Costco now selling DIY mini splits.

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Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
19,070
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
Central ducted replacement minisplits probably are designed with a fixed blower speed to maintain pressure and flow in a duct system to be sure that conditioned air is delivered to all rooms. If the blower slowed down like a wall unit then just the first room would get conditioned.

The blower motor is an inverter/DC motor so it should be much more efficient even if it doesn't vary the speed and with the compressor doing all of the "variable" pumping it's a good compromise.
 

semipro

Minister of Fire
Jan 12, 2009
4,047
SW Virginia
Central ducted replacement minisplits probably are designed with a fixed blower speed to maintain pressure and flow in a duct system to be sure that conditioned air is delivered to all rooms. If the blower slowed down like a wall unit then just the first room would get conditioned.

The blower motor is an inverter/DC motor so it should be much more efficient even if it doesn't vary the speed and with the compressor doing all of the "variable" pumping it's a good compromise.
Agreed.
I was hoping to at least have the option to use the AH at a low speed in a circulation mode to de-stratify air across 2 levels in our house.
As it is now I'll have to use the thermostat's fan timer function to do that but at full blower speed.
 

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
19,070
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
I'm just happy to see almost all of the technology of a minisplit slammed into a central unit. It is ridiculous that it took so long. Especially the full output down to 5 or whatever which means for most of us that you won't need to run a 60 amp circuit to a resistance heat backup coil. Even better is that a good company did this with the precharged line sets so you don't need to depend on the workmanship of whatever high school dropout HVAC tech that shows up.

This is a huge leap forward in HVAC for north america.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
88,996
South Puget Sound, WA
Central ducted replacement minisplits probably are designed with a fixed blower speed to maintain pressure and flow in a duct system to be sure that conditioned air is delivered to all rooms. If the blower slowed down like a wall unit then just the first room would get conditioned.

The blower motor is an inverter/DC motor so it should be much more efficient even if it doesn't vary the speed and with the compressor doing all of the "variable" pumping it's a good compromise.
Not if the ducting is well setup. Our system has a 2 speed compressor and a variable-speed, DC blower air handler. When the heating (or cooling) needs are low, it slows the blower and compressor down to just a whisper, but it is still delivering air throughout the system, just at lower cfms per register. It runs pretty frequently in this mode during shoulder weather once the house temp has equalized.

I don't know about all systems, but the Daikin ducted air handler is variable speed too.
 
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hockeypuck

Feeling the Heat
Sep 6, 2009
374
south central NH
So I just bought a second home up north from my parents. It is a good insulated slab built home. No central heating. When getting insurance, that could have been a sticking point except I have a good relationship with my current agent. I am thinking long term here, when and if I go to sell. Would like to install a "central heating system" but because its only going to be used 3 seasons, will probably go the heat pump/ac mini split. Do you think this would pass for the main heating source up in central maine? It does have a wood stove, but those are frowned upon by most insurance companies. I have not plans to live there year-round for at least 15 years.

Edit.. 1200 sq foot, half wide open the other half two bedrooms. Doors open, I see no problem with air flow to keep the rooms warm. We winterize it every year.
 

semipro

Minister of Fire
Jan 12, 2009
4,047
SW Virginia
So I just bought a second home up north from my parents. It is a good insulated slab built home. No central heating. When getting insurance, that could have been a sticking point except I have a good relationship with my current agent. I am thinking long term here, when and if I go to sell. Would like to install a "central heating system" but because its only going to be used 3 seasons, will probably go the heat pump/ac mini split. Do you think this would pass for the main heating source up in central maine? It does have a wood stove, but those are frowned upon by most insurance companies. I have not plans to live there year-round for at least 15 years.

Edit.. 1200 sq foot, half wide open the other half two bedrooms. Doors open, I see no problem with air flow to keep the rooms warm. We winterize it every year.
Check out the YT video that @Brian26 mentioned earlier on.
 

maple1

Minister of Fire
Sep 15, 2011
10,785
Nova Scotia
I have a feeling that buying insurance on a questionable or doubtful insurable situation, because you are buddys with the agent, could have a bad outcome if you ever need it. No central heating is a red flag around here. (Meaning, a heat source that will keep heating with no need for regular human intervention). But also, quite sure a mini-split system would qualify. New homes are being built here with those as the only heat source. Check with your agent though, central Maine is likely a bit colder than where I am.
 

peakbagger

Minister of Fire
Jul 11, 2008
6,418
Northern NH
Throw in some electric baseboard to keep the bank happy.

I have a friend that makes a living selling kerosene heaters to folks who believed the salesmen who told them they didnt need backup to a minisplit in cold weather.
 

hockeypuck

Feeling the Heat
Sep 6, 2009
374
south central NH
Throw in some electric baseboard to keep the bank happy.

I have a friend that makes a living selling kerosene heaters to folks who believed the salesmen who told them they didnt need backup to a minisplit in cold weather.
Thinking of doing this in the 2 bathrooms. Thinking mini split alone in the Bangor region will not suffice.
 

hockeypuck

Feeling the Heat
Sep 6, 2009
374
south central NH
I have a feeling that buying insurance on a questionable or doubtful insurable situation, because you are buddys with the agent, could have a bad outcome if you ever need it. No central heating is a red flag around here. (Meaning, a heat source that will keep heating with no need for regular human intervention). But also, quite sure a mini-split system would qualify. New homes are being built here with those as the only heat source. Check with your agent though, central Maine is likely a bit colder than where I am.
I appreciate the thought. We will correct the central heating situation over the next 2 years.
 

peakbagger

Minister of Fire
Jul 11, 2008
6,418
Northern NH
I agree fully. Bangor Hydro started the mini split program as a supplemental heating program. The concept was to keep a few warm rooms in an older home for an elderly homeowner to stay warm during the day while the rest of the house was kept at a lower temperature with the primary heating system during cold weather. I am getting close to 10 years with a minisplit and after messing with it during below 20 F conditions I really would not want to depend on it. Yes it will put out heat down to -12F but not much and the output drops down considerably. Despite it being a 3 season place, its good to have reliable standby and not much can wrong with baseboard electric. If the house freezes due to lack of power insurance, will cover it.
 

fbelec

Minister of Fire
Nov 23, 2005
3,027
Massachusetts
i wired my cousins newly built home in central mass. he needed to get a heating system in the house to get the occupancy permit. the cheapest heating system to install was electric baseboard. so i did that and he put in a pellet stove to cost even cheaper.
 

maple1

Minister of Fire
Sep 15, 2011
10,785
Nova Scotia
x2 on the electric baseboards. To satisfy insurance or lender requirements. And for emergency 'keep it from freezing' stuff. Cheap easy install - but expensive to operate for any lengths of time.
 

fbelec

Minister of Fire
Nov 23, 2005
3,027
Massachusetts
nice thing about electric baseboard is if one is defective the others are still running
 

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
19,070
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
And the resistance heat is 100% efficient! I have the wall heaters in my home, originally the baseboard strips but the previous owner "upgraded" to the blower models for more furniture options I think. They're actually a pretty good deal if you don't plan on using them much or at all. You get your automatic thermostatic heat for when you get thrown in jail unexpectedly and no need to buy propane, freon, oil, etc. Everybody has electricity.
 

Gearhead660

Minister of Fire
Dec 20, 2018
687
Southern WI

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
88,996
South Puget Sound, WA
Only dealers in WA state are two hardware and feed stores. Not sure if they even sell the Universal.
 

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
19,070
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
Only dealers in WA state are two hardware and feed stores. Not sure if they even sell the Universal.

Dealers are unnecessary on the DIY units. It just gets shipped to your house. Brick and mortar middle men are becoming ever less valuable in modern culture.
 

EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
1,044
SE North Carolina
Dealers are unnecessary on the DIY units. It just gets shipped to your house. Brick and mortar middle men are becoming ever less valuable in modern culture.
Reading the reviews on Costso support for replacement of defective items can be an issue. I think this is where the Dealer price premium come into play. To run a brick and mortar business you need good customer relationships to drop ship lots of inventory you need low prices and a point of sale. I almost bought the 18k unit but i am going to wait and spend the cash when we need to replace the main heat pump.
Evan
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
88,996
South Puget Sound, WA
Reading the reviews on Costso support for replacement of defective items can be an issue. I think this is where the Dealer price premium come into play. To run a brick and mortar business you need good customer relationships to drop ship lots of inventory you need low prices and a point of sale. I almost bought the 18k unit but i am going to wait and spend the cash when we need to replace the main heat pump.
Evan
Same here. Our heat pump is 15 yrs old now, but it's had an easy life due to wood as our primary heating in winter and little need for AC.
 

semipro

Minister of Fire
Jan 12, 2009
4,047
SW Virginia
is there a consensus on these or any diy mini split units?
Mr. Cool seems to be the only vendor that is offering the precharged refrigerant lines that really make DIY easy. This negates the need for AC gauges, a vacuum pump, know-how, etc.
 

EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
1,044
SE North Carolina
I wasn’t able to find them on the Costco website this week. I read through quite a few reviews. If they worked out of the box the consensus was they worked. If you needed any support or parts the consensus was it was difficult to get that/those. I don’t have any real experience with them.
Evan