Ductless A/C installation dilemma

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Old 10-19-16, 09:07 PM
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Ductless A/C installation dilemma

Hello people-my wife and I have a dilemma- we now have 2 small A/C's(5000btu) in our small den and small bedroom on the main floor and one 11000 BTU in our Living room in our small cape cod house. We are looking at ductless and they want to put a 7000 BTU unit in the 2 small rooms and a 12000 BTU in the living room and a 12000 in our basement--the cost is about $10000. Not sure if this is the way to go?? Also not sure if the 12000 BTU unit in the living room will hit the kitchen as we need to desperately have cooled-- one guy says he can put one in the kitchen along with one in the living room while another guy says that he will place the living room unit in a direct line with the kitchen so that the air will also flow into the kitchen- we are very confused- two completely different opinions. One guy says the 12000 will definitely cool both rooms and the other guy says we will not be happy with the results??? HELP
 
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Old 10-19-16, 11:25 PM
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You're going to have ductless units all over the house.

What is the house heating method ?
If forced air.... have you considered a split A/C unit ?
 
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Old 10-20-16, 01:26 AM
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Are all these quotes for a single condenser (outside unit) and multiple evaporator (inside unit) heads or are they for several two-piece units?
 
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Old 10-28-16, 12:43 PM
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Hello I am back- I hope i can attach some pics of my rooms so that u can see what i am talking about-- one pic is showing the area where the pictures are where they want to put the unit so that it blows straight ahead and into the kitchen area through the archway-- the other pic shows where the in the wall a/c is now behind that fancy pic and the other pic shows the archway leading into the kitchen--- only one guy says that the unit in the living room will never cool the kitchen and recommends to put another unit in the kitchen as well??? We are very confused here because adding another head will add another condenser and much more money? Any ideas ?

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Last edited by PJmax; 10-28-16 at 07:28 PM. Reason: reoriented pictures
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Old 10-28-16, 12:47 PM
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The last pic. I hope these pics help somewhat.

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Last edited by PJmax; 10-28-16 at 07:29 PM. Reason: reoriented picture
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Old 10-28-16, 01:04 PM
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There would be some air exchange between the two rooms but I doubt that it would be satisfactory. Either the kitchen will be too hot or the living(?) room will be too cold. Also, to get the air to move across the room to the archway would require a high velocity stream which will be noisy and quite uncomfortable if it hits people.

Adding some ductwork to pick up the cooler stream near the inside unit and with an additional fan in the duct could help to move the cooler air into the kitchen. Of course the problem is installing that ductwork and fan in an aesthetically pleasing manner.

Have any of the contractors done a whole house and room-by-room Manual J heat gain calculation? If not, keep looking.
 
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Old 10-28-16, 04:46 PM
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No one contractor wants to put an A/C unit where that box picture is in the livig room and the other unit in the kitchen above the back door to the left of the kitchen pic so that would take care of the kitchen and take care of the living room(where the in the wall A/C is now anyway.. All the others say that ONE A/C placed by the front door o the living room where those pictures are should cool both rooms just right-- see what I mean-- who is right and why do 3 different cooling places say that 1 A/C about 12000 to 15000 in the living room will do fine for both rooms while only 1 guy says he would put a 12000 unit on the side wall where the A/C is now in the livig room and put a 7-9000 unit in the kitchen ?? For a homeowner this can get quite frustrating.
 
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Old 10-28-16, 05:23 PM
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I live in a one level 1100 sq ft bungalow with no basement. We had a Pridiom AWS240HR 24,000 BTU Mini Split AC Indoor Unit installed 2 years ago and it cools the whole 1100 sq feet but that is one level. Kitchen/dining room/living room are all open and connected. 1 Bathroom and 2 bedrooms. We like the unit as it also has a heat setting for use in the fall and part of the winter if needed. The unit is installed in the living room on the back wall near our sliding door.
 
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Old 10-28-16, 10:38 PM
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Montemag, your problem is the wall between the kitchen and the living room. This wall prevents the easy intermingling of the cooler air from the inside unit mounted anywhere outside of the kitchen. It may very well be true that a single unit will have the necessary BTU capacity but if you cannot CIRCULATE the air throughout the living areas you WILL have hot and cold areas.

Mini-splits do very well in open-concept homes where the areas to be conditioned do not have dead-ended areas created by intervening walls.
 
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Old 10-29-16, 06:32 AM
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u r so right-- so the ? remains- do we put a separate unit in the kitchen or not and pray for the best- the costs start to mount??
 
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Old 10-29-16, 08:57 AM
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I don't believe you said how you heat the house now, also do you have a basement,would it be possible to install an air handler down there and run duct work to supply the living area?
Just a thought!
 
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Old 10-29-16, 10:24 AM
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You didn't answer my questions concerning the contractors having done the heat gain calculation or the question of a single condensing (outdoor) unit and multiple evaporator (inside) units.

Without doing the calculation the contractor is only GUESSING at the proper size and while in most cases the guess will be close it is still a guess and YOUR case is not the norm. Without knowing a whole lot more about your home, its construction, your lifestyle and where your home is situated I couldn't begin to guess what size of A/C unit(s) would be appropriate.

The better manufacturers DO make single condenser/multiple evaporator units for use when homes are NOT built in the more modern "open" concept or for use when multiple discrete rooms need special cooling needs. This would likely be your best bet. As I stated earlier, you could install ductwork and additional fans to help move the air between the kitchen and living room BUT that entails more money being spent AND some pretty careful design to not look ugly as sin. It also has the downside of circulating kitchen odors (fish or garlic come to mind) throughout the living room, something that might, or might not, be objectionable.

Lots more things to consider as well.
 
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Old 10-30-16, 11:41 AM
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Is there an attic or basement space? If so install a multihead minisplit with ducted indoor units. Then you'll be able to do multiple rooms off a single indoor unit.
 
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Old 10-30-16, 09:00 PM
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my house is a small cape cod in LI NY and has NOT attic space or any attic space whatsoever for any duct work. from the pictures above- the kitchen alone is 15' x 12' and the living room is 11' x 20' while the whole space from the kitchen thru the archway into the living room is 24'. and without getting too technical all the A/C guys recommended about the same BTU units for the living room (without this heat gain??) but only one guy s mentioned said that the kitchen would not be cooled appropriately without its own small unit in the kitchen!!- No other guy said this- they all said the A/C would get in there thru the archway while that one guy said my wife would not be happy in the long run if we do not do it properly?
And yes we do have a basement - and that is where we want to put one unit as well. Also the guy that mentioned to put a unit in the kitchen also said we should use more than one condenser outside just in case we had a problem with the unit- at least one condenser would be working otherwise if we put all units on one condenser if that blows- we would have NO A/C??
 
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Old 10-31-16, 05:24 AM
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Put low static ducted units in the basement and duct up through the floor. And you could still use a single outdoor with multiple indoors, if you chose a model that was able to do that
 
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Old 10-31-16, 12:27 PM
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I 100% agree that you need a unit in the kitchen as well! Also what about heat? If you get a HP make sure they post what temp the unit will go down to and how many BTU's. example Mitsubishi MSZ series will heat to 5 with 100% capacity Other brands might heat to 17 at 50% capacity.
 
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Old 10-31-16, 02:15 PM
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Also the guy that mentioned to put a unit in the kitchen also said we should use more than one condenser outside just in case we had a problem with the unit- at least one condenser would be working otherwise if we put all units on one condenser if that blows- we would have NO A/C??
Well, he is right that IF you "lose" the single condenser then you lose all the air conditioning BUT most homes with central A/C have only a single condensing unit.

Is it worth the extra money to have limited back-up cooling in case a major component fails? For most people the answer is no, they are willing to sweat for a few days until the unit is repaired.
 
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Old 11-03-16, 07:48 PM
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well my wife is going nuts over this and does not want to spend over 12000 for the 5 units-- so I think i will just get one unit for the basement and for a while keep the A/C's we have in the wall in the living room and keep the A/C's in the windows in my bedroom and den. As for the Kitchen- ?????? That is the unknown-- we will continue to sweat for a while each season--- but what shocked me the most is that one contractor who gave us a price of $10,200 for 4 units and one condenser on the outside of the house-( 2x 7000 BTU units and 1x 12000 BTU in LR and 1x 12000 BTU in basement ) ants to charge me $3500 for just the one 12000 BTU in the basement-- I know that with volume comes discounts- but $3500 for 1 unit and $10,200 for 4 units-- that is quite a jackup in price for doing just 1 unit??
 
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