Mini-Split Cost and Payment Question

Tippi_109January 15, 2013

We have a 52-year-old Frank Lloyd Wright architecture house, 3,200 sq. ft., 5-bed, 2 levels. Our only option for air conditioning is mini-split systems. The cost is very high, averaging $30K for 3 outdoor compressors (36,000/24,000/18,000 BTUs) and 8 indoor units (1 x 6,000; 1 x 12,000; 1 x 15,000, 5 x 9,000 BTU wall units) with wireless thermostats.

I would appreciate feedback on the following: Is this cost for installation of Mitsubishi systems a fair rate?

The company we're going with has asked for $10K when the job starts and another $10K after 2/3rd of the job is done, with the remainder when the whole job is finished. Is it fair to ask this? I thought contractors were paid only when the job was done satisfactorily. Thanks for your help.

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I'd advise getting competing pricing from authorized installers to get a handle on what's an appropriate price. We don't know the complexity of the install only the unit sizes.

Assuming the contractor has been in business a long time and has an established reputation the terms you noted are not necessarily out of line. Again get competing quotes and terms from authorized Mitsubishi installer.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2013 at 11:23AM
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If you are not enamored with some special feature of the Mitsubishi, check with other manufacturers too. I could be wrong, but I think that remotes from others are more versatile, allowing true set-backs, and may have hard-wired controls which Mitsubishi does not seem to allow.

Ditto on getting competitive bids. Mini split equipment is expensive so we might think that partial payments are reasonable. I think that it is customary anyway. OTOH, interest rates are very low and they must have revolving credit of some sort. Barring weather issues, it does not seem like it should take them more than a week or two to do this.

I am just curious, what do you do for heat right now? Are you planning on heat pumps or cooling-only? One more question that might speak to cost. Is the equipment the typical residential Mitsu models? The commercial-type line is more versatile, but more costly.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2013 at 2:11PM
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we would love to see the house...hint hint.

best of luck.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2013 at 10:15PM
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I would suggest that you look at the Fujitsu Hybrid flex inverter system. It is a 48kbtu unit that you can hook up to 64kbtu of evaps. The Fujitsu equipment is every bit as good as the mitsu and usually a bit less in cost, but your contractor has to make that case. My bias must be noted here. While I am no longer affiliated with them, I represented Fujitsu for 12 years. I have them in my home and they are excellent.

As to the payment breakdown, in todays world it is not unusual or unfair for a contractor to at least cover the equipment costs UPON DELIVERY OF THE EQUIPMENT TO THE JOB SITE. A small retainer up front is not unfair either. You can negotiate that. The contractor has to protect himself too. He can buy the equipment and once on site, depending upon the state he may not be able to take it off the job if the home owner flakes out. There are a lot of flakes out there. I could tell you stories but suffice it to say there are bad contractors out there as well as very bad homeowners. Negotiate what seems fair to you, and ask for an explanation of the payment schedule. If it doesn't pass the smell test, walk!

    Bookmark   January 20, 2013 at 11:06PM
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Thank you so much for your responses. They�re very much appreciated. Roadking and ionized, I got several bids as you suggested. In fact, I started with 5 companies last summer (when we were dying from high heat and high humidity), walking them through the house. All said that the mini-split systems were the only option. I quickly reduced that to 3 companies who proposed detailed design plans and bids. This job is a little more complicated than usual. We asked that the pipes be placed on the inside of the walls because of the sandstone brick that the entire outside (and some of the inside) is built with (energy_rater_la see the outside pics before we bought it). So they�ll be opening up and patching the sheetrock to do this job. The bids were further complicated not only by different design plans and unit sizes but also by whether or not they included patching the walls and making them paint ready (but not painting) and whether or not they included pulling the electric cables needed from the mechanical room to the compressors. Our bids on having an electrician do this ranged from $2K to $4K. The company that required us to hire an electrician and wall plasterer was the most expensive (at $32+K), so they priced themselves out (though they have an excellent reputation and would have done a terrific job). The remaining two companies included all electrical and wall patching and offered a winter�s savings if they did the job in January or February. Their prices were $27+K and $30K . Only one of the 5 companies offered Fujitsu, saying as you did Jackfre, that they are as good as Mitsubishi, however, this company refused to put the pipes inside the house. Although both remaining companies are experienced in mini-split system installation (their crews have taken the Mitsubishi training), we�ve decided to go for the middle bid. This is because the other company consistently took a long time (sometimes up to 2 weeks) to respond to questions and a professional acquaintance who used them previously for the same type of job said that they were not good at responding to issues that arose after their installation.

To answer your questions ionized, we have baseboard hot water heat in the house, which is pretty good. All of the units we�re getting provide heating and cooling but they�re not commercial. So we�ll have state-of-the-art cooling and supplemental heat if and when we need it. As to the remotes, we prefer the wireless ones so we can strategically place them where they will give us the temperature we want in the rooms. Right now, the heat thermostats are in places like internal halls that warm quicker than the rooms they�re controlling. In addition, our chosen company agreed to throw in a hand held remote that controls all the other eight, and an outside sensor that will tell us the outside temperature and humidity. So we�re pleased with that. They estimate that it will take about 10 days to complete the installation and patch the walls.

Jackfre, thank you for your advice on the payment options. I will e-mail the owner with your suggestion of payment up front for the equipment when delivered and a small retainer to start. I find it interesting that it�s possible to add more btu�s of evaporation to a smaller capacity condenser. I didn�t know you could do that. As it stands, our compressors are either matched to the indoor btu�s or have higher capacity.

I do have another question, this time about the remotes. My husband�s professional acquaintance told us that they were installing these units in their new house and that they would be able to turn on their system using their iPhone when they�re returning from a trip. They said they would be able to turn on the a/c or their drive melt whenever they wanted to. I was amazed to hear this, but the Mitsubishi rep says it can�t be done, at least not yet. The wireless thermostats link only to the units. So I�m wondering if any of you have heard of this, if indeed it is possible but with wireless remotes that are not made by Mitsubishi? We�re not in a position to contact this acquaintance and ask for details. I assumed since they were installing Mitsubishi that everything was the same.

Anyway, thanks again for responding and for the advice on the cost and payments. I�ll check back in about a week. All the best, Tippi_109.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2013 at 2:20PM
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I thought I could post more that one photo. Here is another one. This is the back of the house, with wilderness views (other than the utility pole).

    Bookmark   January 25, 2013 at 2:26PM
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Love the house!

Take at look at this link for what appears to be a module that Mitsubishi makes that allows you to control the system with an iphone app.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2013 at 3:12PM
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Unico (high velocity air) would be far less disruptive to the decor than mini-splits.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2013 at 3:31PM
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This is for your existing heating system? If for Mitsubishi minis, I do not understand:

"...agreed to throw in a hand held remote that controls all the other eight, and an outside sensor "

OK, on to things that I do understand.

I believe that your installer is correct that you can only use the hand-held remotes for your residential-type, high wall, Mitsubishi mini splits. It might be a good idea to confirm it if you can. I think that the Mitsu mini, ducted, air handlers that do a room or three have hard-wired controls and so do, the ceiling cassettes. I think that they can both be used for residential systems. The thing I would not like about the remote-only controls in a heating environment is that they can not be used for true set-backs, only on-off. I like to sleep in a cool room, but have the room warm when it is time for the feet to hit the floor.

The Mitsubishi City-Multi systems are capable of much more including central controls, heat-pump water heating, and heating in one room while cooling another on that same system. (Heat transfers between rooms rather than to the outdoor unit when useful.) This might be what your acquaintances have. That type of system costs more for equipment and installation and may require training that your installers might not have.

Other brands MAY have residential equipment that can be used with hard-wired controls. The only other thing that I can suggest is that when power goes off and back on, the system remembers what the setting are supposed to be. You could use controls at the line voltage switch level to turn them on remotely if it is very important to you.

You could set up your existing heating system to be controlled remotely and leave the AC to when you get in the door if you are on vacation or your plans change.

"As to the remotes, we prefer the wireless ones so we can strategically place them where they will give us the temperature we want in the rooms."

I think you are not correct about this. My experience indicates that the temp sensing is in the high wall units themselves for Mitsu high-wall units. I sometimes walk around with one remote and set two or three units because it is faster when setting up for timed-on operation. (It is just a couple of button pushes for each unit rather than scrolling through a few hours to change the time.) I then just toss down that particular remote in any room. I use one for setting up a wake-time cooling and another for setting up an evening return time for cooling for the night.

The Mitsu units with i-see, seem to take IR measurements around the room. That feature was not available for the multi systems when mine was installed, but might be now. I notice that heating with mine, when they approach the set point (at the unit) the blower speed decreases. This tends to make them ceiling heaters. If the room has a ceiling fan, this is not a problem. It can also be fixed by manually setting the blower speed higher. I live in a predominantly cooling climate (South LA) so I don't have a real big problem with this predictable characteristic of high-wall heat source location. Other companies, I think, do have the temp sensors in the remotes. I can see that there are advantages and disadvantages either way

Do a search for my recent and not so recent posts about mini-splits. I have reiterated some in this post, but not all.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2013 at 3:54PM
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I went to roadking's link and surfed around a little. My information about hard-wired remotes might be a little dated. You should consider that your installer's might be as well. It seems like the hard-wired remote availability might be somewhat of a moving target. Make sure that your installer is up to date. You might like the hard-wired controllers better than the remotes. If I find that they are compatible, I will look into installing at least one in my home, in the bedroom.

It looks like there may be an optional, wall-mounted wireless controller that can be used with the M series. This one looks to have the temp sensor in the remote.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2013 at 4:35PM
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    Bookmark   January 25, 2013 at 5:12PM
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thanks for the pictures.
the stone planters are great,as
is the deck in the back.

glad to see you have done the research
& interviewed several companies.

good info from both roadking & ionized.

btw ionized..kinda spoiled now aren't you,
as compared to winters & summers prior to
your mini split installs!!

I'm seeing a lot more demand for tstats
controlled by iphones. seems to be
the first choice, with program tstats taking
a back seat
In my work I don't see
a lot of non-program tstats. seeing them
phased out would be a good thing IMO.
even people at home all the time are using
program tstats to control temps when sleeping.

now I just need to figure out how to set mine.
in 7 months I've learned the dehumidifier stat
but not much about the heat pump program tstat.
time to practice what I preach.

best of luck.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2013 at 5:31PM
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The thermostats are, indeed, usually located ON the indoor UNIT, not on the remote. The remote is just used to set the temp, and you can place it where you want.

That said, on SOME units, the thermostat is not on the indoor unit.

I have one of each--a minisplit system--with 2 indoor units attached to one outside unit. In this case, the thermostats are located ON the indoor units.

I also have a "ducted ductless" which is new to me. Because there is one indoor unit (that sits in attic space) that has ducts running to 4 separate rooms, the thermostat is remote, but wall mounted.

I question the need for 8 units of the size you mention for a house of only 3000sq ft. What is your climate? In my area (Seattle), a single unit (I forget now if it was a 9k or 15k unit) can satisfactorily heat/cool 1000sq ft. It was one of the reasons we went with the ducted ductless for our upstairs reno/remodel (all bedrooms). 6k (and certainly 9k) were really too big for the size of rooms they were going to be heating/cooling.

Are there other alternatives? Maybe a whole house circulating fan with just a few strategically placed indoor units?

Finally, in answer to your question on payment--ours was 50% down, the rest upon completion of the project.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2013 at 1:01AM
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"ducted ductless" makes me cringe. How about ducted mini-split?

"Maybe a whole house circulating fan with just a few strategically placed indoor units?"

Might just as well install the central system since you are going to be circulating anyway?

    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 11:44AM
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Ionized--why does "ducted ductless" make you cringe? I searched for a long time trying to find others with one. Even posted about it here. No one had much help for me.

I guess I could call it a ducted mini-split, but I also guess, I am not sure what a "mini-split" is--it is a ductless heatpump, right? Are they not interchangable?

    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 1:01AM
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Dear All, thank you thank you for your continued interest and responses. It was wonderful to check in and see them. Roadking, you found it! I'm sure that's the app that our friends talked about. I copied the link and sent it to our company and will follow up with a phone call. Since the page says it works with Mr. Slim units (which we're getting) as well as the city multi systems (which we don't think we need) to see if this is compatible with our design package. I'll let you know how it goes. The work begins this coming Tuesday.

Brickeyee, I looked at the Unico system and you're right, it's gorgeous. But without doing too much reading, it seems like you need indoor space for blowers. This house has neither attic, basement, nor crawl space, so I'm not sure if Unico would work in it. That may be why no one suggested it as an option.

I'll try to answer all of your questions Ionized, but first of all, thanks so much for your responses. What we're getting is the M-Series system. The thermostats we're getting are the MHK1 Wireless Remote Controller Kit (which is an optional extra, the handheld remote is standard). These are wall-mounted thermostats and apparently, can be placed anywhere. The "hand held remote that controls all the other eight" is called the Portable Central Controller (MCCH1) and this unit will control up to 16 wireless thermostats (the MHK1s). This also shows the outside air temperature and humidity when used with the Outside Air Sensor (MOS1) that we're also getting. We could do hard-wired thermostats but this would be a lot more work and, in our opinion, is really not necessary. We learned a bit about the city multi systems (that are considered commercial) and decided that we didn't need to have the ability to heat one room and cool another simultaneously. We're installing this primarily for cooling and expect that we'll only use them for heat in between seasons when we only need a bit of heat for a little while, or to supplement our existing heat on occasion.

But you raise an excellent question that never occurred to me: Where the temperature sensor actually is. I will ask this of our contractor. If the temperature sensors are in the wall units, then we can place the thermostats where they won't be seen or noticed much. Thanks for raising that. None of our units have the i-See technology, it wasn't considered necessary. I was also thinking that as heaters, they may only heat the ceiling, but we're not getting them for heat. So we'll see how that works.

Thanks Energy_rater_la for your post. The thing about the iPhone app is that we want to have it if we can get it, not really for now (since neither of us have iPhones yet) but for down the road. We can change phones pretty easily, but we want to keep our air conditioning system for the rest of our lives (at least in this house) and we're planning on this being our final house. We don't want to be faced with "well, it's going to cost X to add this and this and this so you can have it . . ." And since you're finding more and more people are requesting this, it seems inevitable that it will become fairly standard (and easier to upgrade that newly install a few years from now).

Kirkhall, you're saying that all or most of the temperature sensors are on the actual units. Good to know. I will confirm each and every unit for this. It will tell us what we need to know as to where to install the thermostats. Thanks.

Good question regarding the 8 indoor units for the house. My husband was also really questioning this. The main reason for so many is primarily because I feel we need one in each bedroom, because guests are going to close their doors at night, and if they do that with no air conditioning there, it's going to be bad. The smallest rooms have 6,000 BTUs and the larger bedrooms have 9,000 BTUs. The upper level is mostly open plan with high ceilings and lots of windows and so we have 15,000 BTUs in the great room (20' x 22', cathedral ceiling), 12,000 BTUs in the dining room (this covers the entrance and hall as well), and 9,000 BTUs in the kitchen. The design plans were similar from the 3 companies we got bids from, so since we're not experts, we figured that it wasn't overkill and we were assured that this will be adequate for sustained high temperatures and humidity in the summer. We're in PA, and last summer was horrible. We had 85 degrees and 80% humidity for weeks and it was worse indoors.

As I mentioned, the work is beginning this coming Tuesday. I'm excited about it and also a bit nervous. You never know what's behind walls in old houses or what the electricity panel may reveal regarding capacity. I spoke with the owner about the payment plan (upfront for all the equipment upon delivery and a small retainer for labor to start and other payments as work is completed) and he was fine with whatever I wanted to do. What's interesting is that he still seems to want only $10K up front which makes me wonder if that is the cost for the equipment. If so, then we're paying $20K for the work? (Yikes, we're committed now!) I'll try again to get a firm equipment cost when I see him. He tells me it should take about 8 to 10 days, including patching the walls and making them paint ready. We'll see. Anyway, thanks again for your interest and help with this. I really appreciate it. I'll check in again when it's done.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 4:07PM
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You are going to LOVE your system! We had our ductless mini-split installed last year about this time. As a result we had it for last years brutal summer. Since we have concrete floors I thought with our thermal mass I would need to have it running all the time. Not so! I could turn it on and very quickly the house would start to feel very cool. As a result I only had our bedroom unit running during the night. A caution on the bedroom units. Try to position them so they do not blow on the head of your bed. We positioned our ceiling cassette at the foot of the bed and then had to pay extra to close off the vent the blew over the bed. It was too much to have cold air blowing on us at night.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 6:27PM
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mic111, your concrete floors actually contribute
rather than penalize you. as the thermal
mass absorbs the temps, they help to keep the
area cool ..or warm, depending upon season.

I'm a cold bedroom person when I am trying to
sleep. need to program my t-stat to lower
temp around midnight, and then raise it
around 6 am.

Tippi 8-10 days wow!
I would have to know total cost before work
started. otherwise it would keep me awake at night.
we are looking forward to hearing from you
hope all goes smoothly!

best of luck.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 7:12PM
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I did a little checking. It looks linke the t-stat situation has changed significantly in the two years since my install. I hope that your contractor reads all the new developments. Sensors could be in the new, optional, controls. I expect that you can choose between sensor in the control and in the heat pump.

Ditto on bedroom placement.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 7:27PM
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Tippi_109, to expand on the placement of the wall units in the bedroom. I originally planned on mine right at the head of the beds. It would have been symmetric and central to the room. I thought again when I thought of what happens when the blower slows way down as they approach set temperature. The air will just sort of cascade straight down rather than be projected across the room. In fact, I think that it would be just as much a problem in heating mode because you want the blower going pretty hard to mix the heated air with the cool air near the floor. I would not want the hot air blowing right on my head either.

I relocated mine over a doorway in one bedroom corner. In the other bedroom, it went nearer to a corner, but not right at it. That one was set to make air flow into the associated bathroom. I have not regretted that decision to avoid the bed-head placement. It would have made good symmetry, and human brains like symmetry, but I think comfort would not have been optimal.

I am more than a little envious that you are getting upgraded M systems that can take external thermostats. I don't think that my 2YO units can do that.

Kirkhall, "ducted ductless" is self contradicting. A split system refers to an HHVAC system, cooling or heat pump, where the two coils are in different places. This is what is found in most central AC homes. Other types are window heat pumps and packaged units. A mini split is just a small or micro split system. On the inside, you can have to popular high wall units, a floor unit, a ceiling cassette or a small air handler with ducts.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2013 at 5:45PM
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Dear All, checking in a bit early. All is going well. They're an excellent crew, as easy to be around as is possible on a construction site, working well together, working efficiently, and lugging a big shop vac up and down the stairs to clean up immediately after they open up the walls. They're taking out all their garbage at the end of the day. They estimate they'll be done by Tuesday (6 days for them) and the carpenter will come in to patch. Two of the units are tricky, on inside walls, needing to go through the floor and angle to align with window frames and then run alongside the ground to reach the condensers.

Thank you all for mentioning the placement of the bedroom units. I was doing the exact same thing as you wanted ionized, placing the units in the middle of the wall, but we've changed the location of them now so there're not blowing either above or at the end of the beds. Mic111, I am already a bit excited about this system. It would have been great to have had them last summer but we only moved in May and had roof leaks to contend with. On the other hand, if we hadn't suffered as we did last summer, we would have balked at spending the money for the system.

Energy_rater_la, the cost was fixed at $30,020.40, so we're committed to that. The owner, having agreed verbally to the alternate payment plan, told me on Monday after he had walked his crew through the job, to give the check to his foreman, and left the payment plan as it was. I couldn't have the "I want to pay for the equipment up front" conversation with the foreman because he didn't know anything about it, so I just left it too. I think the owner doesn't want me to know how much the equipment actually costs. Ah well, I guess you can't win them all.

However, it seems like we can get the system to work with the iPhone app. The note from the Mitsubishi rep says "You can go with a wireless format to control new Mitsubishi heat pumps with smart phone, we would use the commercial control system. Approximate cost $3,500.00 - $4,000.00". I'm guessing that would be in addition to what we've already agreed on. So I'm wondering what the major advantages of doing this might be (in addition to being able to control the system remotely via iPhone) and if it's worth that. Any comments on your experiences of this would be very helpful.

Ionized, you're right about the digital thermostats. The temperature sensing can be programmed from those as well as the wall units. So the question is where to have the temperature sensing, in the units or the thermostats. I think the units are best because they will more accurately know the temperature of the room, and it leaves the thermostats to be placed wherever you want them to be. My husband thinks it's better to put temp sensing in the thermostats due to the flow of air (he thinks the units will cool the air around them quicker and not cool the room). What are your experiences with this? The foreman recommends temp sensing in the units and says that some folks put all their thermostats together in a cabinet. I'd love to hide them like that but wonder if and how they can display the temperature accurately in the rooms they're monitoring if they're closed up in a closet.

So my second thermostat question is where best to place the thermostats. It doesn't seem critical as the temp sensing is just a matter of programming and the thermostats can be relocated fairly easily. But I thought I'd ask you guys and gals before deciding. Thanks so much for reading.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2013 at 11:38AM
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That certainly is a lot of additional money for the control system. I am not familiar with your first choice or the upgrade, so I can't really comment on the advantages of the upgrade. I find the Mitsu web site rather impenetrable for their control details. I just have remotes. (They can be "keyed" to work in three different channels so if you want to separate control of two units in the same room to different controls, you can.) Any remote operates any high wall unit. When programming mine to start up/shut off. I walk around with one remote and do the two or three that I want to operate at a particular time. For example, I set the kitchen, den and bedroom to come on at about 6 in the hot, humid summer if I will be coming home to get on the exercise machine, make dinner and go to bed. Utility, guest bed. living, and dining rooms stay off until DW comes home and decides where she is going to hang. If it is not an exercise night, the den stays off.) If I pick up a remote in each room, it takes a lot longer if changes to the schedule are made. Den and kitchen cool off fast. The BR gets hot on the South side next to the SW utility room with big, leaky windows.

I would not sweat placement of the thermostats much since the programming can be changed to change the sensor use. You can also move the remote thermostats around pretty much at will. If it were me, I'd probably just put them on table tops or dressers for now until I decide what works best (and probably never get up the gumption to mount them).

If you heat with them, you will find that with sensors in the units themselves they become ceiling heaters. This is because the blower slows as they approach set point and heat rises. You can compensate by manually increasing blower speed or, as I do in the BR, use a paddle fan. Even with remote thermostats, they will be ceiling heaters, but the real living space will be warmer so that only solves part of the problem.

Do you have nat gas for the hydronic? If so, it is likely less expensive to heat with that anyway.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2013 at 12:19PM
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How did it turn out? Curious after all this reading!

    Bookmark   December 9, 2013 at 10:50PM
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Hello All,

I posted a different question and just checked in and saw the last two posts. Thanks for the tips on the thermostats Ionized, there were some things you mentioned that I didn't know. All of ours were mounted on the walls, but we prefer to use the handheld one that controls them all. It's so easy to sit in one spot and scroll through each room turning on or off or changing the temperature.

So how did it turn out? In a word, fabulous! Last summer wasn't that bad, so we didn't use them that much, but they cool quickly and quietly. Once we turned them all on and had to turn them off after half an hour because the house was freezing. The heating is slower but will warm up a space by a few degrees in about 20 minutes, so it's nice as supplemental heat in the open plan dining room for meals or in one room. Here's a shot of the unit in the dining room.

I hope this thread has been helpful to others with similar questions. It was a huge help to us. Thanks again!

    Bookmark   January 30, 2014 at 6:03PM
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I am glad that you like the end result. I am jealous, however, of the controls improvements that you were able to include that Mitsubishi has come up with between the time mine was installed and yours was done.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2014 at 6:16PM
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I don't know ionized. I'm perfectly happy having the wireless standard control. Simple, simple, simple! It takes me about no time to get tied up in each vendors "system or programming sequence". Some time back I bought a really nice SLR digital camera. By the time I figured out how to do something and then didn't do it regularly I'd have to go back and re-learn it all again…and again. I guess that is a personal problem, but my daughter loves my SLR camera and I went back to a point and shoot.

To tipi, you have made a significant investment in your home and I think you will be delighted with it.

Btw, to your question about the 64kbtu connected to a 48k condensing unit…On the 4 ton unit you can connect as little as 36 kbtu of evaporators or as much as 64K. Maximum of 8 evaporators. There is still only a maximum of 4 tons of system capacity, but you will likely never be using all of the evaporators at the same time and you will tend to turn off a unit upon leaving the area. If you ran all 8 indoor units that were over the 4 ton capacity it would simply de-rate all the units proportionally.

Please stop by and wake this thread up after some hot weather and let us know how it has gone for you.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2014 at 7:10PM
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Jackfre, with the hand-held controls, no true setback is possible, only on/off. In heating season, I'd like to be able to go cooler while I sleep and have the system wake up before I do so the floor is warm before my feet hit it. I have no problem with on/off only durning cooling season so it is not such a big deal since cooling season is so long where I live.

I'd like to be able to set up a cycle that dries the coils after being in cooling or dehumidify mode. That would mean stopping the system for a while and then starting up with just the blower running (setting in cooling mode to a very high temp).

I'd like remote operation from outside the home.

It should be easier to program from one site if the controller was designed well.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2014 at 7:40PM
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My Evaps have a "coil dry" feature which does what you describe as far as drying the coil/pan. It is a regularly used and highly desirable feature.

I have a combination system with the mini-splits and Rinnai Energysavers. The Rinnai's have built in Programmability/setback, etc. I use the mshp in on/off and one of the Rinnai's on off as well. The other is programmed to come on...with the coffee pot;)

I have a friend who just went to work for Mitsubishi. Post your model numbers and I'll write him a note on programming options. Also, Ii'll be at the Intn'l Builders Show/kitcehn&bath show in Las Wages next week. If they have a booth I'll stop by and see what I can find out.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2014 at 12:23PM
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Will do Jackfre. I'll check in in the fall and let you know how the summer went.

One issue we had this past summer was high humidity levels in the house because we didn't need to use the units that much. It may have been due to a tub faucet leak in a downstairs bathroom that was discovered this past fall. We won't know until this summer, but a little further reading on the systems revealed that the commercial units will heat, cool, or dehumidify only. The residential units that we have do not have that option. So they dehumidify only when cooling. We needed 3 dehumidifiers going constantly to keep humidity levels at the 40-50% range.

So, we'll see if this is an issue this coming summer. I'll let you know.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2014 at 12:35PM
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Thanks Jackfre. I am aware of the coil dry available on some other models. I am under the impression that some may actually warm up the indoor coil a little rather than just ventilate them. I've built my own "afterblow" system for my car to keep DSS at bay.

I've been told that the control options for my units is pretty limited when I see stuff in the Mitsu catalog and ask about them, but I'd really appreciate any info that you might be able to gather. I hate hijack Tippi's thread more than I already have. Should I just start a special one? I thought we could do PMs on their forum, but I don't see that. Have I missed it?

    Bookmark   January 31, 2014 at 1:16PM
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Woa, Tippi, you have a serious and expensive moisture problem. It has to be leaks or infiltration of moist air. Is it very humid where you live? Do you have dry indoor air in the winter?

My experience with mini splits indicates that potential and existing customers are very confused by the manufacturers' language ca. dehumidification. Yes, there is a dehumidify setting, but there is only one coil in the indoor unit. They can only be biased to water removal over cooling by running the fan at the lowest speed and keeping the coil at the lowest practical temperature.

This is a very nice feature and is very effective in humidity control when only a little cooling is needed or a little can be tolerated. It is not as effective as a dedicated dehumidifier when one of those is desirable.

The commercial units might have two coils in the indoor unit. I have not seen that, but I am not an HVAC pro. They'd also need two sets of lines, one for each coil. What I know they can do is cool and heat adjacent units in the same room, or in adjacent rooms at the same time with the same outdoor unit. This would be an effective dehumidification device in lieu of a dedicated dehumidifier.

BTW, this link was posted in a current thread. I thought you might find it of use:

Here is a link that might be useful: Roof in FLW-like house

    Bookmark   January 31, 2014 at 1:38PM
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