Costco now selling DIY mini splits.

Brian26

Feeling the Heat
Sep 20, 2013
418
Branford, CT
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Looks like Costco is now selling the Mr Cool brand DIY mini splits at a great price. These have precharged line sets that removes the need for an HVAC tech to install.

  • One of the most difficult aspects of typical heat pump installation is dealing with the refrigerant inside the coils.
  • The Mr Cool DIY Series comes with precharged linesets alleviating one major obstacle to amateur installation in a single stroke.
 
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begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
78,714
South Puget Sound, WA
Yes, they are showing up everywhere including Home Depot. Efficiency is sub par but ok for something this cheap I guess. Noise level looks a bit higher too. China made?
 

peakbagger

Minister of Fire
Jul 11, 2008
4,638
Northern NH
Good concept but worried about durability of the quick disconnects. Price is definitely right.
 

Seasoned Oak

Minister of Fire
Oct 17, 2008
6,410
Eastern Central PA
Showing a SEER rating of 16 about average but it is on the low side. Iv seen this rating up to 30 in the past at HD , some Panasonic units are 26 SEER from HD. Not sure if the extra cost is worth it you have to run the numbers.
 
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begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
78,714
South Puget Sound, WA
Yes, the HSPF for the MrCool is not to great either though some of the Panasonics also have a low HSPF also. We don't need much AC here so heating efficiency is more important. Panasonic's 3 ton is only 8.5. Their 15,000 btus Exterios XE boasts an HSPF of 12, but that is their largest.
 
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CaptSpiff

Feeling the Heat
Jan 13, 2014
425
Long Island, NY
So what's the secret for not having to evacuate the air in the lines? I see something about "pre-charge" on the line set which is also permanently pre-mounted to the indoor unit. If the line set is pre-charged, and the compressor coil is pre-charged, then how are the two systems brought together? Is there a "piercing" process in the manifold connection?

I learned on the early LG: hooked up the line set and indoor unit to the manifold on the outdoor unit. Connected the vacuum motor and let it run for an hour. Disconnected the vac, opened the manifold valves and the precharged 410 would fill the void of the line set and indoor head. This mrCOOL seems to be missing a step???
 

sportbikerider78

Minister of Fire
Jun 23, 2014
2,488
Syracuse, NY
Showing a SEER rating of 16 about average but it is on the low side. Iv seen this rating up to 30 in the past at HD , some Panasonic units are 26 SEER from HD. Not sure if the extra cost is worth it you have to run the numbers.
Keep in mind that you gain a great deal from turning rooms down/off and regulating temperature much more accurately then a conventional. Not to mention, you don't have massive vents leaking cool air through an attic, basement, ect.

Loving my mini split.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
78,714
South Puget Sound, WA
Keep in mind that you gain a great deal from turning rooms down/off and regulating temperature much more accurately then a conventional. Not to mention, you don't have massive vents leaking cool air through an attic, basement, ect.
And no radiant heat duct losses either.

My concern with this new crop of Chinese heat pumps is that they won't stand up over time. It's too early to tell. There are also a bunch of very cheap generators showing up from China now. You see them even being sold at grocery superstores like Aldi. Folks that use them regularly are saying they are failing after a season of use. A good Honda or Yamaha generator under the same task will run for years.
 
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peakbagger

Minister of Fire
Jul 11, 2008
4,638
Northern NH
I agree, I bought my Mitsubishi mini split for not much more money. I went with Mitsubishi as they had a rock solid reputation. Fujitsu's seem to also have good rep. I have gotten several years off of both my Mitsubishi units. Every tech I have talked to have stressed the need for perfect flare joints as gas leaks are the death of a unit. Minisplits are typically not repairable, the techs just yank them and replace them as they are not designed for easy service (tight packaging, everything is in the way of everything else).

I expect the Costco units are throwaway when they stop working and durability is questionable. Not a good combination for a $1500 plus unit. Fine for someone trying to dress up house to sell or short term use like in construction trailer but not so sure for a long term install. Any savings is wasted money once one fails prematurely compared to a known brand
 
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sportbikerider78

Minister of Fire
Jun 23, 2014
2,488
Syracuse, NY
And no radiant heat duct losses either.

My concern with this new crop of Chinese heat pumps is that they won't stand up over time. It's too early to tell. There are also a bunch of very cheap generators showing up from China now. You see them even being sold at grocery superstores like Aldi. Folks that use them regularly are saying they are failing after a season of use. A good Honda or Yamaha generator under the same task will run for years.
I agree.

I saw the "mr cool" and thought I saw "mr slim", the latter being a Mitsubishi.

All bets are off on cheap Chinese. Do yourself a favor and buy Japanese.
I don't know about residential, but for industrial, Mitsubishi is so anal about quality control that it manufacturers it's own components for its circuit boards. That is a commitment right there.

The PC board (that is outside at the condenser) is about 8"x8" and in the weather. I was a bit amazed it wasn't in a protective case...just the outside cover between it and the elements. I'm sure there was a conformal coating on the PCB,,,,but still.
 
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Seasoned Oak

Minister of Fire
Oct 17, 2008
6,410
Eastern Central PA
Keep in mind that you gain a great deal from turning rooms down/off and regulating temperature much more accurately then a conventional. Not to mention, you don't have massive vents leaking cool air through an attic, basement, ect.

Loving my mini split.
Even at 16 mini splits are more efficient than a window air which is usually 9 to 11. That said ,Its the reliability issue that worries most. I generally avoid all things china,even food items. If they can sell us toxic drywall, they will sell us anything.
 

peakbagger

Minister of Fire
Jul 11, 2008
4,638
Northern NH
And no radiant heat duct losses either.

My concern with this new crop of Chinese heat pumps is that they won't stand up over time. It's too early to tell. There are also a bunch of very cheap generators showing up from China now. You see them even being sold at grocery superstores like Aldi. Folks that use them regularly are saying they are failing after a season of use. A good Honda or Yamaha generator under the same task will run for years.
Consumer Reports actually recently said some good things about the Harbor Freight Predator generators. Not a uniform thumbs up but for some uses they said they could be a better fit than a Honda. That said Chinese gear from unknown brand names do have pretty abysmal quality control and longevity.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
78,714
South Puget Sound, WA
My concern would be getting service or parts 1-5 years down the road. An hvac system is infrastructure and it will eventually need service. Now it is being treated like a consumer item. I despise the use it and toss it mentality that comes with cheap consumer goods.
 
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sportbikerider78

Minister of Fire
Jun 23, 2014
2,488
Syracuse, NY
My concern would be getting service or parts 1-5 years down the road. An hvac system is infrastructure and it will eventually need service. Now it is being treated like a consumer item. I despise the use it and toss it mentality that comes with cheap consumer goods.
It goes hand in hand with no one knowing how to do anything. How many suburbanite males do you know that can fix anything? Seems pretty few these days.
 
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begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
78,714
South Puget Sound, WA
Yes, it's true of urbanites too. And from this comes a lack of journeymen that we need to fix things.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
78,714
South Puget Sound, WA
Well...the urbanites have never known how to fix anything. The suburbanites is a recent phenomenon. :)
When something needs fixing, wait until your kids can watch. Take time and let them ask lots of questions. My dad did that a lot and I grew up in a NY suburb. Now I will try to fix almost anything. I actually do this for the community a couple times a year with a bunch of other fixers. Anything to keep it out of the landfill.
 

peakbagger

Minister of Fire
Jul 11, 2008
4,638
Northern NH
Its not just minisplits, there is lot of recent press that major appliances like refrigerators are failing far earlier and effectively unrepairable as the manufacturer doesnt stock parts. Most big screen TVs are that way.
 

sportbikerider78

Minister of Fire
Jun 23, 2014
2,488
Syracuse, NY
Its not just minisplits, there is lot of recent press that major appliances like refrigerators are failing far earlier and effectively unrepairable as the manufacturer doesnt stock parts. Most big screen TVs are that way.
My theory with appliances is that most people don't keep homes over 10 years and styles change at about that time. So do people actually care? I think if they did, the market would react.
I think, soon, you will see more rugged appliances come out...you'll pay the price, but long run, they will be better.
 

Seasoned Oak

Minister of Fire
Oct 17, 2008
6,410
Eastern Central PA
Well...the urbanites have never known how to fix anything. The suburbanites is a recent phenomenon. :)
Less and less people able to fix things.
Many kids dont even want to learn to drive these days . I guess driving means expenses and expenses means a part time job. Something else that seems to be going out of style. When i was 16, everyone wanted to drive and get a car,now it seems many kids are fine with having their parents,or their friends parents cart them where they want to go. I refuse to do this which is probably why my daughter bought her own car at 17 with money she earned herself. Made me proud.
 
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firefighterjake

Minister of Fire
Jul 22, 2008
18,909
Unity/Bangor, Maine
And no radiant heat duct losses either.

My concern with this new crop of Chinese heat pumps is that they won't stand up over time. It's too early to tell. There are also a bunch of very cheap generators showing up from China now. You see them even being sold at grocery superstores like Aldi. Folks that use them regularly are saying they are failing after a season of use. A good Honda or Yamaha generator under the same task will run for years.
Timely post . . . I have a Yamaha generator being shipped to me this week. Would have gone with a Honda, but the price difference was huge. That said, I've found Yamaha to be pretty reliable . . . and when it comes to things like generating power for multiple days without electricity . . . or heating/cooling a home with a heat pump I'll pay for reliably. I mean to say, if a TV dies it means I need to fork over $600 and not watch TV for a few days . . . when a generator dies in middle of a multi-day power outage it means no running water, no shower, no lights (other than lanterns) and a concern for the food spoiling in the freezer.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
78,714
South Puget Sound, WA
I have a Yamaha 2400w. It has been converted to run on propane as well as gas. Sweet and quiet generator.