendations.


bigMikeB 06-17-2007 07:07 AM

Your list of pros is a good one. But, I would think that price would be a big con. Several ductless splits will cost more than one condenser and air handler with duct work. I like the zoning issue with multisystems though for comfort. I don't think there is much difference in brands other than some are only using 410a for a refirgerent right now, which makes them more expensive than ones using R22. I will also say I have changed way more Sanyo compressors than any other brand by more than 10-1.

mikeyd 06-21-2007 08:39 PM

Is there a reason for the switch to 410a other than environmental concerns?

bigMikeB 06-22-2007 07:03 PM

This is a sore subject to me. I don't think there is any legitimate reason for doing away with R-22. It has the lowest ozone depletion factor of any freon. It is all just a way to add some more tax money to the budget.

410A has storage issues in service trucks (shouldn't be stored above 120F) it runs at much higher pressures and doesn't have the capacity of R-22. And what I hate about all the 400 refrigerents, you can't top off a charge, you have to pull it out and weigh in a new charge any time you have leakage.

mikeyd 06-23-2007 10:29 AM

I have an automotive background and encountered pretty much the same issues starting back in '94-'95 when that industry switched from R12 to 134a, but that was 12 years ago now. Hopefully, whatever was learned carried over to your industry.

Anyway, I'd like to get your comments on my proposed installation of a min. 3-zone system (to cool the 3-bedrooms clustered together on one side of the house). I would like to place the evaporator/ blower units on interior walls and conceal everything (drain, control wiring & suction and pressure lines) within the wall and then run overhead (in the hot attic) or underneath (through exposed floor joists in the basement) to the exterior wall and out to compressor/condenser using plastic pipe to conceal everything outside. What are the concerns when running ac lines inside walls, a hot attic or in the basement? Also, I noticed in LG's documentation that a condensate pump is recommended for interior wall installations. I'm assuming that without a pump the evap. unit would have to rely on gravity to drain, which I'm thinking means the attic would not be an option. Is there a limit to the length of the drain tubing in the case of gravity drain? I'm sure there's a lot more that will come up, but at this point I don't know what I don't know.


bigMikeB 06-23-2007 07:16 PM

I try and avoid the pumps for the minis, they coast about $200 a piece, work on vacuum and don't last as long as a conventional pump. I would run the piping to the basement/crawl to outside. If you tie the condensate hose that comes attached to the unit into a 1''x3/4'' pvc adapter and use 1'' pvc as the drop into say an 1 1/4'' lateral running outside you shouldn't have any issues. The main thing that clogs mini split drains is when you don't clean the filters often enough and you grow slime in the condensate tray. I learned not to use pan treatment tabs in minis becasuse they tend to gett lodged in the drains after they dissolve a while. Also if you don't lift the refrigerent piping over the condensing units you won't have any oil return problems and avoid traps in the piping.

747 06-23-2007 08:01 PM

your looking a big money. I think the mitisbshi are the best. Mulitzone would mean a big unit outside. I'm thinking 2500-4000 dollars. Hell one unit for one room is 1400. I don't know if that would include installation. There nice but not cheap. Hell you could probably get Central air for 5 grand. I'm assuming you have hotwater heat.

bigMikeB 06-25-2007 07:33 PM

Not in NJ
A typical 3ton overhead around here done by a professional company is in the $10,000 range. But then again you can find attic butchers, when they have their magnetic signs on their trucks.....

747 06-26-2007 12:47 AM


Originally Posted by bigMikeB (Post 50455)
A typical 3ton overhead around here done by a professional company is in the $10,000 range. But then again you can find attic butchers, when they have their magnetic signs on their trucks.....

Oh i didn't realize it was that much. My plumber who is also heating and airconditioning told me on my house 5 thousand because i have hot water heat. Getting by when i'm home with window unit in den (tv and computer room):laughing: And window unit in bedroom.

bigMikeB 06-26-2007 05:23 AM

Just to buy a condenser, air handler, condenser pad, disconnect switch, line set, and condensate pump your looking at over $2000, now you need ductwork, registers and grilles, and electrician to add two circuits (if you don't need a sub panel or service upgrade) add in isn't cheap. $5000 would scare me from what is left permits, a licensed electrician, etc,etc

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