mini split a/c / heat pumps - suggestions? - AVS Forum
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Old 05-03-2010, 06:09 PM - Thread Starter
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I searched and found a few threads discussing mini split units, which gave me some good candidates I hadn't considered - but looking for some additional advice and/or good/bad experiences with specific models.

Here's my situation: I live in Southern California, my room will be 400 sq ft, detached (1/2 of 4 car garage). So I think that means about 1000 BTU. Would prefer 115v, but can run 230v if necessary. Most important factors to me are: quietness; efficiency; reliability; price.

So far, here's the candidates I'm trying to narrow down:

Mitsubishi "Mr. Slim" MSA09WA / MUA09WA
LG LS092HE
GE AE0RD10AM, AE1RD10AM
Sanyo 09KHS71
Ramsond R26GW
LG LA095HV
Fujitsu 9RL
LG "Art Cool" LAN091HNP

Any thoughts?
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Old 05-03-2010, 06:21 PM
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Pound for pound after during research I went with the Grunaire mini split... It is comparable to the Mitsu units in quality and considerably cheaper. I have them being delivered now so I can't tell you any more than I did a bunch of research and hope ti pays off.... Good luck.
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Old 05-03-2010, 07:00 PM
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You may want to spend the $50 for this software and to the proper calculations to ensure you have the correct size unit for the room
http://www.hvaccomputer.com/gtarget1...FZ9K5wod9XWRAg
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Old 05-04-2010, 08:34 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks guys for the response so far, I'll look into those,

Anyone heard of the Ramsond I mentioned? Inexpensive, but haven't seen anything pro or con based on some searching.
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Old 05-04-2010, 08:37 AM
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My room is a lot smaller and I had an engineer come out to calculate the BTU. For a 250sq ft. room I needed about 13,000 BTU so I went with a 1 ton system. A local Haeir dealer was offering them for $675 which is the cheapest I've seen them.
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Old 05-04-2010, 09:04 AM
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I have the Mr. Slim that puts out about 1000 BTU of cooling. That is enough for cooling a room with 7 people (max number of chairs) and the projector. If I had any equipment in the room I would have needed more. It is quiet. You can't hear the unit running except when the projector is off and there is absolutely no sound in the room. During movie watching it is basically invisible to the ear.

Make sure you plan for the condensation drainage. My mini-pump is in it's own soundproof box.




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Old 05-13-2010, 12:36 PM
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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?
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Old 05-13-2010, 03:25 PM
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If you can GUARANTEE to get the insulation on all of the exposed area..then yea it will work. However, if you spray a ton of foam in there and it fills up the cavity but there is still a spot or two that does not have insulation....then you are going to have to rip everything out and start over...

Sooooo you may want to try spraying some foam first if your only other option is tearing it out but take your time and do it right...you may even want to drill a small hole or two from another angle to make sure you can hit all sides of the pipe.
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Old 05-13-2010, 05:30 PM
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anybody found any of these units in black? white won't do well in my home theater
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Old 05-13-2010, 06:39 PM
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having a condensation issue on the inside unit.

There is only one way to resolve that issue and that is to do it right. If spray foam was the answer, they'd come that way.

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Old 06-22-2010, 09:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wrong Hombre View Post

anybody found any of these units in black? white won't do well in my home theater

I just purchased the art cool model from lg. It's not completely black, but it looks better than most units. Depending on the size of the unit, you can even get the indoor unit in a picture frame style.
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Old 06-22-2010, 11:20 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ka[]e[] View Post

I just purchased the art cool model from lg. It's not completely black, but it looks better than most units. Depending on the size of the unit, you can even get the indoor unit in a picture frame style.

Have you installed it yet? If so, how is the noise level to your ears?

I'm still waffling between the LG ArtCool and the Mitsubishi Mr. Slim - the former looks nicer and runs on 110v for the 12,000 BTU unit (which I have already pulled to the planned mounting location); the latter according to specs looks to be quieter, but doesn't look as nice, and may require 220v.
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Old 06-22-2010, 02:12 PM
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Forgive my ignorance, but are these mini splits being installed within your HT? Is there a better way to install them in sound isolated rooms?

Current HT: HTPC-->Epson 5010 projector-->135" screen, BFM TLAHs x7 & THT
Build log: DIY rotary sub for contemporary HT in 100 year old house?
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Old 06-22-2010, 02:57 PM
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I have a Mitsubishi heat pump in my theater. I painted it black and with the lights down it cannot be seen. It is nearly dead quiet, the only time it makes noticeable noise is when the condensate pump kicks on which is not that often.
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Old 06-23-2010, 10:07 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AndreasMergner View Post

Forgive my ignorance, but are these mini splits being installed within your HT? Is there a better way to install them in sound isolated rooms?

Yes, in an HT. If you are working with a room that is connected to your house's central A/C unit, or that can be extended to it, that's usually the first choice. However in my case (and I'm sure others), that's not practical (my HT is in 1/2 of a detached garage, 60 ft or so from the house). The next best thing (that I'm aware of) is adding a dedicated mini split A/C unit to the room. A mini split A/C unit puts the noisy compressor outside, and the relatively quiet (in theory) fan unit inside. The connection between the two pieces is via a relatively small hole (a couple inches) in the wall to the outside.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HendersonD View Post

I have a Mitsubishi heat pump in my theater. I painted it black and with the lights down it cannot be seen. It is nearly dead quiet, the only time it makes noticeable noise is when the condensate pump kicks on which is not that often.

Thanks, I've seen several people have success with the Mr. Slim units, glad to hear its working well for you.

Anyone have any first hand experience with the LG Art Cool? If not, I guess I may be the first guinea pig.
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Old 06-23-2010, 11:29 AM
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Thanks for the info Brad and HendersonD. I'm trying to figure out how I'm going to cool my new HT.

Do you still have an air exchange as well? If you have a well sealed HT room you still need that, correct? ...and if you have air exchange, you'll likely use a dead vent to keep sound in since you have sealed it well.

Is there anything other than a whole house AC that can be ducted/vented into a HT?

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Old 06-23-2010, 01:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad Horstkotte View Post

Have you installed it yet? If so, how is the noise level to your ears?

I'm still waffling between the LG ArtCool and the Mitsubishi Mr. Slim - the former looks nicer and runs on 110v for the 12,000 BTU unit (which I have already pulled to the planned mounting location); the latter according to specs looks to be quieter, but doesn't look as nice, and may require 220v.

Brad, I've got the LG ArtCool. On low, it is quiet enough, however, be forewarned that on high (usually once I set the temp at 72 or lower - it alternates between high and low thereafter) it is loud. I was surprised at how loud it was on the high fan. Aesthetically, however, I think it's the best looking one.
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Old 06-23-2010, 02:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by queendvd2 View Post

Brad, I've got the LG ArtCool. On low, it is quiet enough, however, be forewarned that on high (usually once I set the temp at 72 or lower - it alternates between high and low thereafter) it is loud. I was surprised at how loud it was on the high fan. Aesthetically, however, I think it's the best looking one.

Thanks Queendvd2, that helps a lot - trying to decide what would bug me more long term, I'm thinking I'd get used to the appearance and might be able to mask that somehow - paint, etc. - but the sound impact would probably bother me more.
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Old 06-23-2010, 02:34 PM
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Brad, once I figured out my unit (instructions were awful) I don't even notice it anymore, this thing is VERY quiet. I'm pretty sure you can spray paint it but I would be more concerned about voiding warranty etc.

Cheers.
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Old 06-23-2010, 05:07 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cathan View Post

I have the Mr. Slim that puts out about 1000 BTU of cooling. That is enough for cooling a room with 7 people (max number of chairs) and the projector. If I had any equipment in the room I would have needed more.

Did you mean 9000? 10000? 12000? Can you tell I'm a little nervous about this part of the build?

Did you DIY your install, or have it professionally installed? Or somewhere in between (have an HVAC guy just do the line pressurization / final test)?
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Old 06-23-2010, 05:08 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by alougher View Post

Brad, once I figured out my unit (instructions were awful) I don't even notice it anymore, this thing is VERY quiet. I'm pretty sure you can spray paint it but I would be more concerned about voiding warranty etc.

Cheers.

Same question as for Cathan - did you do the install yourself, or hire an HVAC guy to do it?
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Old 06-23-2010, 05:38 PM
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I've been in two theaters with the Mitsubishi, both were very quiet.
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Old 06-24-2010, 05:04 AM
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Make sure you put the compressor in your basement so as to extend its life (if you're able)...


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Old 06-24-2010, 05:20 AM
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Jeff, I've seen that picture before and wondered how hot does that room get with the compressor inside?
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Old 06-24-2010, 05:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad Horstkotte View Post

Did you mean 9000? 10000? 12000? Can you tell I'm a little nervous about this part of the build?

Did you DIY your install, or have it professionally installed? Or somewhere in between (have an HVAC guy just do the line pressurization / final test)?

That was a typo. I meant around 10k BTU.

Putting it in isn't hard, but I did have a pro do the final hook up. The part that took the longest was getting the condensation pump i bought to work. The tiny one just wasn't working so I got a more beefy stand unit.

When it's just my wife and I we don't run the unit. With four people in the room we have to run it after the first movie. With a full room I need to turn it on about 30 minutes in. Makes less noise than the projector in the hush box. And from my seat I can't hear it at all.

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Old 06-24-2010, 06:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIGmouthinDC View Post

Jeff, I've seen that picture before and wondered how hot does that room get with the compressor inside?

Hardly hot at all. The warm air blown out is minimal - it's not hot at all. It is a 1 ton unit (10000 BTU) and is used in my equipment room. The open space in the basement dissipates it completely. It isn't the quietest but it is near a furnace so, it blends right in. Winters just kill AC compressors so I decided to have it installed inside.

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Old 06-25-2010, 05:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cathan View Post

That was a typo. I meant around 10k BTU.

Putting it in isn't hard, but I did have a pro do the final hook up. The part that took the longest was getting the condensation pump i bought to work. The tiny one just wasn't working so I got a more beefy stand unit.

When it's just my wife and I we don't run the unit. With four people in the room we have to run it after the first movie. With a full room I need to turn it on about 30 minutes in. Makes less noise than the projector in the hush box. And from my seat I can't hear it at all.

Thanks Cathan (I live on Cathann Street, so um yeah). I don't think I'll need to worry about the condensation, I should be able to run it through the wall to the outside. Good to know its quiet, definitely leaning towards biting the bullet and running 220v to the location and going with the Mr. Slim, even if it isn't as purty as the Art Cool.
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Old 06-25-2010, 08:22 PM
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Originally Posted by thebland View Post

Hardly hot at all. The warm air blown out is minimal - it's not hot at all. It is a 1 ton unit (10000 BTU) and is used in my equipment room. The open space in the basement dissipates it completely. It isn't the quietest but it is near a furnace so, it blends right in. Winters just kill AC compressors so I decided to have it installed inside.

Hmmm, should I be considering covering mine during the winter months? If so, just some tarp or something? Mine is outside like a giant billboard for LG.
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Old 06-25-2010, 09:05 PM
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Originally Posted by queendvd2 View Post

Hmmm, should I be considering covering mine during the winter months? If so, just some tarp or something? Mine is outside like a giant billboard for LG.

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

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Old 06-27-2010, 04:50 AM
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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.
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