Mini-split installation

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chet96
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Joined: Fri Feb 21, 2020 9:14 am

Mini-split installation

Post by chet96 »

Folks:

Anyone care to share their experience having a mini split installed?

It would be for an add-a-room over our attached garage I use as an office. The heating / cooling is poor and I cannot take another winter.

I asked if they could install the compressor in back of the house on or above a flat porch roof. (Closer to power and easier to add a zone in the future for the enclosed porch directly below). I’m getting a lot of pushback saying it will be hard to service and needs to be really flat. It can’t be attached to the house either as it will vibrate. (House is brick).

Their “solution” is to tear out bushes and run lines 2 stories up the side of the house. (Lines would be visible from the street. He said I won’t notice after a while). I asked how they would get it power and was told they would figure it out. (Panel is on the other side of the house with the basement stairway and about 4-5 walls in between).

This is supposedly the best company in town. He did not even look at the electrical panel. It is about full. (This was my Van Halen brown M&M competence check).

The quote was over 8k. Oh boy.
bzcat
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Re: Mini-split installation

Post by bzcat »

Sounds like they just don't want to do it, because they are a legacy AC company.

At the start of the pandemic, I paid an electrician for a 220v wiring run, and did the mini split install myself in about two days. Under $2k all in, including being mounted on the side of house, for 450 sq/ft. I never notice it vibrating despite it being mounted on the wall outside my office.

I would say add a grand to pay someone else for installation. Call someone else.
fortunefavored
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Re: Mini-split installation

Post by fortunefavored »

I've installed a few - they are super easy to install if you have power some where.. but yeah.. ideally you don't want them attached to the building. I usually pour a small slab and just stick it on that.

$8K sure seems like a lot for a mini-split.. they are very cheap. $800 plus another $200 in wiring/tubing/etc. No real service.. if they die, you just replace with another cheap unit.
Woodshark
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Re: Mini-split installation

Post by Woodshark »

I self installed a Pioneer unit a few months ago for a simular space. You can mount the outside compressor on the side of a building but it still needs to be vertical and I would install it in an area that is easily accessible.
bhsince87
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Re: Mini-split installation

Post by bhsince87 »

For those of you who have DIYed it, did you use the ones with the pre-charged coolant lines? If not, how did you do it?

Thanks.
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Soon2BXProgrammer
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Re: Mini-split installation

Post by Soon2BXProgrammer »

bhsince87 wrote: Tue Sep 14, 2021 10:18 pm For those of you who have DIYed it, did you use the ones with the pre-charged coolant lines? If not, how did you do it?

Thanks.
i installed 2 units with precharged lines, which means you can't cut the lines which affects how you install.
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WhyNotUs
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Re: Mini-split installation

Post by WhyNotUs »

I installed a Mr Cool mini split, 3rd generation E Star.

I had to make two 90 degree turns to connect the inside unit to outside unit. It was a challenge since kinking the line is a show stopper. I had a friend helping and it took two of us 5 hours to install not including electrical, which is hired out.

The size of the unit will determine the power that you need. If you know the unit, you can ask your electrician to look at the panel and the location and make a recommendation. The reason your HVAC guy did not look at panel is that he is not an electrician :happy

I live in a HCOL area and it would have been $5k for an 18k Mitsubishi hyper heat unit that will perform a little better in extreme cold than my $1600 unit. I also paid about $150 for two boxes of line set covers to enclose the line sets and power line. The Mr Cool came with 25' of pre-charged line and I used every inch. I spray painted the covers with a Rustoleum product that adheres to plastic, next time I get my house paint out, I will paint them to match house.

Too soon to know the performance but that is my primary reason for trying one out.
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Point
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Re: Mini-split installation

Post by Point »

Have a licensed electrician look at your panel to see if any of the breakers can be changed to half size to allow reuse of slots.
Mr. Rumples
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Re: Mini-split installation

Post by Mr. Rumples »

"Figure it out" is not a professional response. Insist on how they will do it in the proposal.

"Wouldn't notice after a while" also is dismissive. How are they to know it won't irritate you more and more with time?
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awval999
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Re: Mini-split installation

Post by awval999 »

I had a Mitsubishi mini-split installed by a Diamond Installer this year. $5k total with installation.
Minisplit condenser is outside next to main air conditioner condenser.
Refrigerant line ran through basement, then outside, and up to 2nd floor loft. The line is ran on the side of the house you can't see and covered to match the siding.
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Tubes
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Re: Mini-split installation

Post by Tubes »

Regarding the ugly refrigerant line, and possible condensate drain: these can be placed in a conduit. It looks much better, similar to a large downspout. A quality quote and job would include this.

Attaching to house will cause hum or vibration through entire house. So advice to not do so is solid.

As for electrical: well... Watch out. Years ago I had a second HVAC unit installed in my house for the second floor (best money I ever spent on this house). When they came to do the job, it was "uh oh, no room for a breaker!" I have a 200amp service, but the panel was small. Their solution was to sub-contract an electrician and charge me extra for a new panel. I got lucky. Their subcontractor was excellent. The charge (1999 dollars) was $1000. I gotta tell you, that was the second best money I spent on this house. It was a reasonable price and they also did an excellent job. The extra breaker lines have come in handy. I suspect some day I'll get an electrical charging station for an EV. The panel expansion will pay off yet again at that time.

The point is they forgot to check my electric too, but I got lucky. Don't expect them to do anything like this for free. You should investigate the electrical issue ahead of time to avoid surprises. As for walls in between: a good electrician will find a way that looks good. A bad one won't. Like I said, my big name HVAC company hired a good electrical sub.
vtjon
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Re: Mini-split installation

Post by vtjon »

bhsince87 wrote: Tue Sep 14, 2021 10:18 pm For those of you who have DIYed it, did you use the ones with the pre-charged coolant lines? If not, how did you do it?

Thanks.
I have been building a large detached workshop and I installed one of the MrCool DIY (36k) units myself. This has pre-charged lines and was very straightforward. The 36K unit only requires 30amp service so it's much less than a regular AC unit.

The prices on the MrCool units have risen rapidly over the past year and I assume that's the case for all units. The MrCool units have increase in price by about $800 since August 2020. The DIY units are a little more expensive than the "pro-install" units but you're trading off having to deal with a pro. Also, electrical wire is way up (well over 100% since Summer 2020) so that will increase your costs as well.
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Sandtrap
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Re: Mini-split installation

Post by Sandtrap »

Actionably:
1
Get estimates from other reputable licensed contractors.
2
You should be able to install the unit wherever you want and the company will make a pad or adapter to "make it work" where you want. IE: Leveling block w/flashing, etc, etc. On sides of buildings or even hanging on unistrut.

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mgensler
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Re: Mini-split installation

Post by mgensler »

There are lineset length restrictions. For example most Fujitsu units are limited to 66'. Mounting the units to the foundation is best practice for sound and to keep it out of the dirt / snow.

We have 4 mini-splits being installed for $36k including demo of existing HVAC. Three of them are ducted and require all new ductwork. Your price sounds reasonable for one.
brianH
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Re: Mini-split installation

Post by brianH »

I also had a Diamond installer do a Misu mini split for around 5k. I specified exactly how I wanted the lines run: through the master bedroom wall into a closet and down and out through the garage. I, like you, think the outside lineset hide looks like crap, and it's better to run the lines where they are protected, if possible.

The companies doing this love just going out the wall and running down the house. It's the easiest for them, but lazy and ugly if there's another option. You're the one paying; they should do exactly what you ask, assuming it's feasible, or present you with multiple options.
stuyguy
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Re: Mini-split installation

Post by stuyguy »

Mr Cool DIY purchased from Costco.com. Just checked and Costco still sells them. First time I tackled something like this but I took my time and did it all myself. A contractor wanted 4X what I paid for a less efficient unit, and didn't want to install it where I wanted it to go
Topic Author
chet96
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Re: Mini-split installation

Post by chet96 »

Thanks. I thought about doing this myself but it is too big a job. I’m not comfortable punching
holes in brick from a ladder.

I am in PA and it appears HVAC techs are permitted to do electrical. Not ideal.

I’m not opposed to conduit being used outside but would prefer not to see it every time I pull in the driveway.

I also did not want the compressor next to a window in my TV room. How loud are these?
dboeger1
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Re: Mini-split installation

Post by dboeger1 »

I actually just had a 3-zone system installed yesterday and will be getting a separate 1-zone system installed today. Obviously, that's quite a bit more extensive than the single zone you're asking about, but maybe some of this will apply to you.

I recommend getting as many quotes as reasonably possible. Not only were there as many unique proposals on how to install the systems as there were quotes, which would likely be the case regardless of timing, but different brands and installers have been affected differently by the pandemic. Some installers suggested they were having trouble even getting equipment, and the equipment they did get was at really inflated prices. Others, typically the more credentialed ones with direct lines to manufacturers, didn't seem to have any sourcing or pricing issues.

We were undecided between 3-5 zones in total, based on the layout of our house and the sizes of the indoor air handlers. Our quotes ranged from about $8k on the low end for 3 zones to $40k for 5, and price was not at all proportional to number of zones across installers. We ended up going for a 4-zone system for just over $9k, and we had quotes for 3-zone systems up to $28k. That just goes to show how inconsistent the market is for mini-splits in the US. I think a big part of that is that mini-splits are still relatively niche here, as opposed to being the main option in Asia and I believe Europe.

Perhaps the biggest benefit of getting multiple quotes was actually the knowledge we gained of city code requirements, and the ability to coach whoever we chose on various issues they neglected to consider. Literally every single contractor highlighted different code requirements that were new to us, and almost every single one had aspects of their proposal that violated some bit of code that another had mentioned. After collecting a bunch of quotes, we researched the city requirements online to the best of our ability. They were written quite poorly, but we were able to decipher them mostly because of what the various contractors had told us. Meeting code is quite difficult in our case because our house and lot are relatively small with minimal options for drainage, so there are significant constraints. We ended up choosing a contractor based primarily on value and price, but they were clearly on the looser end of trying to satisfy requirements, so we actually ended up instructing them how to do certain things, which they were able to accommodate. Our city inspection isn't for another couple of weeks, so I can't say it has worked out just yet, but we're significantly more confident than we were going into the process, and the contractor has agreed to fix any code violations.

As for vibration, one of the possible ways we could have installed our system(s) is on our flat roof. Most contractors refused to do that because of the potential for vibration. A couple of them did agree to do it, but also warned of the possibility of vibration, which suggests to me that maybe it's not just something the others made up to scare us into going with the easier installation. I doubt it would be that bad, but one of the things we had to consider is that we lived in an attached home, so any vibration could affect our neighbor as well. Our home just has a single story, so running the lines to the air handlers was not such a big deal.

A big part of our installation was the electrical work. Like you, our electrical panel was way on the opposite corner of the house from where the main 3-zone condenser would be. The electrical conduit had to run around the house and behind several gutter drains, and over several other obstacles, as well as avoiding the AC lines that would be installed. This was honestly one of the biggest reasons I didn't bother trying a DIY installation. The electrical work was going to be quite substantial anyway, so the savings would have been minimal, and the contractor we went with charge quite a reasonable amount for the electrical work as part of the overall price structure. It was basically bundled in with the normal equipment cost and then increased only slightly due to the length of the conduit. There was no way I was going to find my own electrician to hook up my amateur DIY installation for that cost. We actually got a quote for a similar installation for about $10k from a guy who was primarily an electrician but also installed mini-splits, and he actually separated out the electrical work in his quote. One of the main reasons we contacted him was because he frequently does the electrical work for DIY MRCOOL systems (I guess that's kind of his niche), so we were considering going that route. His quote for our electrical work alone was something like $4k. He said his material costs had gone way up as a result of supply shortages, and he didn't have a big company or anything so he was just buying the same stuff we could buy at Home Depot. When I added up all the costs of the system plus my time and his electrical work, it just didn't seem to make sense to go DIY in my case. Obviously, your costs may vary, which is why it really is crucial to get a lot of quotes. Let them all know you're comparing quotes too, and they'll start offering you a bunch of little incentives to try to get your business.

Lastly, as far as brands, Mitsubishi seems to be the highest-quality but most expensive. The rest of the major brands seem to be mostly a wash, with various minor pros and cons. Like I said earlier, the various installers had different levels of issues with sourcing and pricing due to the pandemic. Some just flat out refused to take more business, others seemed completely unaffected. Our best quotes ended up coming from the "direct" installers from the brand. I use quotes because most of them are local companies who aren't actually part of the main brand, but for whatever reason, they have some affiliation or certification with the brand, so they get the best access to and prices for equipment. We ended up going with Gree. Oddly enough, none of the other local installers carried Gree, probably because it's the main Chinese national brand and they like to do things their own way, so we only ended up getting a proposal for Gree from calling Gree directly. My wife is from China so we were quite familiar and comfortable with Gree systems in buildings there. I assumed the people who showed up worked directly for Gree because their van and uniforms were entirely covered in Gree branding, and they were all Chinese with only 1 of them able to speak competent English. They clearly cater to Chinese people familiar with the brand. However, we did eventually confirm that they were a local company and were able to install systems from other brands, but they just had a strong affiliation with Gree. I don't know about Gree specifically, but I know it's quite common for Chinese state-owned manufacturers to heavily subsidize products in foreign markets to promote their brands oversees and take over product segments, so maybe that's what's happening here. Once we got the Gree quote, most of the subsequent people we talked to said there was no way they could compete with Gree on price, as their total was less than the cost of equipment for many of the other installers. Similarly, our 2nd-favorite quote was from one of Mitsubishi's "diamond-certified" installers, which you can find on Mitsubishi's web site. It was quite a bit more at a little over $16k, but their proposal was significantly more advanced, as it was a single-condenser 5-zone system based entirely on the roof with condensate pumps for each of the air handlers. This would have been the cleanest installation by far with the most flexibility for wall placement of the air handlers, plus it was the simplest way to meet code requirements, and the Mitsubishi air handlers are supposedly among the quietest which was actually important for us as we're expecting our first baby soon and one of the air handlers is going into the nursery. I was actually very tempted to go with them despite the cost, but my wife was really fixated on the price. The Gree proposal was definitely less luxurious. They're actually installing 2 separate condensers, a 3-zone and a 1-zone, all in our very tight back yard area, and running all the lines along the side of the house. They did a really great job with the 3-zone system yesterday, and it looks very professionally done, so I don't mind any of the conduit, but having 2 big honking condensers on the back patio is a bit of a shame. But hey, I guess that comes with the territory of saving $7k, and it feels great finally having AC in this house. Note that one downside with Gree is that they don't have a fully established service network throughout the US, and their warranty is less flexible as far as covering units serviced by other licensed technicians. If I'm not mistaken, all service has to be done through officially approved Gree technicians, which appear to be concentrated in coastal metro areas, so Gree may not be a great fit for more suburban or rural areas.

Anyway, best of luck in your search. It took us a while to decide what to do. My initial plan was actually to just install window AC units, and that gradually morphed into my wife's desire for a mini-split setup. They are really nifty units once you get them up and running.

PS: Just saw your updated question about noise. I don't have exact noise readings (you can check out technical specs for the units you're considering to get those, but note that the issue of noise will vary depending on your environment and circumstances). Out of curiosity, I just tested it by turning on the unit in the nursery, then going back to the master bedroom. The condenser is pretty much right outside and to the right of the sliding glass door of the master bedroom, which is now open. So the condenser is maybe 5 feet away from me while sitting on the bed, partially obstructed. When I first turned the other unit on, I could just barely hear the condenser fan from the master bedroom. After a minute or so, presumably because that other bedroom had cooled down, the condenser fan actually slowed down and is barely perceptible now. Note that the system would probably get a little bit louder if all the air handlers were on and cooling at the same time, but at that point, it wouldn't matter because the air handler in this room would be louder than the condenser outside. Even then, it wasn't that loud. On the normal setting, it's no louder than a typical room fan. Unfortunately, for our master bedroom in particular, the placement of the air handler is quite suboptimal as a result of the constraints on where we could put it (we have a big sliding glass door that takes up most of the exterior wall, so our air handler is basically in the corner of the room on the interior wall blowing air across the sliding door, so air doesn't really circulate to the rest of the room that efficiently). Therefore, I had to put it on "turbo" mode to really feel the cold air hitting me in the center of the room, and that was a fair bit louder. I don't think this will be a problem in the long run, because the unit should be more than capable of cooling the room if left on for a good amount of time. I was just trying to test it for the first time yesterday and wanted to feel the cold air immediately, so that's why I put it on turbo. If I left it on regular, the room would eventually be cool and it would stay as quiet as a normal fan.
illumination
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Re: Mini-split installation

Post by illumination »

Get several quotes, but this is a really bad time to get anything done HVAC related. If you can put it off, I would.

My experience was the installer wanted around $5,000 in labor just for the install of a mini split. One day install easy for a guest house. I could see exactly how much the equipment cost. It's why so many want to DIY. You can also do something like install everything but let a pro connect the lines and electrical and start it up since that's usually where problems can happen.

In my experience, it seems most traditional places don't want to install them and their way of telling you that is a sky high quote.
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Padlin
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Re: Mini-split installation

Post by Padlin »

I did not read all the above so this may be dupe info.

We got a 14k Mitsubishi installed a couple years ago. Here in western MA I do not find it sufficient for the rooms it was bought for. We have an open floor plan with the unit mounted in the 24x24 family room. In summer it struggles to keep the room in the mid 70's when the afternoon sun hits the big windows, even with the shades drawn. I need to crank up the A/C at the other end of the house at those times. In the winter it works pretty good till it gets to about freezing, need to run the furnace when it drops below that. FWIW, the unit tries to control a roughly 1200 sq' area. I should have pushed for a bigger unit then was recommended.

I wish you could program it based on the outside temp, it would be nice if it would shutdown when it is doing no good.
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hudson
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Re: Mini-split installation

Post by hudson »

chet96 wrote: Tue Sep 14, 2021 9:17 pm Folks:

Anyone care to share their experience having a mini split installed?

It would be for an add-a-room over our attached garage I use as an office. The heating / cooling is poor and I cannot take another winter.

I asked if they could install the compressor in back of the house on or above a flat porch roof. (Closer to power and easier to add a zone in the future for the enclosed porch directly below). I’m getting a lot of pushback saying it will be hard to service and needs to be really flat. It can’t be attached to the house either as it will vibrate. (House is brick).

Their “solution” is to tear out bushes and run lines 2 stories up the side of the house. (Lines would be visible from the street. He said I won’t notice after a while). I asked how they would get it power and was told they would figure it out. (Panel is on the other side of the house with the basement stairway and about 4-5 walls in between).

This is supposedly the best company in town. He did not even look at the electrical panel. It is about full. (This was my Van Halen brown M&M competence check).

The quote was over 8k. Oh boy.
As you know, it pays to shop around. You sound like a candidate for a new service panel. My installer told me that the mini-split ran on 110V and drew very little power.
My mini-split would not pull the moisture down to below 55% humidity; I had to get a dehumidifier.
The controls weren't "smart" enough to maintain 72° in the winter and 78° in the summer. I have to do it manually.
In the spring and fall it takes adjusting.
I asked for an app on my phone...not available.
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Tubes
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Re: Mini-split installation

Post by Tubes »

OP, can't blame you for not wanting the lineset outside. When I got quotes, some contractors insisted it was the only way. I took the higher quote that would work with me putting it in wall.

I know my house, and knew of a dead space chase. It wasn't too hard for them, I think. It went well. Closets are another trick. I've even seen closets used for forced air duct retrofits.
Saving$
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Re: Mini-split installation

Post by Saving$ »

I recently has some HVAC work done. The work required permitting by a licensed HVAC sub so DIY was not an option.
I was astounded at the proposal from the first company. He said in the summer during AC calls, he can take in $1800/day per tech and he only sends them out in pairs, so any work expected to take more than 3 hours is an entire day and costs $3600, no matter the scope. If I could wait until the shoulder season and have it done on short notice on a day they ended up with no other work, they could do it for $2k (almost half).

Ended up finding a company to do it for $2100. It took the guy 5 hours, which included a trip to Lowe's because his shop sent him out with only half the parts (and even those were wrong), even though I listed all the parts in an email. The work involved $100 max in parts. So I paid $400/hour, which covers his office overhead to maintain his license, the truck, the shop overhead and the incompetent shop materials procurement efforts.

The point is HVAC contractors may not be pricing the work for what it is worth, but rather the opportunity cost of turning down other work.
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chet96
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Re: Mini-split installation

Post by chet96 »

Thanks. Great insight.

I was planning to replace the panel but wanted to hold off until we decide on a larger house addition. It can probably fit a 220 breaker but it might be tight. (I think there are 4 open slots but tons of wires because of arc / ground fault breakers).

I need to get this done before winter because the room is just too cold. (They didn’t seem to be that busy, they could install it within a week and the carrier system was in stock.).

I have someone else coming out Monday. I’ll report back. One smaller company has not called back yet.
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LilyFleur
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Re: Mini-split installation

Post by LilyFleur »

chet96 wrote: Wed Sep 15, 2021 1:39 pm Thanks. I thought about doing this myself but it is too big a job. I’m not comfortable punching
holes in brick from a ladder.

I am in PA and it appears HVAC techs are permitted to do electrical. Not ideal.

I’m not opposed to conduit being used outside but would prefer not to see it every time I pull in the driveway.

I also did not want the compressor next to a window in my TV room. How loud are these?
Both of my exterior units are very close to my double-paned patio doors (on separate patios). I never hear the smaller one that is connected to the unit in my living/dining/kitchen area. My upstairs neighbor's floor fan is noisier than my minisplit.

The unit outside my bedroom is larger (connected to two indoor units in the bedrooms). Sometimes I hear it very slightly at night.

I am in California, and I had to pay an electrician to install a larger electrical panel and do the wiring which involved lots of holes in the ceilings of the hallway and three rooms (I'm in a first-floor condo, so I don't have an attic). The exterior pipes were covered with a down-spout type of cover, and were painted to match the exterior paint. Since the ceilings were torn up anyway, I had a bunch of canister lights installed at the same time.

Because I was not allowed to put one exterior unit in the common area, I had to put one on each patio, which made the project cost more.

Where I live, it is quite humid, and a lot of the time, I only run the mini-splits in dehumidify mode, but it makes my condo much more comfortable than before (I had one of those noisy portable air conditioners on wheels that vents to the outside and bumped up my electrical bill significantly.)

I have the Daikin Amura indoor units in the silver finish. They look sleek and European on my gray walls.
Cycle
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Re: Mini-split installation

Post by Cycle »

bhsince87 wrote: Tue Sep 14, 2021 10:18 pm For those of you who have DIYed it, did you use the ones with the pre-charged coolant lines? If not, how did you do it?

Thanks.
I installed two with pre charged. Mr cool. Worked great, cooled whole apartments. Tough to drill the hole through stucco and metal mesh, despite diamond hole saw, plus that was like 25ft in the air on a ladder. I installed directly below so no turns.

I did it myself, put a weight on the hose to help pull the hose through the wall.

The 2nd compressor was mounted above the first one so I had to muscle the thing up a ladder to mount it on the wall. Ladder started to penetrate the earth and tip, so had to put some boards under the legs. Touch and go at that point.

The electrical was pretty easy, just ran along joists in basement and put disconnects outside.

The extra line you just coil up and stash behind the compressor. I also installed nice clean covers for the lines along the building so it looked very professional.

Total cost was $3500. I received three bids all for over $15,000, hence the diy
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Valuethinker
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Re: Mini-split installation

Post by Valuethinker »

chet96 wrote: Wed Sep 15, 2021 9:13 pm Thanks. Great insight.

I was planning to replace the panel but wanted to hold off until we decide on a larger house addition. It can probably fit a 220 breaker but it might be tight. (I think there are 4 open slots but tons of wires because of arc / ground fault breakers).

I need to get this done before winter because the room is just too cold. (They didn’t seem to be that busy, they could install it within a week and the carrier system was in stock.).

I have someone else coming out Monday. I’ll report back. One smaller company has not called back yet.
When you do go for the larger board, think about an EV charger? I expect these will be standard in North American houses within 10 years. i.e. it will be one of those things that incurs a significant discount if the house does not have, because by 2030s at least half of households will have at least 1 car which is EV. Kind of like a dishwasher, now -- if you've ever looked at, say, 1930s houses there wasn't preparation for installing one. (EV charger will require 220V circuit).

Also probably solar panels. Again I think those will be pretty standard (depending upon location, orientation of house re sun, etc).
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Tubes
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Re: Mini-split installation

Post by Tubes »

Valuethinker wrote: Thu Sep 16, 2021 4:16 am
chet96 wrote: Wed Sep 15, 2021 9:13 pm Thanks. Great insight.

I was planning to replace the panel but wanted to hold off until we decide on a larger house addition. It can probably fit a 220 breaker but it might be tight. (I think there are 4 open slots but tons of wires because of arc / ground fault breakers).

I need to get this done before winter because the room is just too cold. (They didn’t seem to be that busy, they could install it within a week and the carrier system was in stock.).

I have someone else coming out Monday. I’ll report back. One smaller company has not called back yet.
When you do go for the larger board, think about an EV charger? I expect these will be standard in North American houses within 10 years. i.e. it will be one of those things that incurs a significant discount if the house does not have, because by 2030s at least half of households will have at least 1 car which is EV. Kind of like a dishwasher, now -- if you've ever looked at, say, 1930s houses there wasn't preparation for installing one. (EV charger will require 220V circuit).

Also probably solar panels. Again I think those will be pretty standard (depending upon location, orientation of house re sun, etc).
I mentioned the EV thing too. Don't know about solar panels, but EV are a definite "yes" and will become important for house resale in the 2030s when we're in a housing slump after baby boomers start dying in massive numbers. No EV outlets, no sale. Worse than having popcorn ceilings.

OP really needs to think about this and can plan for those two inevitable issues and handle some of the electric separately. Perhaps a full panel replacement isn't necessary. Maybe instead spinning off a sub-panel is in order. If the minisplit, proposed home addition, and future EV charger on the other side of the house, then a subpanel over there may make more sense.

BTW, I laughed at the 1930s and dishwasher thing. They still weren't worried about dishwasher circuits until the late 70s. :)
ByThePond
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Re: Mini-split installation

Post by ByThePond »

Yes. I too installed two Mr. Cool units with pre-charged lines last year.

One for each of two floors, with the compressors mounted on the ground. Noiseless to the house.

It was necessary to run the line sets exterior to the building, but they're on a less observed wall and I covered them with 4" plastic downspout fittings. One would take them for ordinary rain leaders except that they emanate from a flat wall. The extra line for the lower unit is coiled behind the compressor. It looks fine for the back of the house.
forgeblast
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Re: Mini-split installation

Post by forgeblast »

We have two mini splits, one that handles 3 rooms one that handles one. both are heat pumps and mitsubishi. The newest ones are so much more energy efficient. It is an investment that we would do over and over again for our house. There is a plastic housing that you can paint, or pre paint that the lines run into.

After seeing and talking to the installers I would use an installer. They tore out about 5 different diy units this year alone by may due to poor install issues.

Luckily we are also in PA we have the highest class installer near us which gave us another 5 years added onto our warranty. If you want the name of our installer pm me ill get it for you. He came to our house measured everything talked to us about how we were going to use it, sized it properly, went over any install issues, and his crew was on time and cleaned up completely.

Our unit is attached to a concrete block basement and sits under our deck. The other sits on a pad behind the house. You do not want to advertise the condensers, as meth heads might want to steal them (its why we put ours in the back, our neighbor house was hit by copper thieves one night a few years ago).
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Tubes
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Re: Mini-split installation

Post by Tubes »

forgeblast wrote: Thu Sep 16, 2021 8:56 am Our unit is attached to a concrete block basement and sits under our deck. The other sits on a pad behind the house. You do not want to advertise the condensers, as meth heads might want to steal them (its why we put ours in the back, our neighbor house was hit by copper thieves one night a few years ago).
Quick story: I was in the local metal recycler's parking lot, and a car stopped on the road. He asks: "Do they require ID?" Me: "Driver's license, license plate and fingerprint if you have coils." He turned his head straight forward and burned out of there! It was funny, but it really wasn't.

It is my state's law. Coils and catalytic converters require the fingerprint. Also law is the cash is dispensed by an ATM-like machine that takes your picture.
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Padlin
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Re: Mini-split installation

Post by Padlin »

Do the Mr Cool DIY units also provide heat? Their web site doesn't say much.
Regards | Bob
hicabob
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Re: Mini-split installation

Post by hicabob »

Padlin wrote: Thu Sep 16, 2021 6:05 pm Do the Mr Cool DIY units also provide heat? Their web site doesn't say much.
All heat pumps supply heat and cooling. Heat works by the same principle as cooling but with a "reverse valve" so the outside is being cooled and the heat is sent to the inside.
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Padlin
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Re: Mini-split installation

Post by Padlin »

hicabob wrote: Thu Sep 16, 2021 6:17 pm
Padlin wrote: Thu Sep 16, 2021 6:05 pm Do the Mr Cool DIY units also provide heat? Their web site doesn't say much.
All heat pumps supply heat and cooling. Heat works by the same principle as cooling but with a "reverse valve" so the outside is being cooled and the heat is sent to the inside.
No they don't. Here's a list of the Mitsubishi's that are cooling only https://www.ecomfort.com/cooling/mitsub ... plits.html
Regards | Bob
talzara
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Re: Mini-split installation

Post by talzara »

Padlin wrote: Thu Sep 16, 2021 6:44 pm
hicabob wrote: Thu Sep 16, 2021 6:17 pm
Padlin wrote: Thu Sep 16, 2021 6:05 pm Do the Mr Cool DIY units also provide heat? Their web site doesn't say much.
All heat pumps supply heat and cooling. Heat works by the same principle as cooling but with a "reverse valve" so the outside is being cooled and the heat is sent to the inside.
No they don't. Here's a list of the Mitsubishi's that are cooling only https://www.ecomfort.com/cooling/mitsub ... plits.html
A unit that cannot run in reverse is called an air conditioner, not a heat pump.

All MRCOOL DIY mini-splits are heat pumps. The company also sells air conditioners, but not the DIY mini-splits.

Here is the catalog. The DIY heat pumps are on pp. 1-4, and the air conditioners start on page 17: https://mrcool.com/wp-content/dox_repo/ ... -en-01.pdf
martiansteeler
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Re: Mini-split installation

Post by martiansteeler »

They can do a roof install and prevent vibration. I had a 30k BTU Mitsubishi unit installed on a roof 4 stories up and it is broadside to the Ocean (about 6 miles inland) on the top of Potrero Hill in San Francisco. Most afternoons I have 20 mph winds with gusts into the 30s. I’ve had 45 mph sustained winds in winter storms. Thing never moves. It doesn’t vibrate when it runs (it is just above SO’s study, no attic). I have a second 36K BTU Mitsubishi unit installed on the ground level for the two lower stories with in ceiling slim cassettes that fit between the normal floor joists.

There was a question about the panel and hoping to squeeze a 220V breaker into one. Be aware they need to run a 220V line and a 110V. The 220V is for the unit and the 110V is for an outlet for servicing.

Find someone to run everything inside..helps if you know where things are bending the drywall, etc. much, much cleaner install.

If you are in Western PA and need an intro to a Diamond Dealer, let me know.
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