mini split a/c / heat pumps - suggestions? - Page 2 - AVS Forum
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post #31 of 51 Old 06-27-2010, 05:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chiltown View Post

I currently have the Mr. Slim and like it. Very quiet. I however would recommend getting the unit with the highest SEER. Don't just consider upfront costs and focus on total cost of ownership.

The impact of the SEER rating largely depends on how often the unit is used. In the 9 months I've been using my theater, I can count the number of times i ran the mini-split on two hands. And even then it was only run for an hour or two. We're talking pennies worth of difference in overall energy consumption.

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post #32 of 51 Old 06-27-2010, 07:00 AM
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My mini split will run frequently during a movie but is pretty quiet. I have to run mine on "Dry" mode though, for some reason in cool mode the fan runs constantly even when the compressor is off. In Dry mode the unit will shut down periodically then start up slowly. Rinse repeat. Don't know why this is, the manual is the worst. I have a Haier model.
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post #33 of 51 Old 06-27-2010, 02:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cathan View Post

They were designed to live outside. Where is your main AC unit sitting? I wouldn't stress about it.


Yes. They compressor can sit outside without an issue.

However, trying to run it in cold weather will damage it over time unless it is specially modified. AC compressors do best when there is a lot of heat around - not cold.

There are more than a handful of [op amps] that sound so good that most designers want to be using them as opposed to discreet transistors. Dave Reich, Theta 2009
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post #34 of 51 Old 06-27-2010, 03:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thebland View Post

Yes. They compressor can sit outside without an issue.

However, trying to run it in cold weather will damage it over time unless it is specially modified. AC compressors do best when there is a lot of heat around - not cold.

I had the cold weather mod installed in mine. It basically lets AC work while it's freezing outside.

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post #35 of 51 Old 06-27-2010, 07:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cathan View Post

They were designed to live outside. Where is your main AC unit sitting? I wouldn't stress about it.

The worry wart in me neglected to even think of my normal AC units (two of them no less) sitting outside . Thanks Cathan.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thebland View Post

Yes. They compressor can sit outside without an issue.

However, trying to run it in cold weather will damage it over time unless it is specially modified. AC compressors do best when there is a lot of heat around - not cold.

Hmmm. I'll have to follow up with my AC guy on that one. I'm unsure of that cold mode thing. However, I do not think I will need to run in the HT during the winter time. I don't recall having to last winter.
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post #36 of 51 Old 06-27-2010, 10:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thebland View Post

Yes. They compressor can sit outside without an issue.

However, trying to run it in cold weather will damage it over time unless it is specially modified. AC compressors do best when there is a lot of heat around - not cold.

The inverter based Mits units can operate in lower ambient temps than standard units. There is a kit that allows lower temps than the standard units.

Unrelated to the outside temp issue is the variable capacity nature of the inverter based units. This allows for quieter operation since they can cycle down to 30% or so of full capacity. It also has the benefit of allowing better moisture removal than traditional units. Since a lot of the load bodies in a room generate is the moisture from respiration this is a very desirable quality for a home theater cooling system.
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post #37 of 51 Old 06-30-2010, 07:47 PM
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I have a Friedrich 12K BTU unit cooling in AZ and it works very well in my converted garage 20' x 16'. I also put down radiant barrier and insulation in the attic space above the room that helped as well.

Before both of these, my room would be 95 degrees in the afternoon on one of our typical 110 degree Summer days. The radiant barrier and insulation brought that down to about 85 degrees. I use the mini-split to get down another 5-7 degrees which is fine for low humidity AZ.

Friedrich is a quality product and recommended. Just make sure you get someone who knows how to install them properly. My first installer put it in upside down and all the freon leaked out 3-4 times, fortunately at his expense. Also make sure you install a line from the A/C back outside to drain any condensation or evaporation.

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post #38 of 51 Old 06-30-2010, 10:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alougher View Post

I just installed my split system and am having a condensation issue on the inside unit. Basically it looks like that when we poked the pipes and drainage tube through the wall it pulled off some of the inuslation that was wrapped around the coils. Since everything is now connected I'm reluctant to pull the unit back out. My HVAC guy said just to spray insulation foam around it. Anyone know if this would be okay?

You're getting condensation b/c the unit is cold and the ambient air is warm and humid. So the moisture is condensing onto the unit housing (at least that's how I understand your post). There is only 1 thing that will fix this: eliminate the temperature differential b/w the housing and the ambient air. You can achieve this two ways: (1) insulate the housing so that it's no longer cold and (2) reduce the ambient air temperature/humidity. The longer the unit runs, the lower the temperature differential will be b/w the housing and ambient air -- but it will never be so low that you eliminate condensation. Humidity will be reduced significantly, so as long as you run the unit all the time (vs. turning it on only when theater is used), you should see a reduction in the condensation. By far it would be more effective to insulate the unit housing. Try to take the housing off and wrap the interior of the housing with some fiberglass insulation. Owens 701 would be good, it's flexible and you can get it in 1 inch thickness. Or try duct wrap, that's what it's made for (reduce condensation on duct lines).
I would totally not recommend you spray foam in there. The unit needs to draw air into the housing (it basically works by sucking in ambient air and expelling it through the cold fan coil). If you spray the inside of the unit with expanding foam, you are going to gum up everything. You can also call tech support of the manufacturer and ask them for advice.
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post #39 of 51 Old 06-30-2010, 10:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thebland View Post

AC compressors do best when there is a lot of heat around - not cold.

No! AC rejects heat from the interior (house) to the outside. When it is hot outside, it is more difficult to reject heat into a hot environment. It is very easy (efficient) to reject heat into a cold environment. Most A/C units aren't designed to operate when it's freezing outside b/c no one runs a/c during cold weather. Heat pumps however that run in cold weather have the opposite problem (they are rejecting cold from the house into the outside, which is cold) -- so when they run in cold weather, the coil will freeze. That's why they have a special cycle that will actually heat the coil sporadically.

If you are installing a mini split heat pump into your theater and want to heat the theater in the winter, I'm pretty sure the heat pump will work (though it won't be very efficient). But why would you want to run a/c in winter? (I assume you are in a climate that has a winter), not Florida or some other warm place.
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post #40 of 51 Old 07-02-2010, 05:52 AM
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For those with mini splits and with your equipment in your room, do you leave yours on all the time even when your room is not in use?
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post #41 of 51 Old 07-02-2010, 06:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hardmoneylender View Post

But why would you want to run a/c in winter? (I assume you are in a climate that has a winter), not Florida or some other warm place.

It doesn't matter the time of year. After a couple of hours in a sealed room with six adults, my room gets warm.

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post #42 of 51 Old 07-02-2010, 06:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alougher View Post

For those with mini splits and with your equipment in your room, do you leave yours on all the time even when your room is not in use?

No equipment in the room, so I don't entirely fit your question, but I'll answer it anyway. If no one is in the room and no equipment is running, there is no need run the AC.

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post #43 of 51 Old 07-02-2010, 06:34 AM
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That's what I thought. I only have two small Acer nettop computers running 24/7 so seems a waste to run the A/C all the time. Mind you the machines are idling the entire time and are not in use until I'm using the room (they are media servers).
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post #44 of 51 Old 07-02-2010, 06:39 AM
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Yep. All I do is keep the theater door open for ventilation.

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post #45 of 51 Old 07-02-2010, 06:59 AM
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To run one in the winter, you need a crank case heater. The issue is oil migration, not really the compressor (but in an indirect way). By putting the unit in the basement your keeping it out of the elements. Sun and ran damage is mostly cosmetic, but can eventually ruin a motor that becomes unsealed. No worries about putting it outside.
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post #46 of 51 Old 07-02-2010, 06:40 PM
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Its a heat pump of sorts right? Therefore its effeciency is based on outside air temp. The air temp in Jeff's basement is cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter making the unit more effecient. If I'm correct that probably has more benefit than weather protection.

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post #47 of 51 Old 08-05-2010, 05:04 PM
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Didn't think it was necessary to open a new thread, so I'll tag along on this one...

I'm in the Atlanta area and my HT is above a separate garage with no HVAC. HT size is ~210 sq ft. Right now I have a 12K BTU rated Edgestar portable unit. The manual states it will cool up to 400 sq ft. It is entirely unsuitable for HT needs (too noisy), and struggles to barely cool the room. There's tons of online reviews stating this unit sucks for various reasons.

To be fair, the room does get crazy hot in the afternoon/evening to 110+ degrees.

So, here's the direction I think I'm going. I'm looking at a mini split to cool this room. All the literature/calculators/guidance I've read state I can go with a 9k btu mini split, but being that the old edgestar clunker was rated at 12k and couldn't keep up has me worried. Guess I may be comparing apples to oranges (mini split vs portable unit).

I'm leaning toward buying a higher rated unit (12k) with the DC inverter (supposedly prevents from buying an "over sized" unit.)

Thoughts and feedback appreciated.

Finally, anyone with the LG art series: working well for you?
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post #48 of 51 Old 08-05-2010, 05:46 PM
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Where's your equipment (in the room)? Projector in the room? How many seats are in the room? How well insulated? (And, for the record, 9K BTUS won't cut it ... particularly with the humidity in Atlanta).

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post #49 of 51 Old 08-05-2010, 06:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Erskine View Post

Where's your equipment (in the room)? Projector in the room? How many seats are in the room? How well insulated? (And, for the record, 9K BTUS won't cut it ... particularly with the humidity in Atlanta).

Thanks for the quick reply Dennis. I guess I did leave out some important information.

The equipment is built into a recessed (in the wall) cabinet toward the back of the room (built in fans draw/exhaust air out of the back of the cabinet.)

The projector is ceiling mounted.

There are 5 seats in the room. However, 90% of the time it occupies 2 adults.

There is zero shade for the garage.

Insulation: R-19 fiberglass. It's not an air tight room by any stretch.

It's a fairly humble set up. Nothing high end that would crush me if it were to prematurely fail due to heat. That aside, having the Boeing 767 HVAC unit running constantly during a movie is unbearable.
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post #50 of 51 Old 04-20-2013, 08:28 PM
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My garage has been turned into a home theater. It's nice but it gets WAY too hot during the summer here in Los Angeles, and the portable air conditioning unit in here simply struggles to keep the room cool when the garage door is closed. This is not only due to the hot weather outside, but the hot air blowing out of my BenQ Projector. Those two factors make the room hot.

I have a Soleus portable AC that delivers 12,000 BTU but I get the feeling it simply doesn't deliver that amount of cooling power...certainly doesn't feel like it.

I seriously would like to replace this unit and get someone new. Does a Mini split unit sound like a big improvement and a major step up from the Soleus AC I'm currently using?
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post #51 of 51 Old 04-22-2013, 03:08 PM
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For what it's worth, here is my experience so far wit my mini-split:

I bought a Bon-Aire branded unit off an eBay vendor several years ago. Its a China made unit. I installed it myself and it is mounted in the rear sofit inside the theater room. Right behind my theater room is my A/V room and where my rack and all equipment (except projector) is located. The noise of the unit running is acceptable but it does make a noticeable sound when running inside my dedicated theater. My regret is that I wish I would have placed it in the A/V room and just left a vent on the marriage wall to the theater room. Now here is the weird part, my dedicated theater is super insulated and sealed up AND in the basement. The ambient temp is about 65 degrees in the basement and we almost always turn the heat on and never run the AC! Now if and when we fill the theater to capacity, I would imagine the AC will be needed but for my family of 4, we are heating the room instead. Usually, during the course of a 2 hour movie and the heat ON, the room temp is about 74 by the time the movie is over.

Now keep in mind that I do not keep the unit on when we are not in the room. If I kept it at 70-72 year round, I would imagine the AC would be needed fairly soon into a movie.

Just another take on the minisplit.
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