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Mini-split AC system

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billd View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote billd Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Mini-split AC system
    Posted: Jun/29/2017 at 9:38pm
Tired of book covers and vinyl seats getting mildew on them during our non-winter months, I tried everything from fans to a small dehumidifier, all to no avail. 
This year the heat and humidity have been horrible over a month earlier than normal and my advance age (HAHAHAHA) don't help so it was decided to cross an item off our "wish list - high dollar items" and go for some sort of AC for the shop. I was after de-humidification as much as anything but working under the dash of another SX4 repairing wiring someone had really messed up helped make up my mind. 
No way was I going window air - give up one of the two downstairs windows, and then have to either remove or cover it in winter. Also no way to cutting a big hole for a wall-mount system which is basically a window air in a sleeve installed in a big hole in the wall. 

I'd seen a lot about mini-split systems lately and have experience with heat pumps in our area. The idea of a super-efficient system and a 3" hole up high - very quiet and a ton of automation helped decide. 
Plus - when the temps are above about 20 outside I can run this and leave the LP for when it's cold or when it makes more sense. 

It senses when I have left the area and adjusts the temperature accordingly and on the flip side, senses when I return and ramps back up again. When it detects no human for 20 minutes it ups the AC temp by four degrees or in heat mode it drops the heat temp by eight degrees. It can also be set on a schedule, set to "dry mode" so it mainly just dehumidifies, etc.

(I may even be able to control this from a phone or tablet if I can make it work with my lame router.)

It's so bloody quiet it's hard to tell when it's running!

I saved by running the electric myself. 





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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 304-dude Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun/29/2017 at 9:47pm
Cool beans, no more working in a sweat box for you!

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ollie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun/30/2017 at 8:33am
Wow........
I have been giving a lot of thought to AC in my shop too....

Had thoughts of a big window unit (remote controlled) up at the peak of the roof gable, 10' walls, but this might be for me.

I have a heat pump AC in the house and I say the heat pump is worthless. A extremely cold day for me is low teens, average upper teens. I installed a vent less gas heater.

How many sq ft you dealing with?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 6768rogues Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun/30/2017 at 8:48am
I have had AC in my shop for years. When it gets hot outside, I do stuff inside. It is nice to work out there in the evening without donating blood to the mosquito population.
I have 8 large windows, 4 on the east side and 4 on the west. Each side has a window air conditioner. One does a good job unless I open a door and bring in a car with a hot engine, then the second is needed to catch up.


Edited by 6768rogues - Jun/30/2017 at 8:51am
Why Ramblers? Chicks dig 'em. Whatever it is, I can take it apart.
Located near Rochester, NY
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote S Curry Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun/30/2017 at 11:02am
Mitsubishi? I installed one like this in my garage about 5 yrs ago. 24X24 spray foam insulated. I have the heat pump option with it and I use it mostly to keep it warm in the winter months. I will run the AC when it gets really humid and the floor is still cold and sweats. Takes about 10 minutes and it is dry. The heat pump works to about -10F then it has a hard time keeping it at 60F. Other than that, it works fantastic and is very efficient and quiet.........
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 401MATCOUPE Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun/30/2017 at 12:13pm
Bill D....you will NEVER regret the A/C, it can be a real motivator to work in shop when so hot/humid outside.........I like the features you described about the automation.....
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote billd Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun/30/2017 at 12:16pm
Originally posted by Ollie Ollie wrote:

Wow........
I have been giving a lot of thought to AC in my shop too....

Had thoughts of a big window unit (remote controlled) up at the peak of the roof gable, 10' walls, but this might be for me.

I have a heat pump AC in the house and I say the heat pump is worthless. A extremely cold day for me is low teens, average upper teens. I installed a vent less gas heater.

How many sq ft you dealing with?

Having AMC Fun,
Ollie


Then you have either a poorly installed heat pump or a unit that has troubles..... for us a mild day is upper teens. Cold is when the high is zero.
We have a Trane in the house and that thing does very well down to about 20 degrees F.  After that if it finds it is running too long or the temperature difference between actual inside temp and thermostat setting is larger than x degrees, it pulls in the aux heat strips. There are three stages if I recall, as far as the aux heat, maybe it's only two.... anyway, it has to be COLD and I mean mid to lower teens before I see that aux show on the stat screen. It's very efficient down to cold temps. 

Anyway, this is a Fujitsu unit in the shop. The specs are much better than other brands. I checked several reviews and comparisons by AC-related organizaions and Fujitsu has better numbers all around. It does a better job than others at extracting heat out of colder air as the other brands BTU ratings fall lower faster as the temperature drops)
But heat isn't really why I got it. I was tired of this old fat body sweating while working up in or under a dash, MILDEW on hard to find books, mildew on vinyl car seats and vinyl seats and covers I have stored (mildew on BOOKS really ticks me off
The humidity out there was a killer. In the spring the floor would actually PUDDLE water - slosh-slosh water not just water beads or droplets. 
So I mostly keep the doors all closed unless it's cool and dry out - for one thing, WASPS, and I mean the sort of wasps that remember me carrying a can of RAID around trying to kill them and they come after me later seeking revenge, I swear! My neighbor says "oh, they won't bother you" as one is chasing me around, and just days after being stung on the arm by one that was ticked because I turned the outside water off. 
So to keep bugs, WASPS and even mice out, doors stay closed, windows have screens but are closed at night because of bugs that can fly right through screens like they are huge doorways for them to get to the light in the shop. 

The main reasoning was humidity, mildew on books and seats, etc., HOT and sweaty working conditions - hey,, this is Iowa and we literally get tropical here to the point of mold growing on the ground and trees rotting - and I guess better for the building over-all. But the other biggy was when it hits 95 or more outside (which it has several times already this year) and the humidity is just about as high, it's hard to blast, powdercoat and even plating sometimes requires specific temperatures. 

The mini-split is far more efficient than even our household Trane system. It's all electronically controlled, they vary fan and compressor almost infinitely and handles that shop very well. Winter it will likely be used in conjunction with the infrared since that heats THINGS and not the air, but that's not why I got it. 

It took only a 20 amp 240 line, which I ran myself. (I used to do maintenance electric and had a license as a maintenance electrician back in the 1990s)
The conduit fittings are weather-tight, I used a proper fused AC disconnect, dedicated circuit/breaker in the box and so on. 

It's rated 18000 BTU. Heating and cooling ratings are different a bit....
The shop building INSIDE is about 29 x 35 (outside is 30 x 36 but the walls measure pretty close to 6" thick so we lose a foot each direction)
The ceiling is 15' high. The inside unit is about 12' high? *(A guess)
He needed a minimum line length of 10 feet so we had to be careful there. 
The height is about right as when you stand in the middle of the shop facing the inside unit the cool air is hitting your face, etc. so the air distribution is very good. It cools the whole shop pretty quickly, removing humidity took a bit longer. 

My neighbor was saying he has no humidity troubles - I looked over at his shop and told him - yeah, but wood breathes..... do you have vapor barrier installed? everything sealed and caulked up tight?
His is a decent building pretty easy to heat, but it does breathe. A steel building with 6" thick walls, insulation, vapor barrier, and an inside steel skin won't breathe so it gets humid in there. 

Don't count out a GOOD heat pump or mini-split. the technology has come a long way. However, be really sure the company that installs it is trained and particular as these are not forgiving at all compared to many other systems. They come pre-charged, etc. and the flares are a bit different on the lines, not as easy to seal according to the installers I spoke with. 

IMO, these are perfect for a shop - only a 3" hole in the wall, mounted up out of the way, VERY quiet, doesn't take up a window, no big hole to seal in bad weather, low energy consumption compared to any other AC type, doubles as heat in the winter, programmable and at least this one I can grab the brackets under the outside unit when it's running and feel no vibration - that's a good thing as vibrations in steel, brackets and buildings is bad. 
The only down-side........ no more excuse to come in and complain to Barbara "it's just too hot and muggy out there to get anything done". HA. (I guess I do have to bring in more MONEY to make it worth having out there....... so that means I have to do more work that generates some sort of cash flow.)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote billd Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun/30/2017 at 12:28pm
Originally posted by 401MATCOUPE 401MATCOUPE wrote:

Bill D....you will NEVER regret the A/C, it can be a real motivator to work in shop when so hot/humid outside.........I like the features you described about the automation.....


Ross - you will like the fact that it means I have better luck blasting/cleaning parts Wink

Thanks for the positive comment - it's always hard (at least for this miser) to spring for that sort of money but then you nailed part of it in your comment. I guess I'll call it my retirement gift to myself since Barbara used some of her vacation payout on her Intelliquilter system as her retirement gift to herself (and she's making money with it)

Working with brush plating - nasty chemicals that are slick, acidic, sticky at times, and doing small parts by hand is a pain when it's hot and humid - things also dry faster and better.  Try wiping sweat away with messy rubber gloves covered with solution......... don't be tempted or forget what's on your hands. 

I am loving the automation part. 
It's a Fujitsu 15RLS3 if anyone wants to see the specs. 
http://www.fujitsu-general.com/us/products/split/wall/asu15rls3.html





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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote S Curry Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun/30/2017 at 2:35pm
Mine is a 9000 BTU without the resistant heating backup. Runs 7 amps draw total. At 240 VAC, I ran 12 guage wire to the disconnect. I have no complaints. I installed mine about 5 years ago. It was 1750 for the unit with duct work, copper and outside wall mount. $250 to have a HVAC tech cut in the piping. Keeps the garage at 60 for most of the winter until it drops -10F then it struggles to keep up. Did I say it is quiet....
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ollie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun/30/2017 at 3:40pm
The best thing I have done to my shop was a dehumidifier. I got a top of the line unit, auto pumper, set at 65%, auto runs 24/7, 365 days. Even if the temp goes below freezing, it senses it.   No more sweating tool boxes, floors, etc.

As far as the heat pump in my house.....it doesn't work to good with high humidity. Waste of money in the Southland. I heated for years with a wood stove and last year I got tired of playing with wood so I went ventless propane heater.... ...turn the knob and warm !!!

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