Mini split room air conditioners.

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opos

Buckeye
Joined
Oct 31, 2009
Messages
1,147
Curious if anyone has experience with the "minisplit" room air conditioners? I have a bedroom that get's awfully hot...we do not have central air as the rest of the house is fine with a window style air conditioner and a couple of fans...we don't have an attic so duct work is out...windows in the bedroom are sliding side to side so a window style air conditioner won't work there or I'd just install one.

I've seen the Mitsubisi (sp) and the Fujitsu described. Just curious if they are a good deal or not...I've also heard of folks with "portable room air conditioners" but also heard you have to dump water out of them now and then and that they can leak water..

Any thoughts or help much appreciated..where I live it get's hot in the afternoon and then cools pretty well at night..only one room affected as it's on the south west corner of the house and gets the afternoon sun blasting on it. we don't have any issues at all from about October through June

Thanks
 

Pat-inCO

Hawkeye
Joined
Oct 17, 2009
Messages
5,533
opos said:
...windows in the bedroom are sliding side to side so a window style air conditioner won't work there or I'd just install one.
Mine are side sliding and I have ones in two windows.

I made a bracket that fits over the bottom rail to have a more stable base
for the A/C unit, then cut a piece of plywood to just fit in the opening left
by the A/C unit (my windows have a slot in them and I use plywood that is
narrow enough to fit inside the slot [5/16" I think]). I then painted the
plywood so any rain would not warp it and then used self tapping screw to
hold the window closed (locked?).

Been using that process for years, zero problems and keeps things quite
nice inside. :D
 

opos

Buckeye
Joined
Oct 31, 2009
Messages
1,147
Any chance you could e mail me a pic of the kind of "bracket" you made? I can p/m you my e mail address if you could...that would be much appreciated...I've always thought there must be a way for the side sliders and lots of folks have them...I see Northern Colorado....I lived in Fort Collins many years ago..great country.
 

Poprivit

Bearcat
Joined
Aug 23, 2011
Messages
37
The Japanese split systems only require a small hole be drilled through the wall for the piping and wiring from the evaporator (indoor fan) to the condensing unit (compressor) outside. They run on a wireless controller and are MUCH quieter than a window shaker. Plus, they don't plug up a window, and the only maintenance required is cleaning the air filter. Sizes are in BTUs, and run from 1500 BTU to almost 12,000BTU. They can be set for time, adjusted to swing the louvers, and temperature adjusted - all from the remote controller that can be left on a table, or mounted on the wall.
 

Coogs

Maximum
Joined
Feb 26, 2008
Messages
1,152
Most ALL manufacturers of Mini splits are Asian in origin. One, if you are not going to install it yourself make sure your dealer supports the product , i.e. parts, and that he will take care of the warranty. I am the most familiar with the Lennox branded products. The MS8C is a cooling only, available in single unit sizes up to 25,000 Btu ( 2 tons) cooling. The MS8H is a heat pump unit available in single unit sizes up to 30,000 Btu (2 1/2 tons) Cooling. My experience with these has taught me that for any brand you choose, STAY AWAY for the little micro condensate pump! Make sure you do a gravity drain. Those little pumps are a maintenance issue. And you get SEER (seasonal energy efficiency ratio) up to 22.00 Which is WAY more efficient than a window unit. Hope this helps, Coogs.
 

Zorba

Bearcat
Joined
Oct 2, 2013
Messages
91
Best part of them is that you can zone your house, unlike a wasteful central system. Today's "open floorplans" nullify this advantage to a large degree though, but if your situation is right...
 

Pat-inCO

Hawkeye
Joined
Oct 17, 2009
Messages
5,533
opos said:
Any chance you could e mail me a pic of the kind of "bracket" you made?
Sure, but let me describe it and then, if you need it, I'll send a pic.

I took a piece of 2x4 cut to the same dimension as the A/C unit is wide.
Shimmed it with pieces of 1x4 shaved (on the table saw) to the angle
needed for the outside window casement. Used a piece of 1x4, flat on
the inside ledge, and anchored it with two deck screws. Ran two pieces
of plumbers strapping (metal with 1/4" holes down the length) to hold
the outside to inside (ran it in an X to keep them from sliding side to side).
I anchor the . . inside . . only. That saves having to drill holes in the
outside casement (holes that are not drilled, can't leak later :D ).

That made mine just the height of the bottom window rail, thus the A/C
unit sits on top and ends up with a quite stable base. I then use the
anchor brackets (usually supplied by the A/C manufacturer) to anchor
the A/C unit to the inside bracket. Piece of cake. :D
OOooops! Almost forgot, I leave enough space for the two "legs" on the
front of the A/C unit to slide down in to, between the window case and
the anchored bracket.. That, with the plywood cut to . . just . . fit,
provides additional security.

I'll go over and take a picture of the two units I'm about to put in. My
daughter and her crew arrive Saturday and I put in two additional units
for their comfort, so it should be easy to see/visualize. I'll also do a pic of
one of them already installed so you can see the "finished" product.

Drop a PM with your E-mail address.

Pat

P.S. Have them on my cell phone, so if you like I can send them that way.
What ever works for you. :D
 

opos

Buckeye
Joined
Oct 31, 2009
Messages
1,147
I think from your description and a couple I just recently saw on Youtube I can figure it out...going to do some measuring and then look at units...the Mini split idea is appealing but it's kind of expensive for just limited use a few times a year...the casement window units and nice and no modificaton to windows but again they are at least double the cost of a standard unit..it's on a bedroom that is not visible from the street or main yard...sort of tucked in around the corner so the appearnace for when it would be in use is not a big factor...

Thanks for the offer of pics but again...Sounds like I can do a little figuring and probably come up with something that would be solid..

Thanks to the other folks that weighed in with the thoughts...I'm going to go up to Home Depot and look at the split mini systems they have and we have a good plumbing and a/c place nearby so I'll do some checking there too..fortunately it isn't too hot here yet...we have had lots of rain and maybe more on the way..very unsettled weather in Baja and we are right at the top..

Thanks again
 

blume357

Hawkeye
Joined
Nov 15, 2005
Messages
8,556
Coogs,

I'm looking for new cooling and back up heat for our bedroom.
Can you send a link to the best systems (both cool and heat) for about 300 square ft.... cooling wise we could get by with 5k btus but were looking at around a 10-12,000 btu window unit... seems like the split system would be better depending on the cost.... my real question is the installation and how you do this 'yourself'.
 

Coogs

Maximum
Joined
Feb 26, 2008
Messages
1,152
Blume, mini splits are much more costly than a window a/c. You can get window heat pump units as well as window a/c's with electric heat in them. Do it yourself for a mini split? Well, just depends on how mechanically declined you are. Most manufacturers use flare instead of sweat connections, so that is not too bad. Getting a dealer and/or wholesaler to sell you some "good" equipment may be a different story. If your thing is carpentry you may want to look into a "P-TAC" unit (packaged terminal air conditioner) Like you see in hotels, console units usually mounted under the windows, cut a hole, frame it out, install a sleeve in the wall, run your wire, slide the unit in and plug it in. There again, not a unit you necessarily see for sale at a big box store. Your saying 5,000 Btu cool would do ya? What part of the country do you live in? Up north here, to me anyways, 5,000 in a bedroom is just enough to make it somewhat agreeable. Also depends on how much glass in the room, which way ya face, brick or frame construction. Now if you live with a "change of life" woman, you best be lookin' a little bigger than 5,000 Btu's. Trust me, I'm speaking from DIRECT experience here.If you want to check out the Lennox minisplits check Davenet.com
Hope this helps ya. Cogs.
 

Paul B

Buckeye
Joined
Dec 4, 1999
Messages
1,550
I have no idea what a mini split room air condition is but I do know evaporative coolers, slanged "swamp coolers" Used one for 10 years in Nevada and 36 years here in Arizona. Work just fine as long as it's hot and DRY. Humidity goes up and they don't work worth spit. I only mention this as I saw a few comments about water. after way too many years sweating during our summer rainy season and after slightly damaging my lungs during my last elk hunt, the wife and I decided to spring for a full blown A/C system. The one thing we've noticed more than anything else is we're not sneezing much. Our water here is very alkaline and the fine white alkali power from the cooler not only got all over everything but aggravate our allergies.
Yes, it was expensive as hell but worth every penny spent. The electric bill is not so nice though, about double. Guess you can't have everything. :roll:
Paul B.
 

blume357

Hawkeye
Joined
Nov 15, 2005
Messages
8,556
Swamp cooler won't work here.... humidity right now is probably around 85%... folks from out west come to S.C. and say they never knew you could actually breath water. My wife really doesn't want to put a unit in the wall... I thought one of the T-Pac units would be a good idea but she decided against one.... So, we are back to a window unit that cools and heats.... but I was thinking one of the mini-split units might not be a bad idea if I could install it. I'm pretty mechanically inclined... just don't know how one does the refrigerant juice and make sure it is right. I'll check them out.

Just looked at the Lenox one and it seems there were two problems..... water running down the wall in high humidity and it doesn't work below 10 degrees.... is a heat pump and so the last one is a 'duh?" don't folks understand how a heat pump works.... and why it won't at that temp? But I am concerned about the condensation issue.... that may be part of the comment about gravity feed and not a mini pump.
 

opos

Buckeye
Joined
Oct 31, 2009
Messages
1,147
blume357 said:
Swamp cooler won't work here.... humidity right now is probably around 85%... folks from out west come to S.C. and say they never knew you could actually breath water. My wife really doesn't want to put a unit in the wall... I thought one of the T-Pac units would be a good idea but she decided against one.... So, we are back to a window unit that cools and heats.... but I was thinking one of the mini-split units might not be a bad idea if I could install it. I'm pretty mechanically inclined... just don't know how one does the refrigerant juice and make sure it is right. I'll check them out.

Just looked at the Lenox one and it seems there were two problems..... water running down the wall in high humidity and it doesn't work below 10 degrees.... is a heat pump and so the last one is a 'duh?" don't folks understand how a heat pump works.... and why it won't at that temp? But I am concerned about the condensation issue.... that may be part of the comment about gravity feed and not a mini pump.

There is a you tube on installing a mini split from "this old house" series..it at least shows the basics of how it goes together...were I a bit younger and not so "beat up" I'd probably give it a shot...does not look too difficult with the one they are installing.
 

rjwinz

Bearcat
Joined
May 24, 2015
Messages
77
A typical mini-split installation, 18,000 BTU, costs about 3,500-4,000 around here. Not cheap but very nice. I have a heat pump version which heats down to 30 or so. During the summer I keep it on "dry" instead of a/c and that takes care of most days - that's in a solid brick walled structure though. They are super quiet which is the big selling point and very economical to operate. Of course you could buy a lot of window units for that kind of money so YMMV.
 

coach

Hunter
Joined
Aug 28, 2007
Messages
3,485
I don't believe any are DIY installations, so that adds to the cost. Some can share the same outdoor unit so the cost can come down if more than one indoor unit is needed.
From the sound of what you have and need, the window unit is much cheaper.
 

eveled

Hunter
Joined
Apr 3, 2012
Messages
3,663
They also offer back up heat. Which is nice if your primary non electric source goes down.
 

AlexG

Bearcat
Joined
Jul 28, 2015
Messages
1
We design a lot of homes with mini-splits and found the efficiency and the ability to really zone creates overwhelming value. And if a ducted system were actually put in correctly and it was balanced correctly the owner would probably complain when you told them they were not allowed to put furniture where they wanted to make it work correctly. If you look at a project and start using interior walls put the heads where they work and not right where they look. We actually took several homes and found out the space a head takes up verses the white space of grill covers on a ducted system averages almost 65% less to look at just depends at what you are looking for.
 

Chuckbuster II

Single-Sixer
Joined
Aug 24, 2014
Messages
269
Just a thought, the split unit not really a new idea. They were built and sold back at least into the 70's that I know of. Guess my point is (if I have one) since they really are not new, must be something to the design for them to still being around/being reinvented nowadays.
 

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