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Old 11-08-2022, 12:19 PM
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dubby dubby is offline
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Default Amazon mini-splits?

As part of my ongoing plumbing struggles, I have decided to do away with the early '60s model gas furnace in my shop. For the past few years I've tried to keep an eye out for a used central heat and a/c unit but it hasn't been successful. The ones I have found were not within my budget or willingness to throw that much on a gamble that the machine will continue to work.

A friend of mine at the range suggested that I look into the mini-split units. They just installed 3 new ones into a house they remodeled and gave the things very high praise. She didn't say what brands they went with, but it got me looking. It seems like a good choice, particularly considering that nobody "lives" in the shop. It wouldn't need to run for much of the year. Heat in the winter is primarily needed to keep the pipes from freezing during cold fronts. That's maybe 3 times a year and I only use it as needed when I'm working out there, maybe 2 days a week. Having A/C is really just a bonus. Been using the shop for 47 years and never had it yet...

A random search of Amazon units yields about the same products with a different brand name. The reviews on all of them are based mostly on how easily they were to install, and whether the directions are worth a shit. The shop itself is 875sq/ft. No ceiling but fully insulated except for the two rollup doors.

Anyone have experience with these systems or guidance on how to proceed?
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Old 11-08-2022, 01:41 PM
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I think a used "package" unit (all-in-one) from a mobile home would be more doable on a budget. At a minimum they have grid heat, better models have a heat pump. You'd have to deal with ductwork, though. See them around here from time to time in the $200-$300 range...
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Old 11-08-2022, 01:58 PM
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Why would you need heat? It never gets cold there...
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Old 11-08-2022, 08:17 PM
slip knot slip knot is offline
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I've been looking at these to replace the window units in my current home. What I've been seeing are that most of them are made by Cree. They do a lot of 3rd world country AC units and have a decent enough history that they should be ok.
My commercial AC guy from work sells the Mitsubishi brand he says they're really good units, BUT they aint cheap. They got a pretty decent warranty as long as they're installed by the dealer. No DIY option here.

The other unit I've been looking at is the MrCool DIY units. Thess guys cater to the DIY crowd. Line sets come pre charged so no evacuating the system is required. but they only have a few lineset lengths.

For heat you just need to look at minimum temps they will heat at. I know they sell a hyper heat unit but I dont need one here. we dont get cold enough on the gulf coast but you might. Check the minimum temp.

The inverter units are the bomb for energy savings and efficiency. They ramp up or down depending on the units needs. You can get multi head units and run just one head or both and the unit will automatically adjust compressor speed to meet that demand.

I'm planning on a Mitsubishi 24K unit for the back of the house and a 24K MrCool for the front. I mostly live in the back but want to keep the front "somewhat conditioned"

I also plan to keep my current propane setup for backup heat. although the inverter systems can run on a pretty small generator if needed.
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Old 11-09-2022, 10:51 AM
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dubby dubby is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shade Tree Welder View Post
Why would you need heat? It never gets cold there...
Hah, it's mostly just to take the chill off

This whole global warming thing has us experiencing colder snaps in the winter. There aren't many of them, but they will linger below freezing for long enough that it can cause an issue. Since the water service lines run through the shop before going into the house, I have to keep the pipes flowing. If they were run differently (or insulated better) it likely would never be an issue. I'm sure the ladies would enjoy having a heated/cooled laundry room as well.

My uncle had one of the Mitsubishi multi-head systems installed in their country house a couple years ago and has had a wonderful experience with it. He loves to brag about it and tell us all how we should make the swap. He may be right, but I don't have his budget . A friend here had his central system replaced earlier this year and after seeing the price tag, I'm not sure that the old systems will be around for much longer. It was very expensive due to supply chain issues according to the a/c tech we use to fix our broken shit.


In my little cardboard house, I think it could be the better choice in the future as well. I'm trying to nurse my 26 year old system along. It cost me $900 this year to do that. Eventually the repair price ain't worth it any more.
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  #6  
Old 11-09-2022, 04:42 PM
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How about a kerosene or propane torpedo heater? I used a ReddyHeet (or whatever the brand name was) for a number of years in RI winters. Bought it new for I forget how much. I would fire it up making sure it is not pointed at anything flammable and go back out to the garage in an hour to a slightly warmer workspace. Yup, there are kero costs but at the time it was just a little higher in price than diesel. I knew people that would run diesel but I never did, kero tasted bad enough as it was.

I have a couple propane Mr. Heat radiant heaters that mount on a propane tank. They won't heat my shop but WILL get the chill out of the immediate work area they are pointed at.

PS: as for your freezing pipe issue, insulation sounds like a plan. What if you let a faucet in the shop run slightly when it is cold out?
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TA Arcmaster 185 w/tig/stick kit
MillerMatic 252 w/3rd gen 30A
MM140 w/o AS, w/CO2
Hobart (Miller) 625 plasma
Hobart 250ci plasma
Victor O/A (always ready, but bored)
HF 80 lunchbox w/tig
45ACP Black Talons for those stubborn jobs...
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  #7  
Old 11-09-2022, 07:54 PM
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rwoody rwoody is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mccutter View Post
How about a kerosene or propane torpedo heater? I used a ReddyHeet (or whatever the brand name was) for a number of years in RI winters. Bought it new for I forget how much. I would fire it up making sure it is not pointed at anything flammable and go back out to the garage in an hour to a slightly warmer workspace. Yup, there are kero costs but at the time it was just a little higher in price than diesel. I knew people that would run diesel but I never did, kero tasted bad enough as it was.

I have a couple propane Mr. Heat radiant heaters that mount on a propane tank. They won't heat my shop but WILL get the chill out of the immediate work area they are pointed at.

PS: as for your freezing pipe issue, insulation sounds like a plan. What if you let a faucet in the shop run slightly when it is cold out?



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  #8  
Old 11-09-2022, 10:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dubby View Post
Hah, it's mostly just to take the chill off

This whole global warming thing has us experiencing colder snaps in the winter. There aren't many of them, but they will linger below freezing for long enough that it can cause an issue. Since the water service lines run through the shop before going into the house, I have to keep the pipes flowing.
Try using pool noodles for insulating your pipes. It works very well, and far superior to the peal and stick sponge rubber sold in the Homeless Despot.
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