View Full Version : Mini-split system providers...
05-07-2012, 10:10 AM
We are looking for a Minisplit system to cool one bedroom. (House has good ventilation except at the bedroom end of house.)
I have one quote from the local Mitsui dealer. They seem to think that getting the electrical done is up to me...(?)
I have seen web ads for Amvent systems. I don't know anything about them, and have not found a local dealer. (Denver)
Any guidance on Systems and installations would be appreciated! Are there any websites for useful reliability/service histories?
303 494 0140
05-07-2012, 05:49 PM
Take a look at the Mr. Slim Unit.
The 2 vendors that have the lion's share of the N.American market are Fujitsu & Mitsubishi, with Daikin, LG, and Sanyo taking up most of the rest. In general it's better to go with a product that has the best local support, in terms of numbers of experienced installers, and proximity to distributors.
With any of them comfort, reliability & efficiency depend a lot on the quality of the installation. While they're dead-easy to install compared to most central AC systems, that doesn't mean that an incompetent tech is going to optimally place the interior head or compressor unit, or adjust the refrigerant charge correctly and fully test it as part of commissioning. (Factory trained techs preferred!)
Most have contractor-finder functions on their websites, and some will indicate the level of training of the installers listed.
Depending on your heating fuel & electricity rates, it may be worthwhile getting a unit that both heats & cools. (This is particularly true for those who heat with propane or heating oil.) Most will still be putting out significant heat at 0F outdoor temps these days (albeit at coefficient of performance of about 1.5), and have superb efficiency at outdoor temps of 25F or higher. At current propane & heating oil pricing it doesn't take more than about a heating season to make up the difference in cost between a cooling-only v.s. a heating + cooling unit, if it can be used to heat a decent sized zone most of the time. (If you're on the natural gas grid, not so much.)
05-09-2012, 08:00 AM
Regardless of dealer finder network, not all installers are the same...
Check references, ask questions, try to see where their *head* is at on how they want to do the install.
You will need electrical run from the panel to the minisplit.
As well as shut off, etc - that a electrician does right next to the compressor.
Mitsubishi and Fujitsu are the top 2 , with Fujitsu generally coming in cheaper.
I went with Mr. Slim as the rebates offered sorta offset choosing the *more expensive* system.
We love ours +++ the zoned heating/cooling we get.
I recently had a quote for 1-ton Fujitsu installation that was higher than a quote for a 1.5 ton Mitsubishi for the same space, and another quote for the same Mitsubishi that was more than $500 higher than the one we went with.
I'm not sure there's a general rule on the relative pricing, but for sure multiple quotes and getting references makes a difference. In general installers that make a "master installer" list has completed the training and has dozens of installations under their belt. The last thing you want is to be the first installation by a contractor who is thinking about expanding the line-card. Find one with some experience and focus on mini-splits and you'll usually be fine.
05-10-2012, 10:09 AM
Got a quote from a local Lennox rep today. (Full furnace and AC system). He looked at my 40 yr old Square D electrical panel and declared that it was a 100 amp service, I was at my maximum amp service, and he would have to upgrade the entire panel to 200 amp service.....($2600)
I have sent an email off to Square D, and called a buddy that does Electrical contracting/consulting. Does anyone know any other ways to check this info? (The house is 1800 sq ft, built in 1971, wired for electric range and elec. dryer.)