Mini Split for heating and cooling? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 26 Old 03-20-2013, 12:43 PM - Thread Starter
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I am on the verge of starting my theater build and ironing out the details. It is a 15'7" x 23" and currently has one supply and one return in the room. With the door(sliding glass-former pool room) it stays very hot or cold depending on the outside air temperature. I live in MN so wild temperature swings here.

I had my HVAC guy come over to discuss moving and adding some supply and returns in the room and he recommended removing what i have and going with a smaller 9k BTU mitsubishi Mini split heat pump. He said it would run me about $2250-2,500 to purchase and install vs $400-500 of moving and adding additional supplies/returns.

Curious if anyone here has one in their theater and how they like them. I really am not that fond of having a wall hanging system within the theater but i guess if it eliminates holes and heats and cools the air good then it might be worth having it painted and hung on the wall.
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post #2 of 26 Old 03-20-2013, 02:07 PM
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I will be using a 12k btu Mitsubishi Mr. Slim heat pump unit in my build. I am using the ducted version, where the air handler is mounted outside the room, with the air ducted to and from conventional bar grille register in the ceiling of my room.
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post #3 of 26 Old 03-20-2013, 04:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeBon View Post

I will be using a 12k btu Mitsubishi Mr. Slim heat pump unit in my build. I am using the ducted version, where the air handler is mounted outside the room, with the air ducted to and from conventional bar grille register in the ceiling of my room.

How big is your room and are you installing your own or having a pro do it? If pro, what cost did they quote you for the system and the install?

Thanks
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post #4 of 26 Old 03-20-2013, 06:19 PM
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I'm in the Boston area and have the 9K Mr. Slim hyper heat version for a 25' x 13' x 8' room and it has been fine this winter (cold and snowy here). Even better, I got a $500 rebate from my utility!
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post #5 of 26 Old 03-20-2013, 07:10 PM
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Room is 19 x 21. It will be a pro install as a part of an extensive addition/remodel project involving the entire house. The job has not gone to bid yet, so I don't know the exact costs.

My situation is a bit unusual as we don't normally air condition homes here, so the theatre will be the only room in the house with A/C.
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post #6 of 26 Old 03-20-2013, 09:13 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mhaneef View Post

I'm in the Boston area and have the 9K Mr. Slim hyper heat version for a 25' x 13' x 8' room and it has been fine this winter (cold and snowy here). Even better, I got a $500 rebate from my utility!

Awesome that you got the rebate! Do u think 2250-$2500 is fair?
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post #7 of 26 Old 03-21-2013, 07:41 AM
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I spent $3,000 last year and that included install.
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post #8 of 26 Old 03-21-2013, 12:40 PM
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If I had a choice I would use your existing supply and returns, presuming your HVAC guy can engineer them for low noise and that you can separately zone off the theater room from the rest of the house.

A minisplit adds an additional source of noise to the room. The Mitsubishi Mini Split heat pumps are REALLY quiet and not intrusive. A ducted minisplit is even better because then you can add in fresh air ventilation and the noise source is out of the room.

FWIW my minisplit 9k Mitsubishi heat pump was $4,300 installed in Marin County. That included running new electrical circuit and also a longer than normal run between the outside and inside units. I think the cost is heavily dependent on where you live and the labor rates of your HVAC contractors. I've long accepted that where I live is just an expensive place to live.

Master of Minions, Acoustic Frontiers. We specialize in the design and creation of high performance listening rooms, home theaters and project studios for discerning audio/video enthusiasts.
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post #9 of 26 Old 03-21-2013, 09:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Yeah I could add another supply and enlarge my return for 25% of the cost of the mini. However the cost of damper and zone heat/cooling in the theater would add to the cost and those mini splits are virtually silent once the room temp is reached, right? I listened to one yesterday and it was very quiet and that sold me. I figure having one small hole in the wall vs 3+ much larger holes is worth the extra cost. Mini split is a 4 hour or less job. I imagine dead venting, dampers/zone, takes a bit longer for a novice. I guess the $2250-2500 installed for the 9k BTU is a decent deal for the Mitsubishi based on what you paid

Curious Nyal why u recommend using existing/ adding supplies vs the mini split if u have one and say it is really quiet? Do u not like it? Does it not heat/cool well enough?

Thanks!
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post #10 of 26 Old 03-23-2013, 05:57 PM
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The mini split is awesome but ducted supply and returns can be even better. For one you can get them so they are in audible. A mini split, even a super super quiet one like the Mitsubishi heat pumps still puts out some noise though it is easily masked when you are actively using the room. Second is that a mini split (with the exception of a ducted mini) does not provide fresh air, which a ducted system can. Having said all that ducted systems can easily be noisy if improperly designed. HVAC designers generally design for very high flow rates which means some noise. Really the ducts need to be well oversized for low velocity.

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post #11 of 26 Old 03-27-2013, 07:45 PM
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I paid $2,571 before rebate which included everything- equipment, pad, install, line hide,electrical,etc. and both heating and cooling are excellent. As far as noise, unless you have the fan on high-which I haven't needed to resort to- you'll have bigger fish to fry elsewhere in your system than here. I looked at extending my gas-fired forced hot water system but I wouldn't get the air flow control, dehumidifier, anti-allergen filter and super efficiency (26)- which got me the rebate. Definitely shop around for the best price though- the local Home Depot referred contractor wanted a minimum of $4k.
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post #12 of 26 Old 03-27-2013, 07:54 PM
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Plus I'd suggest that you talk to Ted at The Soundproofing Company about what it really takes to make a regular ducted system inaudible if that's the way you're leaning. His site has good info as well but he gives great advice even when it doesn't result in a sale-he may even talk you out of a sale if that's the best thing for you!.
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post #13 of 26 Old 03-27-2013, 08:32 PM - Thread Starter
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Mhaneef

I got quoted for $2250-2500 installed. What model do you have?
I have looked at Teds website and while it costs more with mini split, having HVAC essentially done in a matter of hours and not having to worry about noise that much has me sold. Using forced air supply and return ducts on top of soundproofing them will be cheaper but I'm sure a good amount more labor intensive

Thing I worry is how much of an eyesore it is hanging on the wall? Did you paint the outside of yours to match wall color?
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post #14 of 26 Old 03-28-2013, 11:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcmasterson View Post

Mhaneef

I got quoted for $2250-2500 installed. What model do you have?
I have looked at Teds website and while it costs more with mini split, having HVAC essentially done in a matter of hours and not having to worry about noise that much has me sold. Using forced air supply and return ducts on top of soundproofing them will be cheaper but I'm sure a good amount more labor intensive

Thing I worry is how much of an eyesore it is hanging on the wall? Did you paint the outside of yours to match wall color?

You can hide in a soffit, or paint it.

There are two versions of the 9k BTU, one is a heat pump the other is a cooling only unit. The heat pump is more expensive, quieter and obviously provides heat as well.

Master of Minions, Acoustic Frontiers. We specialize in the design and creation of high performance listening rooms, home theaters and project studios for discerning audio/video enthusiasts.
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post #15 of 26 Old 03-28-2013, 03:42 PM
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9K Hyper Heat / AC , Model MSZ-FE09NA-8 Coil and MUZ-FE09NA-1 Condensor. I chose this model because, as you know, New England can get mighty cold in the winter. Fyi, the AHRI reference number is 4908219 if your utility gives rebates (they'll ask for this). I didn't paint mine, just hung it on the back wall behind the seating and it passed the WAF test. I'll see if I can find/ take a picture for you if I get a chance- there should be several pix on the site already though.
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post #16 of 26 Old 03-29-2013, 06:30 AM
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In this partial shot, the walls/counter are just painted with drywall primer but hopefully it'll give you an idea. We were concerned that painting the unit might void the warranty but since we didn't mind the look it wasn't a big issue for us. I'd confirm with your contractor before I bought the paint wink.gif You can also see our "fresh air solution" lol.
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post #17 of 26 Old 03-29-2013, 07:14 AM
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Will rebates count if the basement is not official inspected living space?
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post #18 of 26 Old 03-29-2013, 09:57 AM
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Originally Posted by rfbrang View Post

Will rebates count if the basement is not official inspected living space?

You might have a catch 22 there. If the space is classified as living space and qualifies for the rebate, then it also qualifies for increased property taxes based on more livable space. The tax increase may swamp any gains from the rebate program.

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post #19 of 26 Old 03-29-2013, 10:47 AM
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The rebate application doesn't ask if the space is "livable space", only where in the house the unit was placed. Nor does it ask if the space was inspected, but my feeling is that inspectors are there to help the homeowner, not the contractor, so would always recommend that. Tax rates here are based on valuation not square footage of living space and any permanent improvement to your home will result in an increased valuation, regardless of the solution selected. The valuation amount of the improvement will drive the increased tax and thankfully in my situation (my improvements/ my tax rates) the increase is minimal and much less than my rebate. The rebate is offsetting some of the initial cost/ future valuation increase ad is offered because of the energy efficiency gains-the gift that keeps on giving. So you win all around: rebate now and lower potential costs in the future, never mind any potential environmental benefit.
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post #20 of 26 Old 03-29-2013, 12:29 PM
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Ahhh... gotcha. I am weighing the option of a doing something like this, or opening our ceiling to put in another vent in the main, and risk sound going to the rest of our house through the heating trunk. We just had our carpet installed on March seventh, but it only took it from ~55 to ~61 degrees when nobody is down there.
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post #21 of 26 Old 03-29-2013, 01:22 PM
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Unless you're very fortunate, chances are your contractor is not going to have a clue how to prevent/minimize sound leakage/flanking from extending your hvac system. Three words: The Soundproofing Company. They've helped a lot of folks on this site (myself included) with great advice so your time and money aren't wasted if that is the direction you go. You could also start a separate post with your plans/concerns- you'll find many knowledgable people here that will be more than happy to help you.
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post #22 of 26 Old 08-30-2013, 07:01 AM
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Hi mhaneef,

I'm in the process of getting quotes on a mitsubishi mini split system and live in your area. I was hoping you could tell me the name of the company that did the install for you. I just reached out to Home Depot to give me my 3rd quote but after seeing they were almost double what you ended up paying, I think it would be a waste of my time.

Thanks for your help!
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post #23 of 26 Old 08-30-2013, 08:42 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by j15pilgrim View Post

Hi mhaneef,

I'm in the process of getting quotes on a mitsubishi mini split system and live in your area. I was hoping you could tell me the name of the company that did the install for you. I just reached out to Home Depot to give me my 3rd quote but after seeing they were almost double what you ended up paying, I think it would be a waste of my time.

Thanks for your help!

I only have mine partially piped in because it doesnt get hung until i am 100% complete with my theater or at least with my back wall treatments. I live in SE MN and had a local small town HVAC company install it that did our geothermal. They are in Hayfield, MN. Not sure where you are located but i can give you contact information if you are relatively close.

They do good work.
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post #24 of 26 Old 08-30-2013, 09:39 AM
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Thanks for the reply, Mcmasterson. I'm in Weymouth, MA though. If anyone can recommend someone in the South Eastern Massachusetts area, I'd love to get their name...Thanks again!
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post #25 of 26 Old 09-15-2013, 09:43 AM
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pm sent.
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post #26 of 26 Old 04-14-2014, 11:14 AM
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Hi mhaneef, can you send along the installation company info to me? I tried using 'MASS Saves' vendor list, but their mark ups for the products and installation were ridiculous. Thanks from Eastie.

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