HVAC Systems - whatcha got & how do you like it
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    Titleist1's Avatar
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    HVAC Systems - whatcha got & how do you like it

    I will be finishing off the area above the detached garage in the coming months and have started looking at HVAC for the space. It is 20 x 44 with a single bedroom and bathroom and the rest open space. It is well insulated, here in MD we don't usually get extended periods of extreme cold, but could be below freezing for a few weeks straight. I thought I would ask what you all are using for HVAC and how well you like your systems.

    In the house I use a coal stoker for primary heat and have a propane furnace for backup along with the 10yo central AC for the summer. I'd rather not use propane since the logistics of running a line from the existing buried 1000 gal tank would be a long run and not be easy. The workshop which is under this new space also has a coal stoker which i start up intermittently if cold enough and I am doing enough project out there to require it.

    From recent research I am leaning toward a mini split unit up there which I think would work well given the smaller size. I don't want to use electric baseboard.

    There have been a couple threads touching on this, some older so I thought I'd ask for some more recent info to be shared. It may also be useful for others to see your pro's and con's if they are in the situation of having to upgrade the systems on their homes.
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    I have a 3200 sq ft. house up here in MA that I heat primarily with a pellet stove. It was built (circa 1984) with electric heat but the prior owner used a propane stove most of the time and I converted that over to pellets. I also added a split mini system. The house didn't originally have A/C so my intent was to use it for A/C but the added heat option was only a $100 upgrade sooo... I added it.

    I looked at several different manufacturers and after discussions with my installer we decided on 2 systems from Fujitsu. We only end up using them for heat in 2 bedrooms and all 9 heads get used for A/C throughout the house. I couldn't be happier with the performance over the 3 years since we had them installed.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimR View Post
    I have a 3200 sq ft. house up here in MA that I heat primarily with a pellet stove. It was built (circa 1984) with electric heat but the prior owner used a propane stove most of the time and I converted that over to pellets. I also added a split mini system. The house didn't originally have A/C so my intent was to use it for A/C but the added heat option was only a $100 upgrade sooo... I added it.

    I looked at several different manufacturers and after discussions with my installer we decided on 2 systems from Fujitsu. We only end up using them for heat in 2 bedrooms and all 9 heads get used for A/C throughout the house. I couldn't be happier with the performance over the 3 years since we had them installed.
    Sounds like a heat pump is in your near future. We just put a couple of these systems in a cape cod style house. They are small, quite and powerful.
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    I have a 24x36 space above my garage that is setup like a studio apartment (9x9ish bath, rest open) but used as a home office. The building is tight and with foamed 2x6 construction, and a 12k Mitsubishi minisplit keeps it on temp all year here in VA without ever running hard. I chose the Mitsubishi because it was one of the few brands with heat that went down low enough to be an all year solution (-15deg).

    If it wasn't quite such a well insulated space I would have gone with the 18k version, but this has been more than plenty for me (even during the vortex).

    I also took the time to insulate the pad from the sides (2in foam down 2ft) and that pretty much keeps the slab at core ground temp all year long. That has really helped control temps in the main garage (and thus lower the load upstairs).
    Last edited by HunterWare; 01-18-2017 at 07:41 AM.
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    My In laws had mini splits systems install a few years ago. They are great. Efficient and quiet. Now your giving me ideas for my shop.


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    I've got a mini-split in my shed. I love it!

    Check it out here:
    https://youtu.be/vabFpqs6qU8
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    Keeper of the GTT Cookies dieselshadow's Avatar
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    I'm another mini-split fan.





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    Quote Originally Posted by dieselshadow View Post
    I'm another mini-split fan.
    Is that in your basement?
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    Yessir, in my basement garage. I love it.
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    One 'cool' (pun?) part about mine is that I didn't have to work with the refrigerant at all. The lines and pump were pre-pressurized. I just had to connect them and go. No gauges, etc. truly an idiot proof install!
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