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Thousand Oaks - Mini Split AC

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Joined: Jun 29 2011

Just moved into a Thousand Oaks Eichler home. I had a Air Condition repair man come out who was clearly not going to be sensitive to the look and feel of the Eichler home. Id really like to find a mini-split AC guru who isn't going to butcher the home and give me some solid advice. Does anyone have recommendations?

I really like what the guy from redneckmodern has done with his LG Art Cool mini split system and I'm hoping to do the same.

http://redneckmodern.typepad.com/redneckmodern/2009/07/art-cool-up-close...

Thanks in Advance!

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Joined: Apr 19 2007

thanks for the kind words. we've been quite enjoying our system the past week -- the three 12K-BTU heads are keeping the house very temperate.

your contractor selection down there will be different from up here, but a few things to note:
-- the system pairs well with the install of a new foam roof as the lines can be buried under the foam (not necessary, but a bonus)
-- if you mount the compressor on the roof (which is a decent idea), there will be a lot of percussive noise (not as much ambient noise side/side), but when it's above your head, it feels like you're under a helicopter. to combat this, you need to: (1) install an isolation system which will be a raised box with (2) dampeners on the feet of the unit (3) apply quiet-rock (sound-proof drywall) to the lower adjacent walls to absorb some of the vibration. even with this, the location is important. don't put it over a bedroom. over the shower was good for us as when you're in the shower, you're awake, etc. but had we moved it 4 feet to be over the closet, sleeping (when the AC is on) would be tough even with the quiet-rock (which helps tremendously). it's less the ambient noise with the compressor (it's near-silent there), but the percussive noise when you're in the "echo chamber" beneath it can be brutal.
-- placement of the heads is important. if i were to do it again, i'd not put the 3rd head in the master-BR, but somewhere in the hall or in the office... as 12K is a bit much for the bedroom and we could add a window/wall unit fairly easily in that room (like we did in the other bedrooms). the large heads are great for large, open spaces or spaces where you can't do AC on the cheap (like rooms that face the street).
-- i don't think they make the square units anymore, but instead have long, narrow ones (which are sorta nice). i think they might also have some 9K heads as well which makes setup variations easier.
-- having heat as an option is nice as the radiant heat on ours is slow to heat up and some instant-on heat is nice. the price for the heat/cool units is literally dollars, so get it.
-- i think they now make compressors that support 1, 2, 3 or 4 heads, so you can get more creative with placement.
-- the compressor takes a 40A dedicated circuit and a 15A service circuit, so you'll likely need to upgrade to 200A service if you're not already (and still involve an electrician).
-- consider ceiling cassette units. my e-friend chris did this in san jose and the look is quite nice and leaves the walls free. he had to build roof-top boxes to house the mechanisms. i wonder if these could be disguised with skylight domes to add easy-access service and look somewhat purposeful/original.
-- expect to pay between $10K-$15K installed. this is not really a self-install gig as you really should permit the work and the materials (refrigerant) are regulated.

good luck.

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Joined: Jun 29 2011

Thanks for all the great tips. Well defenetly take them into consideration. Also thanks for all the great info on you blog. I've spent many an hour researching and reading it.

Thanks again!

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