Mini-Split Air Conditioning Anarchy

kent_island_sailor

Super Anarchist
27,224
5,136
Kent Island!
I may need one or two of these. Getting them installed by the local HVAC companies involved both long lead times and literally 4 or 5 times the cost of DIYing it.

OTOH the reviews on some of these will scare you off :eek:

So..........anyone done this. Is it DIY-able? Any favorite brands? Any brands to avoid?

 

Mrleft8

Super Anarchist
26,554
3,718
Suwanee River
One of my neighbors just DIY 6 of these things in his house instead of replacing the heat pump AC unit....

No one's there most of the time, and when they are they're in 2-3 rooms.....

 He says it was cost effective, but I haven't asked him what the utility bills did when he got a year in...

I'd imagine that if you had a small place, and could zone it, mini-splits might be a good option. If you have a starter mansion, and want to cool the whole house, probably not.

 

billy backstay

Backstay, never bought a suit, never went to Vegas
We had a 3 ton Mitsubishi single unit installed, when we moved in 3 years ago.  It was about 6 grand installed IIRC, from a local HVAC company we had used before.  Paid a few extra hundred dollars to have heat also, which is wonderful!!  When we get up in the morning and it's a bit chilly in the L-shaped Living-Dining Room, we put the heat on for half an hour or so, and it brings it right up to comfortable.  We only needed the single unit, because it's only a 1,400 SF Ranch house, and the hallway leads to the bedrooms and baths from the living-dining room.   I put a fan in the hallway to direct cool air down towards the bedrooms, when it is very hot and humid.  Right now it's about 80 outside and 74 inside from judicious use of the A/C and ceiling fan. 

 
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F_L

Anarchist
830
157
Canyon Lake, TX
I installed a 9000 BTU Mini split heat pump last year for my shop. Easy install but I have a vacuum pump and a tiny bit of ac experience.  When my 25 year old house unit dies I will probably replace with mini splits.

I got mine from Amazon, Senville brand. Cools well and quiet.

 

Grande Mastere Dreade

Snag's spellchecker
dang..   we had a used min-split installed into the garage..    we didn't install it . but it looks pretty simple..  base plate on the wall..

run lines for compressor, water discharge and electricity..  base unit on a fiberglass pad..    only thing I saw that I couldn't do was charge the unit up with gas..    oh and that cost a total of about  $500..

 

cyclone

Super Anarchist
1,439
676
Maine
We have three Fujistsu installations in various buildings. So far they are effective for AC, heating down to high teens F, and efficient because we offset them with solar generation. Make sure you keep the filters clean. Professional installation allowed for rebates.

 

mikewof

mikewof
45,639
1,209
I installed a 9000 BTU Mini split heat pump last year for my shop. Easy install but I have a vacuum pump and a tiny bit of ac experience.  When my 25 year old house unit dies I will probably replace with mini splits.

I got mine from Amazon, Senville brand. Cools well and quiet.
Yah, what's the stress about drawing a vacuum and charging up the refrigerant lines? It's a DIY job, and occasional-use 12cfm vacuum pumps aren't particularly expensive.

 
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F_L

Anarchist
830
157
Canyon Lake, TX
Yah, what's the stress about drawing a vacuum and charging up the refrigerant lines? It's a DIY job, and occasional-use 12cfm vacuum pumps aren't particularly expensive.
A lot of the mini splits are marketed to the DIY. But there is a big "Gotcha". Unless installed by a qualified a/c installer, no warranty.

 

billy backstay

Backstay, never bought a suit, never went to Vegas
A lot of the mini splits are marketed to the DIY. But there is a big "Gotcha". Unless installed by a qualified a/c installer, no warranty.


I was happy to pay a local contractor.  After a week the condensate was leaking out onto the wood floor of the screened porch that the pipes run through between the outside unit and inside one.  They came right away and fixed it.

 
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kent_island_sailor

Super Anarchist
27,224
5,136
Kent Island!
I was happy to pay a local contractor.  After a week the condensate was leaking out onto the wood floor of the screened porch that the pipes run through between the outside unit and inside one.  They came right away and fixed it.
I am running into the issue that the locals don't want to install it unless they sell it, and buying from them is about 4 times the price online.

 

Meat Wad

Super Anarchist
I've been considering removing the forced air heater and going to AC/Heat and controls for each room.
we only get hot a few months of the year so I'm not sure it is worth it.
I thought about a portable AC I can move around. It's mostly the wife that complains. I like it hot, not cold.

 

floating dutchman

Super Anarchist
wasn't there a video on here about a min-split system showing the install?  the compressor already came pre-charged.. you just hook up the high/low pressure lines and open the valve and were ready to go..
Have you ever heard of people who have had a heat pump fail because of "poor quality piping" that also had to be replaced?

That is what happens when you don't vacuum out the pipes and there is moisture in the system.

 

mikewof

mikewof
45,639
1,209
A lot of the mini splits are marketed to the DIY. But there is a big "Gotcha". Unless installed by a qualified a/c installer, no warranty.
That sucks. I thought that was a violation of the Magnuson Moss Warranty Act. The point of that law is that products don't need warranties, but if they do have warranties, the manufacturers are not then allowed to remove them willy-nilly. Maybe mini-splits are just not common enough that anyone has enforced it?

Used to be companies like Ford offered warranties and then immediately voided those warranties if any work was done on the vehicle outside of their own dealer-service network. The law protects the owner of the vehicle to have the vehicle repaired by any shop or even a DIY repair and not void the warranty. 

 

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