DIY mini split systems?

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Badfish740

Minister of Fire
Oct 3, 2007
1,539
I had always thought of mini splits as being way out of my reach because of the fact that a pro had to vacuum/charge them. Now apparently there are more than a few manufacturers offering DIY systems that are pre-charged, you just install the inside and outside units and carefully run the lines, connecting them with a special quick connect that keeps the refrigerant in and air out. Frederich is one of them:

http://www.friedrich.com/products/residential/window/breeze/features

I watched an install video online-looks to be about as simple as it gets-you just have to be really careful about not kinking the lines The only thing I don't like is that they are not made to be hardwired (the smaller units do run on 110V), so there will be an unsightly plug on the wall, but that's a minor thing. These seem like they'd be a perfect solution to our planned master suite addition (currently an attached garage). The small unit can be had on Amazon for $1800-MUCH less than extending my existing ductwork to the garage and upsizing it to accommodate a 3 ton AC unit to handle the extra square footage (oil/wood furnace would be plenty big enough). Any hearth.com'ers install one of these units?
 

fbelec

Minister of Fire
Nov 23, 2005
3,045
Massachusetts
i wire them a lot. not the friedrich units but all the rest. most of them come precharged but i don't see how to get around a good vac. you could do the install and hire a guy to vac it down, also most of them out there have a limit to how far they can be between the evap and the condenser. if you have to go more it can be charged up a little usually like a pound of 410a. the friedrich that you show is not the most efficient one out there but if it is built like their thru the wall units it should last a very long time.
 

DougA

Minister of Fire
Dec 13, 2012
1,938
S. ON
I and installed this unit 2 yrs ago.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/9000-BTU-Du...Energy-Star-/221436423626?hash=item338ea3adca
It worked great. Super quiet and nice, cool gentle breeze on low. I had to extend the line 25' and the unit needed to be vac'd and charged. The guy who did it swore at the Chinese make but everything was OK - for 2 yrs, then the unit stopped. An error code said there was moisture in the lines or a leak and I have not had it fixed yet.
 

Badfish740

Minister of Fire
Oct 3, 2007
1,539
i wire them a lot. not the friedrich units but all the rest. most of them come precharged but i don't see how to get around a good vac. you could do the install and hire a guy to vac it down, also most of them out there have a limit to how far they can be between the evap and the condenser. if you have to go more it can be charged up a little usually like a pound of 410a. the friedrich that you show is not the most efficient one out there but if it is built like their thru the wall units it should last a very long time.

As far as the literature says you just connect the lines via their special connector and go-no HVAC pro or special tools needed. It comes with 25' lines which is way more than I need-you just coil the excess line behind the compressor.

I and installed this unit 2 yrs ago.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/9000-BTU-Du...Energy-Star-/221436423626?hash=item338ea3adca
It worked great. Super quiet and nice, cool gentle breeze on low. I had to extend the line 25' and the unit needed to be vac'd and charged. The guy who did it swore at the Chinese make but everything was OK - for 2 yrs, then the unit stopped. An error code said there was moisture in the lines or a leak and I have not had it fixed yet.

I've seen the Chinese ones and am avoiding them for that reason. Fredrich is the only big name manufacturer I've seen that does a DIY unit so far. There is another company out of Quebec called Caribou AC that does them but I haven't been able to find much about reliability. My neighbor has a 230V through the wall Fredrich that cools his entire house (it's not that large) and is probably 25+ years old, so as long as their quality hasn't gone seriously downhill in recent years I'd be comfortable investing $1800 in one of their units.
 
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