Replace old HVAC Zone

PeteyHallMarch 20, 2014

My house is an 1950's cape up in New England with 2 very old 2 ton central AC zones (each floor is a separate zone). During last summer's heat wave, the outside compressor for my 2nd floor completely died (guy I know looked at it and said it was dead) so I ended up going out and buying a couple of cheap window units to get through the rest of the summer.

Flash forward to now. The 2nd floor just has 2 bedrooms and a small bathroom. I'm in the process of getting some quotes for a replacement for the 2nd floor but here's my dilemma. Even though I know the ducts were poorly installed originally, I have the ductwork in there so I could go out and buy a new central ac unit or I could go out and buy a new Mitsubishi ductless system and just get rid of all of the old stuff.

Based on the quotes that I've seen to replace the dead unit with a new R410a compressor and air handler versus putting in a 2 zone Mitsubishi ductless with the ceiling-cassette mounted vents, the costs are almost the exact same for both. I'm sort of leaning towards just going with the ductless rather than replacing the old system since I have to move the old unit anyways (we're putting on an addition where the existing compressors are located) and because of the condition of the existing ductwork but I'm wondering if this is the right call or not.

Any guidance or suggestions would be greatly appreciated! Thanks

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I find it hard to believe you need a 2 ton condenser to cool two bedrooms and a bathroom. You need to find a contractor who will do a proper load calculation. I would think 1 ton would be sufficient. You could take the money saved on the proper sized unit and put it towards fixing the duct work and moving the condenser.

The Mitsubishi mini splits could also work well since you only have two rooms. My preference would be to fix the ducts and get the proper sized condenser and air handler. I am not sure I would like the look of ceiling mounted cassettes.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2014 at 9:24AM
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The only reason my wife wants the ceiling cassettes is because the bedrooms aren't large and she doesn't want to take the wall space up by using the wall-mounted ones.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2014 at 7:25PM
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Three or four years ago, I don't think that ceiling cassetes were available in capacities as small as high wall units. You might not be able to get capacity to match the rooms very well if that is the case today.

I like my mini-split system. I have posted several times here about it. I live in a hot-humid climate and the price of gas was higher when I made my decision. In NE, with today's price of gas, I am not sure I wouild go that way.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2014 at 9:01AM
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