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Old 06-07-2024, 06:39 PM   #1
Susie Cougar
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Default Mini split

Hi everyone. I could use your expertise.
My son has just bought a home in Tampa, Florida and is in the process of renovating it. The back part of the home is an addition and although there is air conditioning there, there wasn’t room to put a cold air return in the ceiling And so the new area is very hot. I know that many of you on the forum have put in mini splits, but is the fact that there is no cold air return a problem? So is there another option or should we go with a mini split?
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Old 06-07-2024, 06:50 PM   #2
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Mini split should work fine there. No return on the split. I put one above my garage in the living space there. Works like charm 2 bedrooms and living room.
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Old 06-07-2024, 06:51 PM   #3
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With mini splits there’s no duct work, so lack of return is a non-issue! Mini splits sound like the way he should go. (I have 5 of them!)
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Old 06-07-2024, 07:05 PM   #4
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That sounds perfect! Thanks for your feedback everyone.
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Old 06-07-2024, 10:33 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Susie Cougar View Post
Hi everyone. I could use your expertise.
My son has just bought a home in Tampa, Florida and is in the process of renovating it. The back part of the home is an addition and although there is air conditioning there, there wasn’t room to put a cold air return in the ceiling And so the new area is very hot. I know that many of you on the forum have put in mini splits, but is the fact that there is no cold air return a problem? So is there another option or should we go with a mini split?
Mini Splits is the PERFECT solution for the area that he has in mind. I myself recently had COSTCO put in two mini splits in my Florida home and they were running a promotion that saved me 15%. Costco subcontracts the mini splits nationwide so you can be assured of a 1st class job. The mini splits are all ductless, whisper quiet and efficient.

I know Tampa has a Costco store so be sure to have him to go in there and check them out to obtain a quote.
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Old 06-08-2024, 02:37 AM   #6
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Question Seen 'em, But Still Ignorant...

How is a mini-split better than a $125 window unit?

("Window-shaker").
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Old 06-08-2024, 04:56 AM   #7
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How is a mini-split better than a $125 window unit?

("Window-shaker").
It cost thousands more so you’re stimulating the economy!
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Old 06-08-2024, 08:56 AM   #8
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Mini Splits is the PERFECT solution for the area that he has in mind. I myself recently had COSTCO put in two mini splits in my Florida home and they were running a promotion that saved me 15%. Costco subcontracts the mini splits nationwide so you can be assured of a 1st class job. The mini splits are all ductless, whisper quiet and efficient.

I know Tampa has a Costco store so be sure to have him to go in there and check them out to obtain a quote.
Thanks, TimeTraveler. My husband just filled out the form and we are looking forward to be contacted by someone from Costco. Thanks for the tip!
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Old 06-08-2024, 09:38 AM   #9
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Make sure to apply for the 30% tax credit from the Inflation Reduction Act, and there may be state credits too
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Old 06-08-2024, 09:43 AM   #10
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How is a mini-split better than a $125 window unit?

("Window-shaker").
No comparison actually…splits are way more energy efficient, they are quieter, perform better and you can use them for very efficient heating in the cold weather months….

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Old 06-08-2024, 01:24 PM   #11
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Any suggestions on manufacturer and local installer?

I prefer Trane but no one local?
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Old 06-08-2024, 01:40 PM   #12
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Any suggestions on manufacturer and local installer?

I prefer Trane but no one local?
Mitsubishi, Home Energy Products:
https://www.homeenergyproducts.net/l...heatpumps.html

Alan
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Old 06-08-2024, 03:24 PM   #13
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I am not familiar with Trane mini splits, but Mitsubishi is the long time leader
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Old 06-08-2024, 03:27 PM   #14
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Default Agree with Slick

Agree with Mitsubishi / Home Energy Products.

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Old 06-08-2024, 05:02 PM   #15
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Lennox is another good brand.
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Old 06-08-2024, 05:43 PM   #16
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I am not familiar with Trane mini splits, but Mitsubishi is the long time leader
They are now one and the same. The companies merged. American Standard mini splits are also under the same umbrella.

As recent as a few years ago, I would have said Mitsubishi is the only way to go. Now, these inverter compressor “mini splits” are such a commodity item, the there is probably not a huge difference in quality among the major brand names. However, Mitsubishi is still the safest bet.

That said, there is a wide variety in how these units perform in a cold climate. It is critical to understand how many BTU’s the unit puts out at the coldest anticipated temperature at the location they get installed. A unit with a nameplate rating of 24,000 BTU might put out 24,000 BTU at 30F, but might not work at all at -10F, or might only put out 10,000 BTU at -10F. Don’t assume all units are the same, even within the same manufacturers range of products. Obviously this isn’t a big factor in warm climates.
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Old 06-09-2024, 08:05 AM   #17
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If you are in a cold climate and anticipating using the mini-split for heat, look for hyper heat models. That said, I don’t know of any reputable cold climate installer that recommends mini-splits as a sole heat source. Remember, if you pull your boiler you lose your basement heat source. Will your pipes survive the cold?


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Old 06-09-2024, 10:04 AM   #18
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If you are in a cold climate and anticipating using the mini-split for heat, look for hyper heat models. That said, I don’t know of any reputable cold climate installer that recommends mini-splits as a sole heat source. Remember, if you pull your boiler you lose your basement heat source. Will your pipes survive the cold?


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We had mini splits as our only heat in Mass for 5 years, and they were great. That's not quite as tough as the lake, though I'm pretty sure they were OK at -5 or -10. But I agree you'd want a professional recommendation and good insulation
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Old 06-09-2024, 10:15 AM   #19
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We had mini splits as our only heat in Mass for 5 years, and they were great. That's not quite as tough as the lake, though I'm pretty sure they were OK at -5 or -10. But I agree you'd want a professional recommendation and good insulation
I would have no problem using Mitsubishi Hyper Heats units as my only source of heat in the Lakes Region of NH. As a matter of fact I do in an efficiency unit I built a few years ago above a garage. Absolutely zero issues in the coldest of weather! They are 100% efficient to 5 below zero and continue to throw heat (at a lower efficiency) to 22 below zero. Good insulation is the key!

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Old 06-09-2024, 11:29 AM   #20
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I had a 48000 btu Hyper unit installed in my home in Ma this past fall, mainly for the AC. I tried using it for a few months as heat only this past winter. Although the heat worked great even in the coldest weather, I didn't see any savings over using my oil boiler system.
In January electricity went up and oil went down so I eventually switched back to burning oil. I'm glad I kept my oil system, so I have the option to use either one depending on prices.
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Old 06-09-2024, 12:29 PM   #21
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We are in the process of moving away from a Monitor K1 heater to a mini-split to both save money and provide AC in the summer if needed. (Actually it's efficient - albeit fossil fuel - but at one point a year of so ago the K1 was over $7 a gallon!!!!) Anyway, the unit/model we picked is rated for heating down to -13F which was one of the better I could find for such a climate.
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Old 06-09-2024, 12:39 PM   #22
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Oil and gas boilers are efficient in the winter because they are generally being used in a combination format for heat and hot water, so less of a standby loss - as that heat is shunted into the basement/living space.
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Old 06-09-2024, 08:48 PM   #23
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I would not rely on the hyper heat as a lone heat source in this region base on my installlers recommendations.
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Old 06-10-2024, 07:39 AM   #24
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I would not rely on the hyper heat as a lone heat source in this region base on my installlers recommendations.
If you're building a new house and it's super insulated, I'm sure you would be fine. They do throw heat even below 0 but it's not exactly hot air.
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Old 06-10-2024, 09:13 AM   #25
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Think of water pipes in unheated spaces. If you rely solely on a hyper-heat unit during the winter you may want to add an additional head unit in the basement.

Interestingly, and as an aside, I got an advert from Ocean State Job Lots for an $800 mini-split unit with a $400 gift card for OSJL. At the end of the advert it recommends installation by a pro.


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Old 06-10-2024, 09:22 AM   #26
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Think of water pipes in unheated spaces. If you rely solely on a hyper-heat unit during the winter you may want to add an additional head unit in the basement.

Interestingly, and as an aside, I got an advert from Ocean State Job Lots for an $800 mini-split unit with a $400 gift card for OSJL. At the end of the advert it recommends installation by a pro.


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I installed one head in the basement for this reason. If my oil boiler goes down for an extended period during a cold streak, I can turn it on to at least prevent a freeze up.
I can control everything from my phone, including my oil heat which gives me piece of mind if I'm away or when my wife calls and says, "how do I turn these things on", LOL!
If I was going to rely on Mini Splits only to heat my house, I would recommend installing multiple units.
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Old 06-12-2024, 07:56 AM   #27
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Thanks, TimeTraveler. My husband just filled out the form and we are looking forward to be contacted by someone from Costco. Thanks for the tip!
We just got our first quote from Costco and it was for $7030. And that is for a single head 9000 BTU system. The space that we want to cool down is approximately 400 ft.². It consist of a living area a bedroom and a bathroom.

Any feedback on how this price sound? We are awaiting a second quote.
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Old 06-12-2024, 08:22 AM   #28
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Hi Suzie. For comparison purpose, here is a quote I got from Home Energy out of Belmont. Keep in mind that it is from 2022 but might still have some relevancy. If you haven't called them it might be worthwhile.

Home Energy Products proposes to install the following Mitsubishi equipment:

(1) MXZ2C20NAHZ – 18,000 BTU “Hyper Heating” Ductless AC/Heat Pump Condenser (outdoor unit) with/

(1) MSZGL09NA – 9,000 BTU Ductless AC/Heat Pump Evaporator (indoor unit) (Bedroom Left)

(1) MSZGL09NA – 9,000 BTU Ductless AC/Heat Pump Evaporator (indoor unit) (Bedroom Right)

**Customer will provide – (1) – 230 Volt – 40 amp circuit – installed with feeder disconnect**


**Does not qualify for rebates** ($8,800)

(2) MUZFS06NA – 6,000 BTU “Hyper Heating” Ductless AC/Heat Pump Condensers (outdoor units) with/

(2) MSZFS06NA – 6,000 BTU “Hyper Heating” Ductless AC/Heat Pump Evaporators (indoor units) (Bedrooms Left & Right)

**Customer will provide – (2) – 230 Volt – 15 amp circuits – installed with feeder disconnects**

**Qualifies for $700 NHEC Rebate** ($8,600)
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Old 06-12-2024, 08:36 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Susie Cougar View Post
We just got our first quote from Costco and it was for $7030. And that is for a single head 9000 BTU system. The space that we want to cool down is approximately 400 ft.². It consist of a living area a bedroom and a bathroom.

Any feedback on how this price sound? We are awaiting a second quote.
With their price quote does that also provide you a 10% or 15% Costco spending card to be used in the store?

I don't believe a small one head system offers a heat option and it is solely air conditioning. Do you need a heat option at all or is the heat situation already covered in your son's square footage area of consideration?

I know Florida is currently baking in the heat. How long did they say it would be before they would be able to install it for him?

The nice thing about Costco is that they will stand behind this should you ever have a problem. Nonetheless I would still want to obtain another quote or two to be sure you are comfortable with it.
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Old 06-12-2024, 08:36 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Susie Cougar View Post
We just got our first quote from Costco and it was for $7030. And that is for a single head 9000 BTU system. The space that we want to cool down is approximately 400 ft.². It consist of a living area a bedroom and a bathroom.

Any feedback on how this price sound? We are awaiting a second quote.
Seems high, I would get more quotes, but it is Froriduh.
I paid 14K for a 48,000 BTU hyper unit with 5 heads, complete install including electrical, but that was Ma..
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Old 06-12-2024, 09:00 AM   #31
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Seems high, I would get more quotes, but it is Froriduh.
I paid 14K for a 48,000 BTU hyper unit with 5 heads, complete install including electrical, but that was Ma..
How long ago was that price Big??

I am doing a small project at my home and was shocked at how much costs have gone up just in the past two years! It's ridiculous!

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Old 06-12-2024, 09:04 AM   #32
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I know Florida is currently baking in the heat. How long did they say it would be before they would be able to install it for him?
Thanks for your advice TTT. The problem is that the seller lied about so many things in the house that when we went through the inspection, we thought that my son had a home that was ready to move into. It turned out to be the fixer-upper from hell

Right now he doesn’t have a hot water heater because the one that was in his house was from 1999. he’s been trying to take sailor showers. We couldn’t get insurance on the house because the roof over the porch was ready to fall down. We went through all kinds of stuff with the insurance company until they would finally give us insurance. Insurance is extremely high. The whole kitchen is ripped out now. They had put a new refrigerator there and it looked like everything was in good shape , until the inspector said the cabinets were ready to fall apart. They were so old.

So, my son has been coming to our house, which is an hour away from him a couple of times a week to do laundry and cook some food that he can bring back and heat up at work.
My son is single and he would need a roommate and now we have to help him for the next couple of months with the mortgage until he can get the house ready for a roommate as well as himself.
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Old 06-12-2024, 09:59 AM   #33
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What a great advertisement for a home inspection before purchase!!


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Old 06-12-2024, 10:23 AM   #34
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Of course we had a home inspection before we purchased. We already backed out of another home when they found that there had been an extensive fire in the attic and there was cracked asbestos everywhere.

My son had to be out of his apartment by May 31 and time was of the essence. we had looked at so many homes and all the homes in Tampa even when they try to hide it with a new coat of paint, need a lot of work. And the layout of this house was perfect for a roommate because there was separation and two different living areas. This would bring in $500 more per month in rent that my son could collect from a tenant.

So, a lot of thought went into this and we knew everything that had to be fixed, but it turned out to be a lot more than we had anticipated .
And we didn’t really understand that we needed a mini split as well because we thought we could just have the AC fixed somehow. And now we’re looking at another $7000.
The house will be really nice when it is done. The hard part is getting there.
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Old 06-12-2024, 10:26 AM   #35
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She stated that they went through a home inspection.
She felt the seller mislead them about the condition and quality of certain factors in the construction and condition of the house.

That happens even quite a bit here in NH.

We have customers buying Mr Cool... and we have a posted price for single head complete units. But electrical hookup, base to set the condenser on, line guard covers, install, etc... are all variables that add to the cost.
And I am guessing that Florida's labor pool is probably compressed like ours, so labor might be higher than expected.
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Old 06-12-2024, 11:29 AM   #36
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Goi to hvacdirect.com and look at the price for various equipment options. You will be surprised at what the costs are. Add $150 +/- for a 25 foot line set and maybe another $150 for a wall hanger to mount the outdoor unit on. Yes, labor can be expensive, but a normal install can be done with one person in a day if the access is easy. Using the prices on line will give you an idea as to how much is being charged for labor.
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Old 06-12-2024, 11:48 AM   #37
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How long ago was that price Big??

I am doing a small project at my home and was shocked at how much costs have gone up just in the past two years! It's ridiculous!

Dan
I had it installed last October. The initial quote was 16K but he was having so much trouble getting help that he said if I pitched in with my labor he'd knock it down to 14K.
Although I just saw him last night and he said he was straight out this year, working 16-hour days. He said this has been his busiest year ever so far, he's upped his prices.
I know I got a great deal because I had other quotes of 20K plus. I got 5K rebate from the state and 2K Federal tax credit for a final cost of 7K.
Single head units are a very quick and easy install, shouldn't cost that much unless the unit is far away from the electrical service.
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Old 06-12-2024, 06:37 PM   #38
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I got an estimate in May for a Samsung 2 head unit for a small apartment over a boathouse in Gilford.

22K unit and two heads: One 15K and one 7K.

$8,700 Complete. Includes everything.
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Old 06-14-2024, 06:59 AM   #39
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Has anyone used this company?
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Old 06-14-2024, 07:26 AM   #40
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I have had two units installed. Total of five heads. Both were installed by Callahan out of Center Harbor. Excellent work. Both done about five years ago so prices are irrelevant. Ease of install which includes electrical effects quotes.
Also, remember to vacuum out each unit head. As they have a dust filter


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Old 06-14-2024, 11:38 AM   #41
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The rebate incentives in NH aren't as generous as Ma and Maine. Ma gives $1250 per ton, NH only gives $250 per ton. They do give a generous rebate for a hybrid water heater though.
I'd like to install one in my lake house but for now a window AC will have to do.
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Old 06-15-2024, 09:48 AM   #42
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The rebate incentives in NH aren't as generous as Ma and Maine. Ma gives $1250 per ton, NH only gives $250 per ton. They do give a generous rebate for a hybrid water heater though.
I'd like to install one in my lake house but for now a window AC will have to do.
I have been wondering about water heaters for a while--do you have a recommendation?
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Old 06-15-2024, 10:30 AM   #43
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I have been wondering about water heaters for a while--do you have a recommendation?
I didn't install one yet, but they claim to save quite a bit of money.
I have a crawl space in my NH house, only 40" high. I have yet to find a hybrid water heater that short.
Most of them actually look taller than a regular water heater because the heat pump unit sits on the top of the tank.
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Old 06-16-2024, 05:08 AM   #44
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Here's something to think about with hot water heat pumps. They pull heat out of the surrounding air. That means that if they are in your basement, which is already cool in the winter, it will be even colder. Colder basement means colder floors on the first floor. This is a comfort factor (cold feet), plus, you may have to turn your heat up to feel warm enough, which counters savings from the hot water heat pump. The only solution would be to insulate the ceiling of the basement and if you don't care how cold your basement is. I use my basement for several purposes so I actually heat it a bit to keep it at 60 degrees in the winter, which also keeps the first floor floors noticeably warmer and more comfortable.

If the hot water heater is on the first floor, it will draw heat from the air you are trying to heat in the winter. No cold floors but your house heating system will have to replace the heat.

To me, the hot water heat pumps sound more like a warm climate solution.
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Old 06-16-2024, 06:47 AM   #45
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Here's something to think about with hot water heat pumps. They pull heat out of the surrounding air. That means that if they are in your basement, which is already cool in the winter, it will be even colder. Colder basement means colder floors on the first floor. This is a comfort factor (cold feet), plus, you may have to turn your heat up to feel warm enough, which counters savings from the hot water heat pump. The only solution would be to insulate the ceiling of the basement and if you don't care how cold your basement is. I use my basement for several purposes so I actually heat it a bit to keep it at 60 degrees in the winter, which also keeps the first floor floors noticeably warmer and more comfortable.

If the hot water heater is on the first floor, it will draw heat from the air you are trying to heat in the winter. No cold floors but your house heating system will have to replace the heat.

To me, the hot water heat pumps sound more like a warm climate solution.
This was one reason I chose a traditional water heater. The other five were space, initial cost, questionable reliability, install complexity, and the need for a condensate hose/pump.

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Old 06-16-2024, 08:06 AM   #46
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Here's something to think about with hot water heat pumps. They pull heat out of the surrounding air. That means that if they are in your basement, which is already cool in the winter, it will be even colder. Colder basement means colder floors on the first floor. This is a comfort factor (cold feet), plus, you may have to turn your heat up to feel warm enough, which counters savings from the hot water heat pump. The only solution would be to insulate the ceiling of the basement and if you don't care how cold your basement is. I use my basement for several purposes so I actually heat it a bit to keep it at 60 degrees in the winter, which also keeps the first floor floors noticeably warmer and more comfortable.

If the hot water heater is on the first floor, it will draw heat from the air you are trying to heat in the winter. No cold floors but your house heating system will have to replace the heat.

To me, the hot water heat pumps sound more like a warm climate solution.
I my situation it would work perfectly because I have my boiler in my crawl space which has a cement floor and foam insulated walls. It stays very warm in my crawl space all winter long so pulling heat from it would be a big savings along with shutting the boiler down completely in the summer.
But, as I said, I have yet to find a heat pump water heater short enough to fit in my crawl space.
I have a tankless in my boiler which works fine but I would prefer to shut my boiler down in the summer which would keep the crawl space cooler and help to keep the home cooler.
My other option is to install a shorty indirect water tank, but that would still require my boiler to run all summer.
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Old 06-16-2024, 09:31 AM   #47
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Same situation.
But if I were to go that route, I would put the hybrid heat pump water heater in my conditioned space... allowing it to remove heat from my living area in the summer (basically an AC unit) and turn the boiler off for the summer.
I would turn the boiler on in the winter using it for heat and hot water, as the combination is more efficient - standby losses being less with the combination.
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Old 06-16-2024, 11:10 AM   #48
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I'm hoping someone eventually makes a shorty Hybrid hot water heater, don't really have a spot in the house for one.
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Old 06-16-2024, 11:27 AM   #49
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Don't give up yet...

You could cut away the kitchen floor and have a standard unit protrude through the hole.

Then you could frame up a center island around it.

Use this for inspiration:
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Old 06-16-2024, 03:22 PM   #50
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I'm hoping someone eventually makes a shorty Hybrid hot water heater, don't really have a spot in the house for one.
Google shows that they make them as a two part product with the tank separate from the compressor. The compressor feeds the heat through a line like the mini-split into a special tank with a coil inside that transfers the heat to the tank. Sounds about the same as the standard one with the compressor on top except for a longer line set and not so tall.
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Old 06-17-2024, 07:20 AM   #51
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Google shows that they make them as a two part product with the tank separate from the compressor. The compressor feeds the heat through a line like the mini-split into a special tank with a coil inside that transfers the heat to the tank. Sounds about the same as the standard one with the compressor on top except for a longer line set and not so tall.
Way too expensive, even with the $750 rebate. I would be better off just installing an indirect water heater.

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Old 06-17-2024, 10:26 AM   #52
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Can't argue that.
I was looking at doing an indirect and attaching a solar option for the summer.

https://www.builditsolar.com/Experim...SolarDHWV2.htm

Even if it had to be a stand alone unit... I think I would do OK.
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Old 06-17-2024, 11:20 AM   #53
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Can't argue that.
I was looking at doing an indirect and attaching a solar option for the summer.

https://www.builditsolar.com/Experim...SolarDHWV2.htm

Even if it had to be a stand alone unit... I think I would do OK.
I have an indirect in my home in Ma and I have the low temp level on the boiler turned off so if we aren't home the boiler won't turn on at all unless the hot water tank cools down. I use very little oil during the summer.
My home in NH has a tankless so the low temp is set at 160, always burning oil to maintain that temp so we can get hot water, very wasteful.
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Old 07-12-2024, 03:54 PM   #54
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Of course we had a home inspection before we purchased. We already backed out of another home when they found that there had been an extensive fire in the attic and there was cracked asbestos everywhere.

My son had to be out of his apartment by May 31 and time was of the essence. we had looked at so many homes and all the homes in Tampa even when they try to hide it with a new coat of paint, need a lot of work. And the layout of this house was perfect for a roommate because there was separation and two different living areas. This would bring in $500 more per month in rent that my son could collect from a tenant.

So, a lot of thought went into this and we knew everything that had to be fixed, but it turned out to be a lot more than we had anticipated .
And we didn’t really understand that we needed a mini split as well because we thought we could just have the AC fixed somehow. And now we’re looking at another $7000.
The house will be really nice when it is done. The hard part is getting there.
So it's been about a month since you've updated everyone on your son's house in Florida concerning a possible mini split purchase.

Assuming you did finally install it who did you use to do it and what was the actual cost? And was it very satisfactory during this oven heat Florida is currently experiencing?
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Old 07-12-2024, 04:27 PM   #55
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So it's been about a month since you've updated everyone on your son's house in Florida concerning a possible mini split purchase.

Assuming you did finally install it who did you use to do it and what was the actual cost? And was it very satisfactory during this oven heat Florida is currently experiencing.
Actually, we have not installed one yet. After we bought the house, we realized that there was so much wrong with it, that we decided to do a complete remodel. We had to get a new roof put on pronto because we could not get insurance and that was our main concern. Kitchen appliances have been backordered and will not be delivered until the end of the month. Kitchen cabinets will be black with a white quartz countertop and gold handles. New flooring is down and two bathrooms have been finished, beautifully.

We had one estimate from Costco and the GC is supposed to be giving us a quote as well. It has become a surprise what will be done every day.
I have to say that my son is really enjoying the process. He is still taking cold showers as we are waiting for the water heater, which will have to be installed outside.
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Old 07-12-2024, 05:24 PM   #56
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Actually, we have not installed one yet. After we bought the house, we realized that there was so much wrong with it, that we decided to do a complete remodel. We had to get a new roof put on pronto because we could not get insurance and that was our main concern. Kitchen appliances have been backordered and will not be delivered until the end of the month. Kitchen cabinets will be black with a white quartz countertop and gold handles. New flooring is down and two bathrooms have been finished, beautifully.

We had one estimate from Costco and the GC is supposed to be giving us a quote as well. It has become a surprise what will be done every day.
I have to say that my son is really enjoying the process. He is still taking cold showers as we are waiting for the water heater, which will have to be installed outside.
Thanks for the update. Luckily he enjoys cool water, lol.

Glad to hear progress is being made with all the remodeling going on!
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