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post #1 of 86 Old 10-31-2019, 05:50 AM - Thread Starter
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Mini Split suggestions for Home Theater

Curious about suggestions re: adding a mini split for heating in my basement. My home theater is completed - but my basement is fully finished and doesn't have enough cold air returns, or vents to allow for proper heating and cooling. Since I have seen several conversations in this particular forum, I thought I would ask and see what the best solutions might be. I looked into radiant cove heating but that is all electrical and not sure how well it would heat my room. The home theater room is 18' x 27' or approximately 486 feet.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions or ideas, here is the floor plan for my basement below:

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post #2 of 86 Old 10-31-2019, 05:59 AM
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Is the home theater the family room on your floor plan? You mention basement; are you looking to heat/cool the entire basement or just the theater?
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post #3 of 86 Old 10-31-2019, 06:07 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gouie View Post
Is the home theater the family room on your floor plan? You mention basement; are you looking to heat/cool the entire basement or just the theater?
Yes it is the family room. I want to just heat & cool that area of the basement.
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post #4 of 86 Old 10-31-2019, 06:14 AM
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I have finished two rooms in my basement, and play/game room for the kids, and my theater and have installed Pioneer brand mini splits in both. I got some quotes from HVAC contractors to install mini splits and got a quote for $6K for Mitibishi units and $6.5K for Draka units. That was more than I wanted to spend, so I bought these units from Highseer.com (they are also on amazon) at less than $600 each and installed them myself. The units come pre-charged, and other than me having to buy a vacuum pump and gauges from amazon ($100) they were a breeze to install and work great. The unit in my theater is so quiet on the low fan setting that I have to walk up to it and put my hand up to feel the cold air coming out of it.

The units have heat pumps, but I haven't tested them yet. My basement stays pretty warm all winter anyways (I've never saw it below 50* even before the rooms were finished with insulation) and my projector and amps would probably heat up the theater pretty well anyways.
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post #5 of 86 Old 10-31-2019, 06:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mocs123 View Post
I have finished two rooms in my basement, and play/game room for the kids, and my theater and have installed Pioneer brand mini splits in both. I got some quotes from HVAC contractors to install mini splits and got a quote for $6K for Mitibishi units and $6.5K for Draka units. That was more than I wanted to spend, so I bought these units from Highseer.com (they are also on amazon) at less than $600 each and installed them myself. The units come pre-charged, and other than me having to buy a vacuum pump and gauges from amazon ($100) they were a breeze to install and work great. The unit in my theater is so quiet on the low fan setting that I have to walk up to it and put my hand up to feel the cold air coming out of it.



The units have heat pumps, but I haven't tested them yet. My basement stays pretty warm all winter anyways (I've never saw it below 50* even before the rooms were finished with insulation) and my projector and amps would probably heat up the theater pretty well anyways.

What area of the country are you in? I’ve debated a split for years but a condenser outside during an Alberta winter wouldn’t fly.
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post #6 of 86 Old 10-31-2019, 06:20 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mocs123 View Post
I have finished two rooms in my basement, and play/game room for the kids, and my theater and have installed Pioneer brand mini splits in both. I got some quotes from HVAC contractors to install mini splits and got a quote for $6K for Mitibishi units and $6.5K for Draka units. That was more than I wanted to spend, so I bought these units from Highseer.com (they are also on amazon) at less than $600 each and installed them myself. The units come pre-charged, and other than me having to buy a vacuum pump and gauges from amazon ($100) they were a breeze to install and work great. The unit in my theater is so quiet on the low fan setting that I have to walk up to it and put my hand up to feel the cold air coming out of it.

The units have heat pumps, but I haven't tested them yet. My basement stays pretty warm all winter anyways (I've never saw it below 50* even before the rooms were finished with insulation) and my projector and amps would probably heat up the theater pretty well anyways.
Thanks for your feedback - I am primarily interested in heating the home theater space. In the summer with A/C on the cold air just sinks into the basement from upstairs. I did have an HVAC contractor come in this summer and cut in a couple of cold air returns (one just outside the door to mechanical room, and another in bedroom #5 . I run the Nest thermostat on a 15 minute fan cycle each hour to help circulate the air and keep the cold air from being trapped near the floor.
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post #7 of 86 Old 10-31-2019, 06:29 AM
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Quote:
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What area of the country are you in? I’ve debated a split for years but a condenser outside during an Alberta winter wouldn’t fly.

Yeah, I'm in Tennessee where if it gets single digits (F) it's DANG cold. Heat pumps tend to not work well below 20*F so they probably wouldn't help you if you needed heating.

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post #8 of 86 Old 10-31-2019, 06:48 AM - Thread Starter
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Wyoming - yesterday morning the temperatures were just above zero degrees, with about 7 inches of snow on the ground and wind chills of around -15.
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post #9 of 86 Old 10-31-2019, 06:50 AM
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Wyoming - yesterday morning the temperatures were just above zero degrees, with about 7 inches of snow on the ground and wind chills of around -15.


And you run one year round?
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post #10 of 86 Old 10-31-2019, 06:55 AM
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I purchased a Lennox mini-split that is said to work in temps down to around 5 degrees or something close to that. We had a few REALLY cold days last year and I was never disappointed in the amount of heat the unit was able to produce for my room. There are some install details in my build thread.

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post #11 of 86 Old 10-31-2019, 08:11 AM
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With the low temps you get, you should purchase the "red" ie low temp outdoor unit which will heat down to -13F compared to the standard outdoor units which only heat down to -4F. The low temp versions are more expensive... but you only purchase it once.


Standard LG outdoor units:
https://www.ecomfort.com/cooling/lg-...28%5D%5B%5D=-4


Low temp LG outdoor units:
https://www.ecomfort.com/cooling/lg-...8%5D%5B%5D=-13


I self installed one of the standard LG outdoor units (36K BTU) summer 2018 with three indoor units. It was fantastic during the summer, and I did try and use it for a quick heat boost during the winter of 2018. We seldom get down to single digits here, and the coldest outdoor temp I got to try it in was 6F. At those temps it took almost 15min to warm up and start blowing warm air. It did work well, but it had to defrost a few times during use which caused a few periods of colder room temps. If you're using a minisplit for a "booster" to augment your regular heating you should be fine, but I wouldn't want to use it for full time primary heat in a cold climate location.


FWIW- most brands have a "enhanced/cold location" outdoor unit, LG's line is called "LGRED", Daikin has their own low temp line as does Fujitsu, Mitsubishi, etc..


There are online calculators to properly estimate the size of the outdoor unit you will need:
https://www.ecomfort.com/stories/118...ini-Split.html

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post #12 of 86 Old 10-31-2019, 08:20 AM
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I’m actually more interested in cooling the room, even in the winter. Appreciate all the input and didn’t mean to hikack but all good info for the OP
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post #13 of 86 Old 10-31-2019, 08:31 AM
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Genuine question: Is a mini split heat pump any more efficient than electric baseboard heating? The only advantage I see of a heat pump is that you do not have to install a separate heating device from your AC.
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post #14 of 86 Old 10-31-2019, 10:55 AM
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Electric heating is efficient... but very expensive to operate in most areas of the USA. In Canada there is more electric heating because hydro produced electricity is or was cheap near the dams.

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post #15 of 86 Old 10-31-2019, 11:05 AM
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To avoid issues with cold outdoor temps and trying to air condition a theater, I put the compressor unit in the garage, which is heated already. The unit actually contributes to heating the garage more when the AC is running in the theater. In summer, I have a large exhaust fan in the garage so if it is 100 degrees outside, it won't get to 150 in the garage, lol.

Thing is, 90% of the time I have the heat on in the theater. It is so well insulated and not tied to the home in any way, and it is below ground, so it is usually around 65 degrees in there with no HVAC. We like it around 69 degrees, so usually the heat is on. But if more than two people are in there, we need the AC to keep it cool sometimes. And my girlfriend requests it during a hot flash...

I went with the Mitsubishi unit, the 9k btu unit, because on low it is nearly silent. I can't hear it if I am more than 3 feet from it, and that is saying something as my noise floor is down around 25db due to the soundproofing.

There are cheaper options, but the Mitsubishi is like the ferrari of minisplits.

I don't have electronics in the theater room (they are in a utility room behind the theater) aside from the projector, which is vented into the equipment room via forced air circulation. So the only heat source I have to worry about is people. 9k btu is MORE than enough to heat or cool the room, even with 8-12 people in there. My space is 17'x26'x9'
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post #16 of 86 Old 10-31-2019, 11:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by replayrob View Post
Electric heating is efficient... but very expensive to operate in most areas of the USA. In Canada there is more electric heating because hydro produced electricity is or was cheap near the dams.
It is not a matter of fuel type since both use electricity. I am wondering whether there is ever any situation where a heat pump adds more heat to a room than a baseboard heater, for the same kWh of electricity. I haven't looked into the physics of it. Technically a heat pump is transferring energy from outdoors to inside the room, whereas a heater is converting electrical power to heat.
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post #17 of 86 Old 10-31-2019, 11:37 AM
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I too self installed a Ductless system in my theater room.. I bought a 9k BTU unit by MRCOOL from Home Depot (they had the best deal $600 shipped) and a vacuum pump from Amazon (you can also rent one for free from Autozone)

Install is very easy and straight forward. My unit heats and cools my theater and office (if I leave the theater door open) which is about 410 sqft total.

Check with your local utility company to see if you qualify for any rebates.. My total rebate for install was just under $700 so that paid for the unit and my vacuum pump.
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post #18 of 86 Old 10-31-2019, 11:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wxchaser View Post
Curious about suggestions re: adding a mini split for heating in my basement. My home theater is completed - but my basement is fully finished and doesn't have enough cold air returns, or vents to allow for proper heating and cooling. Since I have seen several conversations in this particular forum, I thought I would ask and see what the best solutions might be. I looked into radiant cove heating but that is all electrical and not sure how well it would heat my room. The home theater room is 18' x 27' or approximately 486 feet.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions or ideas, here is the floor plan for my basement below:

wxchaser,

Below is what I have,

The Samsung Split-Unit is 2 1/2 ton.
It is very-very quiet if ran on Low speed.
If your actually listening to anything at a normal volume level there is No-Way you would hear the unit.
It has been in operation since 2012 when 1st installed as you can see those pictures from the link below.
In my H/T I have the JVC RS4500 laser and if you know what that is ???
It produces an abundance of HEAT if on High-Laser.
That being said ^^^ I had the Samsung relocated in 2018 so it would blow cold air towards the RS4500.
The results are excellent as it turned out even if I'm watching 4K Ultra HDR content the RS4500 does NOT ever ramp up to (High-Turbo-Fan-Speed).
I have the temperature set in the summer at 72 or 73 degrees and usually on Automatic for the Temperature & Fan.
If I am remembering correctly the Samsung-Split-Unit also does the Humidity.

Samsung Split Unit Heat Pump install pictures August 2012

https://s258.photobucket.com/user/ti...%202012?page=1

Runco HT Samsung HVAC Relocated August 2018

I think the below link should take you to the correct post, hopefully.

https://www.avsforum.com/forum/15-ge...l#post56685254



Hope the above is helpful,
Terry

BTW,
I also have a Carrier Split-Unit installed in the 2 1/2 car garage and it is a 2-ton unit.


.
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post #19 of 86 Old 10-31-2019, 12:09 PM
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Any reason to pick a self-install unit that requires vacuuming over one that doesn't? Wouldn't the cost of vacuum equipment eat up any cost savings?
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post #20 of 86 Old 10-31-2019, 12:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by impreza276 View Post
Any reason to pick a self-install unit that requires vacuuming over one that doesn't? Wouldn't the cost of vacuum equipment eat up any cost savings?
The MRCOOL DIY unit is about 500 more than the non DIY version.. Not worth it..
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post #21 of 86 Old 10-31-2019, 12:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by impreza276 View Post
Any reason to pick a self-install unit that requires vacuuming over one that doesn't? Wouldn't the cost of vacuum equipment eat up any cost savings?


Mind elaborating? Vacuuming? One time requirement or ongoing?
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post #22 of 86 Old 10-31-2019, 12:59 PM
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Quote:
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Mind elaborating? Vacuuming? One time requirement or ongoing?
Regular pro-install units need to have the refrigerant lines vacuumed out to remove all the air. The new wave of DIY units have the lines pre-filled with refrigerant, so they don't require vacuuming. In theory vacuuming is a one-time process.
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post #23 of 86 Old 10-31-2019, 01:09 PM
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Quote:
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Mind elaborating? Vacuuming? One time requirement or ongoing?
If you don't have any leaks in any of your linesets it's a one time procedure.


You evacuate your linesets to remove air and moisture, both are detrimental to AC systems.


Technically, the first step is to pressurize your linesets with dry nitrogen (N2) and look for a pressure drop overnight. Once you determine you have no leaks you continue on with a "triple evac" procedure.


************************************************** *******
Leak Testing in 3 steps:
Step 1 45 PSI (N2) - Test for a minimum of 3 minutes
Step 2 220 PSI (N2) - Test for a minimum of 3 minutes
Step 3 550 PSI (N2) - Test for 24 hours (if using R410A)
************************************************** ********


************************************************** ********
Triple evacuation in 6 steps:
Step 1- Evacuate the system to 1000 microns from service valves.
Step 2- Break the vacuum with N2 to 14 PSIG
Step 3- Evacuate to 500 microns
Step 4- Break the vacuum with N2 to 14 PSIG
Step 5- Evacuate to the lowest pressure that the pump will achieve (200 microns for a minimum of 1 hour)
Step 6- The rise test (Stay Under 500microns for 30 min) must then be carried out for a minimum of 30 minutes.
************************************************** ***********

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post #24 of 86 Old 10-31-2019, 01:21 PM
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Or you vacuum them once, close the vac valves and see if it loses vacuum, unhook your vac lines and slowly open the high side valve and shut it after a few seconds, check for leaks with soapy water on your connections and when nothing is found you open the valves the rest of the way...

30 minutes tops

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post #25 of 86 Old 11-01-2019, 06:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the tips, guys. My HVAC contractor is coming over Wednesday for preventive maintenance, and he has experience with Mini Splits so will get an estimate then. The calculator and product tips and advice have been very helpful!
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post #26 of 86 Old 11-01-2019, 07:09 PM
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Wealth of knowledge! Thanks!
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post #27 of 86 Old 11-01-2019, 07:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by impreza276 View Post
I am wondering whether there is ever any situation where a heat pump adds more heat to a room than a baseboard heater, for the same kWh of electricity.
A heat pump will typically give you between 1.0 and 4 times what you'd get from 100% efficient resistance heat. Above perhaps 10F the low end will be more likely 1.6. One good source is https://neep-ashp-prod.herokuapp.com/#!/product_list/ where you will find the major manufacturers.
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post #28 of 86 Old 11-03-2019, 05:50 PM
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I love my minisplit. Installed the compressor in the basement (vs. outside). I dis-assembled the airhandler and painted it black to be less noticeable. You can get the details here :


HVAC









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post #29 of 86 Old 11-03-2019, 06:04 PM
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How’s the heat in the surrounding area of the compressor?
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post #30 of 86 Old 11-06-2019, 10:56 AM - Thread Starter
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In the image of my home theater room in my basement - just had HVAC contractor over to estimate for a Mini Split.

They only use Mitsibushi Electric. In the room diagram the only place they can place the mini split on a north facing exterior wall. The only place it can possibly fit due to a large concrete deck and a gas fire place, would be to the left of the egress window and fireplace. On the floor plan it is roughly where the north wall comes inward after patio deck & to the left of the fireplace. My right front surround speaker is on that same wall but would not be impacted.

So - the question becomes due to limited placement opportunities - is this going to work well? The head unit would pretty much be up fairly high on the wall but my MLP is directly in the path of the heated or cooled air. Wondering if you actually feel the heated or cooled air as much as you would wit h a vented forced air gas furnace or central air conditioning?

Once again, thanks for any advice or concerns that you all voice, appreciate it. I should be getting my quote late this week or early next week and they will probably use the smallest Mitsubishi mini split as my home theater room is under 500 square feet.
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