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Old 06-29-2012, 08:37 PM   #1
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I am thinking about constructing a small building, maybe 14' x 24'. This would be initially storage, but convert to a home office or maybe a mother in law suite at some point. So, I am looking into building it really tight, using advanced framing and a really well sealed envelope.

I thought about using a mini-split, but if I want to bring in a little outside air to mix and add a bit of over pressure how do you get the hot/humid (coastal georgia) air into the system at the coil?

Comments are appreciated, as well as other options.

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Old 06-30-2012, 04:13 AM   #2
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Use a ducted mini split.

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Old 06-30-2012, 04:29 AM   #3
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I wonder how well suited a mini-split is for coastal areas? I'd imagine most of them would have units designed for coastal regions, but be sure before you install.

Outdoor air is generally brought in through a duct that is connected to a heat exchanger system to temper it before it's introduced into the system, and without a return system that's impossible to do (mini splits simply draw return air directly from the room in which they are installed). You could just install a duct that could be opened/closed to allow outdoor air, but that would be a mistake in my opinion.

And while I'm a fan of mini-splits, they're not really suitable for every application. If you're going to have multiple rooms in the space, then you'll invariably have issues with air movement (even with the "ducted" mini-splits .. which kinda defeats the whole purpose of a mini-split
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Old 06-30-2012, 04:49 AM   #4
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Page 13 I believe has the ducted mini split air handler.
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Old 06-30-2012, 01:13 PM   #5
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Alpinehomeair.com also has quite a few units, so you can see the difference.
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Old 06-30-2012, 10:37 PM   #6
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Recently, I built a 10 x 10 shed with the same idea/uses. It stick frame, including the floor. All walls, ceiling and floor are insulated with r13 fiberglass. I caulked every single stud and outside wall joint. everysingle roof nail and then when it came time to do the inside, I used adhesive on every surface. I also caulked or sealed every single penitration was sealed. a blower door test showed the eqivilant of a 2 inch hole. Then I put in a 5500 btu window unit, with fresh air intake. Becuase the window unit was used, I took it all apart and cleaned and checked it... WOW is all I can say. Talk about a really badly sealed unit!!!! trust me, if you put in a window unit, you will not need any air exchanger!!!! The one I have leaks enough air!!! second blower door showed a 5 inch hole.

I would also suggest that you use two window ac units. A sort of poor mans two stage system. Also, I highly suggest that you build out a control system for the window units. The stock, run the fan all the time, is really bad. I built my control system with contractors for the fan and the compressor with a re-start safety on the compressor and a delay for turning off the fan, untill the coolness of the evap is removed.

bottom line is that window systems leak enough air to keep IAC good and really really air sealing walls etc, lead to really low run times on the ac. even at 113, I was only running about 20 mins on and 15 mins off.
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Old 07-02-2012, 05:40 PM   #7
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Some window units can be set to cycle the fan with the compressor. They work well in humid environments.
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Old 07-02-2012, 05:42 PM   #8
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In a single-room building situation, I don't see any reason to use a ducted mini-split to introduce outside air. Just install a blower with an intake filter above a high-wall indoor unit. (That is where the intake is) Pick your CFM and you are good to go.

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