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JIMWITECK
Sin gle and dual zone ductless mini-split systems

i AM INTERESTED IN FINDING INDEPENDENT 3RD PARTY REVIEWS OF SUCH SYSTEMS BEFORE I MAKE A PURCHASE. I HAVE FOUND NO USEFUL WEB-SITES ON THE INTERNET IN THIS REGARD. CAN ANYONE HELP ME OUT?

THANKS!
JIM WITECK]
APEX, NC

Brookworld
Re: Single and dual zone ductless mini-split systems

If you've done a web search already, then "objective" evaluations don't exist.
That leaves opinions, and maybe industry experience.

My opionion:
If you need an installer, the installer wants to sell what he distributes and make money on product sale and installation. Also, this is still an after-market (retro-fit) product -- you don't install install mini-splits if you can do duct based HVAC systems (also commercial applications like computer rooms). The installer sells what he carries, and tell you it's a great product.
If you just want to buy the hardware, there's are plenty of websites selling the units and tubing. The old tube length run was limited (about 50 ft), but I believe new models have longer runs, but look from the spec.
Mitsubishi "Mr. Slim" is the oldest supplier, highly regarded but also the most expensive (about 30-50% more).
Fujitsu also has great products, quiet and priced well.
Sanyo is also great, but they are hard to find.
Samsung has incrased their distributon and is big in California where the after-market is bigger, but their service is terrible -- 2 years ago, they had no homeowner customer support.
I see Friedrich, a good-olde American brand, but I suspect it is a re-brand from one of the major manufacturers.
I suggest staying away from the other brands (Haier, Soleus, etc.) which I suspect are from Taiwan and China, not because they're from there (a lot of A/C equipment is made in Malaysia or Thailand, Korea), but that they compete on price so I think the quality is lower. You don't want the equipment going bad after 1 cooling season.

JIMWITECK
Re: Sin gle and dual zone ductless mini-split systems

Thanks for your reply. Yours is the only response I have so far. I am having a new woodworking shop built for which I want a mini-split. I can likely order my own system and my general contractor (a trusted friend) will have a competant installer put it in for me. Actually I also need to heat and cool an adjacent out-builting and was thinking of getting a dual zone system to handle both buildings. If I can afford a Mitsubishi Mr. Slim system(s), would you advise me to do so since they have apparently been in business the longest?

Thanks! Jim Witeck

Brookworld
Re: Single and dual zone ductless mini-split systems

I would get the cheapest of the 3 Japanese brands (Mitsubishi, Fujitsu and Sanyo) or if you run across Pansonic or Friedrich. I have no hesitation in buying anything Japanese -- Samsung is coming on strong in all areas so they have strong presence.
My system was Samsung and needed $800 repairs after 3 years so I'm not a happy camper about Samsung.

Mini-splits are great for large wall-less areas so your situation looks favorable.
A 2 zone system is minimum 2 x 9,000 btu; a cool/heat system is about 10% more than a cool only system, and they actually do a good job heating. Heating is ineffective if outside temperate is below around 35 degrees.

If your 2 buildings are separated by a long distance, 2 1-zone systems are just as effective; I think the hardware costs aren't higher, but installation & electrical (more dedicated circuits) is probably more expensive.

I estimate hardware to be $1,500 to $2,000 (tubing has 14-ga wire & 2 refrigerant lines), but I haven't checked recently as raw material prices have gone up (who says inflation is low ?).

Depending on access and any electrical upgrade, it's a 2-day installation job for 2 guys, my guess.

Sten
Re: Sin gle and dual zone ductless mini-split systems

If your friend is a Contractor he should be able to get it for you cheaper than you can get it yourself, as for the install it should take 4-6 hrs.

HoustonRemodeler
Re: Sin gle and dual zone ductless mini-split systems

Goodman makes mini-split units right here in Houston so you can buy American

MSG Mini-Splits

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R-410A Refrigerant

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The Goodman® brand MSG13 mini-splits are covered by a 5-Year Compressor Limited Warranty* and a 1-Year Parts Limited Warranty.*

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