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Mini split ductless system

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Joined: Nov 30 2007

Hi has anybody intalled a mini-split ductless system in the San Rafael area? Or anywhere? We are thinking of doing so, but would like to talk with someone who has one and/or see their system. Do you use for heat and cool and how does it work especially for heat? Our house is a 4/2 1800+ SF and is very well insulated with a foam roof, complete wall insulation and all double pane windows except one window. Even the floor to celing LR windows are double pane. Any advice and leads to vendors in the area would be appreciated also. Thanks!


Joined: Nov 26 2004

We looked into a minisplit system (for both heat and AC) and obtained a few quotes from vendors servicing San Rafael.

The quotes seemed extraodinarily high (I believe around $15k+ for 3 air handling units + 1 or 2 compressors). This quotes seemed high to us compared to:
- a few of the prices you may read about in other postings ($5-$8k)
- the actual cost of the hardware (a few thousand dollars for everything)

If you DO decide to go with a minisplit, you might as well get heat and AC since the incremental cost is fairly small.

If you radiant heat is still working and you live in a Marin Eichler neighborhood with copper pipes (i.e. Terra Linda South, Upper Lucas Valley, select homes in Marinwood and Terra Linda North) I would just stick with that (or upgrade your boiler) before investing in a minisplit.

Joined: Jun 28 2003

Were over in Walnut Creek and installed the Fujitsu Haylcon Mini- Spilt a little over a year ago. Total Cost was around $15,000 for the six units ( one in each of the four bedrooms, and one in the kitchen and living room)

Both the heating and cooling functions are great. You can search prior posts and get more details of out installation

Joined: Aug 6 2006

Our case is unique so it may/may not apply to yours...We bought our house without foam insulation on the roof so we took it as an opportunity to put in a Unico system. We bought the system from a direct supplier at +/- $6000
(the 4860 with 26 outlets). My uncle is an HVAC installer and he volunteered his time to install it for us for free. Otherwise, I think the price would be at least twice this. We spent an additional $2000 for a custom-made, low-profile plenum and a heat-pump. On top of this we had Abril put on the foam roof (+/- $21,000)...

Not everyone should do this though. My incentive was the big cut in labor cost and that we were planning on living here for a very long time. My other incentive was to use it as a beta-test because I am interested in using it for a few of my office projects. So far, it works very well. I tracked it during a recent cold spell and at it's best it raised the temperature 1 degree for every 8 minutes during the first 24 minutes and then for every 6 minutes after that. The best thing about it is that I hardly notice that it's in the house because the registers are only 2 inches in diameter. On the exterior, it is completely embedded in the foam roof so there isn't any exposed roof-mounted equipment at all. (The fan/blower is in my garage.)
I also have wood floors and insulated my walls so this helps in keeping the interior temperature steady. If I had a working radiant floor system, then I would probably just keep my slab exposed for optimal heating effect.
The energy cost of the Unico System is much less than a typical force air unit and once my solar panels are installed, I'm anticipating that it will be negligible.

"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius - and a lot of courage-to move in the opposite direction."-E. F. Schumacher.

Joined: Apr 19 2007

you can do a quick search on the board to uncover our own experiences/costs with the LG-artcool or link to the blog below. email me directly if you'd like information specifically regarding the HVAC installer and our thoughts on the installation and service (red(at)redneckmodern(dot)com)... if we were to do it again, i'd likely not install the compressor on the roof. while it makes for visibly clear yard space, the compressor is silent from side to side, but is a bit percussive top/bottom... the result it that you can't hear it while standing next to it, but if you're under it, it's noisier than we expected. not in the "it's ruining our sleep" way, but just in the "i'd prefer to see it in the yard rather than hear it when it comes on" way.

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