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  1. #1
    trales's Avatar
    trales is offline Emerald level (3000+ posts)
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    Default A/C spinoff - The mini split

    Anyone here have a mini split system for AC and back up heat? We have a old house in northern New England. So, maybe need AC 10-20 days a year. This year was on the high side, last year was about 5 days. We just put an addition on the house, and put in a gas fireplace that can actually act as the heat source, comes with a thermostat. But I was thinking when we are gone, I don't want the fireplace on for a few days and we would like AC.

    Everyone who has come to our house has said mini split and not AC. So, anyone have one, some of the interior units are ugly, what do you have and like? It seems awesome bc we can put AC upstairs were we have crank out windows and can't do window AC, and it would do the new room but we won't need it in the front rooms of the old part where the window units are.
    Tracey

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    SnuggleBuggles is offline Black Diamond level (25,000+ posts)
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    My parents just installed a split a/c with heat pump and so far, so good. Obviously havenít tried the heat but the a/c works well. Itís about as loud as a quiet ceiling fan. Aesthetically? Meh. They probably have ways to make them more attractive.


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    SnuggleBuggles is offline Black Diamond level (25,000+ posts)
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    My parents just installed a split a/c with heat pump and so far, so good. Obviously havenít tried the heat but the a/c works well. Itís about as loud as a quiet ceiling fan. Aesthetically? Meh. They probably have ways to make them more attractive.


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  4. #4
    LD92599 is offline Diamond level (5000+ posts)
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    We added a mini split when we had an in-law suite added approx 10 years ago. It's great, super quiet and efficient. In our specific case it's great because my mom can control her own heat & AC w/o affecting the rest of the house esp if the house itself is empty and it's only her here!

  5. #5
    hwin708 is offline Platinum level (1000+ posts)
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    I assume you are talking about ductless mini-split systems?

    There was a time when the AC companies were really touting ductless mini-splits as a comparable replacement for a ducted air system, but they've really backed off that claim, at least around here. The problem is the zoning. There can be a huge temperature differential between the room with the mini-split, and the nearby rooms allegedly part of the same zone. The company claim was that there zoning eliminated hot/cold spots, but the reality is that the air flow just did not live up to that promise. At least not in the south, where the AC is blasting in every room.

    That being said, we have Mitsubishi mini-split in a garage, and will likely be doing some kind of mini-split in an upcoming pool house. We are happy with it. For open spaces, they work well and very efficiently. In terms of appearance, Mitsubishi makes a more modern looking unit now. And several brands have a recessed in-ceiling option. I still wouldn't call it attractive, as it essentially looks like a large bathroom vent fan. But it is less conspicuous than the wart on the wall.

    One thing to keep in mind is that your regular ducted air conditioner has filters than need to be changed/cleaned periodically. The same is true of the ductless. But while you may plan for your ducted filters to be easily accessible, your ductless unit may be high on a wall. And they aren't quite as simple to open as a ducted filter housing. I have a maintenance plan with my AC company, so they handle all of that for me on a schedule. But something to consider if you are doing it all yourself.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by hwin708 View Post
    I assume you are talking about ductless mini-split systems?

    There was a time when the AC companies were really touting ductless mini-splits as a comparable replacement for a ducted air system, but they've really backed off that claim, at least around here. The problem is the zoning. There can be a huge temperature differential between the room with the mini-split, and the nearby rooms allegedly part of the same zone. The company claim was that there zoning eliminated hot/cold spots, but the reality is that the air flow just did not live up to that promise. At least not in the south, where the AC is blasting in every room.

    That being said, we have Mitsubishi mini-split in a garage, and will likely be doing some kind of mini-split in an upcoming pool house. We are happy with it. For open spaces, they work well and very efficiently. In terms of appearance, Mitsubishi makes a more modern looking unit now. And several brands have a recessed in-ceiling option. I still wouldn't call it attractive, as it essentially looks like a large bathroom vent fan. But it is less conspicuous than the wart on the wall.

    One thing to keep in mind is that your regular ducted air conditioner has filters than need to be changed/cleaned periodically. The same is true of the ductless. But while you may plan for your ducted filters to be easily accessible, your ductless unit may be high on a wall. And they aren't quite as simple to open as a ducted filter housing. I have a maintenance plan with my AC company, so they handle all of that for me on a schedule. But something to consider if you are doing it all yourself.
    We've had a Mitsubishi ductless mini split for 13 years. It just died. We were generally happy with it except that it was very difficult to clean. Lots of people don't know but the fan parts can grow mold and then blow mold all over the house. We are exploring replacing it right now and our a/c company said they no longer install Mitsubishi because they've had some regular problems with it.

    I would love to know if any of the mini split companies have come up with better designs for the unit on the wall.
    Last edited by chlobo; 07-21-2021 at 08:29 AM.

  7. #7
    trales's Avatar
    trales is offline Emerald level (3000+ posts)
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    Thanks for the info. A full house ducted AC is really not in cards for a 1940's cape. So we are sort of stuck with ductless mini split/ heat pump or window units, the upstairs has crank out windows so window units won't work. I will ask about mold and cleaning and look for a better less plasticy unit. We are not in the south, so even on the hottest days when we would love AC, it does cool to the 70's at night, except a few nights a year.

    They are huge around here, everyone is getting them rather than AC, but it is so new to me.

    the last thing I want is mold around the house, so thanks for the heads up to look into that.
    Tracey

    DD1 3/07 Itching to take over the universe.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by trales View Post
    Thanks for the info. A full house ducted AC is really not in cards for a 1940's cape. So we are sort of stuck with ductless mini split/ heat pump or window units, the upstairs has crank out windows so window units won't work. I will ask about mold and cleaning and look for a better less plasticy unit. We are not in the south, so even on the hottest days when we would love AC, it does cool to the 70's at night, except a few nights a year.

    They are huge around here, everyone is getting them rather than AC, but it is so new to me.

    the last thing I want is mold around the house, so thanks for the heads up to look into that.
    We installed high velocity central a/c into an older home. It is different than regular ducted a/c and intended for when adding traditional ducting everywhere is not feaible. They use thin, flexible tubing to get in the walls. The ducting is very unobtrobusive in the back corner of two closets. There was virtually no damage to the walls/ceilings. It is really a great system. 3 days of installation 3 years ago and we love it. Wish we had done it sooner. We had been considering mini splits but glad we made this choice.
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  9. #9
    SnuggleBuggles is offline Black Diamond level (25,000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by vludmilla View Post
    We installed high velocity central a/c into an older home. It is different than regular ducted a/c and intended for when adding traditional ducting everywhere is not feaible. They use thin, flexible tubing to get in the walls. The ducting is very unobtrobusive in the back corner of two closets. There was virtually no damage to the walls/ceilings. It is really a great system. 3 days of installation 3 years ago and we love it. Wish we had done it sooner. We had been considering mini splits but glad we made this choice.
    Thatís what we had in our old house. We had radiators for heat and the house had no duct work. We looked at traditional a/c and all involved ripping out gorgeous old craftsman details to install hideous ducts and that was a no. Our high velocity system was kind of loud but it worked super well.


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  10. #10
    NCGrandma is offline Emerald level (3000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by SnuggleBuggles View Post
    Thatís what we had in our old house. We had radiators for heat and the house had no duct work. We looked at traditional a/c and all involved ripping out gorgeous old craftsman details to install hideous ducts and that was a no. Our high velocity system was kind of loud but it worked super well.


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    When my NE family moved into their 1960s ranch, it had electric baseboard heating and no AC. They first tried window units, then installed a couple of mini splits but the air flow was never satisfactory. Fairly early in the pandemic, they broke down and had a high velocity system installed. (With 4 of them at home all the time, seemed essential to have adequate AC!) It has been very satisfactory and the installation was less problematic than anticipated. They even gained a pull-down access door to the attic!


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