Does anyone have experience with some of the new low cost Mini Split Heat Pumps now available for under $1,000 for a 9,000 Btu unit?  Building a low energy house and only need a small unit but prices are all over the place from $6-700 up to $2.000.  Hard to find good reviews on these units.  Any in put is appreciated.  James

Tags: Heat, Mini, Pumps, Split

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Last year. I installed a 9000 btu Freidrich mini split in my 1920's bungalow in Portland, OR. My wife could not be happier! Very easy installation. We set it at 72F and forget it. It heats the entire home. We never adjust it until we turn it off in the spring and back on in the fall (last week).  Cost to operate runs between $0.5 to $2/day depending on temps. Its cheaper and better IAQ than firewood. I recommend the mini split to everyone.

Hello Jim,
My wife and I had 2 Fujitsu 9000btu ductless mini splits installed at our home in July 2010. On December 1st, 2012 we installed an eMonitor and since that date thru the other day (Sept 26th 2011), we used a total of $114 to provide all of our heating and air conditioning needs. Since we power our home and drive a new Chevy Volt, none of it has cost us a cent, less the install costs.We expect full payback in less than a year and a half. Then, it's all free for the next 25 or more years.

Wayne

You say that you power your home. How?

Hello, we sell Friedrich brand. They are the preferred PTAC manufacturer for Marriott hotels and L.A. schools.

We have been very happy with their mini-split product. The product is inverter technology and so it qualified for utility rebates in our area and contractors have been buying from us. Only two problems in a year and both were due to freight damage not mfg. defect.

our retail website is gpconservation.com

-Tammy

Agree that the mini split systems do a great job heating/cooling and are very efficient.  I installed a 15,000btu Mits in my 1,000 sq foot insulated garage (12' ceiling) in VA and the Mits can keep up with about any temperature swing.   Energy consumption is very small.   The only complaint I have is during the humid summer days (dewpoint 70+), the Mits just can't get the inside humidity down because it operates so efficiently.  So the garage feels cool and damp.  If I switch the Mits to "Dry" mode... then the garage gets nice and comfy in less than an hour.  Someone explained to me that in "Cool" mode the compressor is operating at less than full capacity, therefore removing less moisture.  In "Dry" mode, the compressor is running at 100% and removes double the quantity of water.  I tested this using a measuring cup on the condensate line and got double the amount of water in "Dry" mode versus "Cool" mode.   The only downside to "Dry" mode is there's no way to set the temperature.  :(  So when I plan to work in the garage on a hot steamy day, I'll set the Mits to "Dry" mode about an hour before I begin work to dry things out a bit.

Good information regarding humidity control.

Here's another new study on mini-splits. 59% of customers who had them installed would recommend to a friend, and table #4 on page 6 has some interesting market share stats.

Tom -

Thanks for referencing the study from the Pacific Northwest.  However, you slightly misquoted the info on customer referrals.  On page 12 of the study it says:

"Fifty-nine percent of the Initiative participants stated that they have recommended DHPs to a friend, colleague or family member. Another 34 percent said that they would suggest DHPs, while only four percent said that they would not."

Bottomline, 93% have already or would recommmend a ductless heat pump to a friend.

Wow, 93% is an overwhelmingly positive endorsement of this technology. Thanks Linda for your close(r) read!

- Tom

Another thing about mini-splits is proper sizing is easier to enforce since there are no ridiculously large sizes.

Hello folks, thanks for all the great in put.  I ended up buying a slightly used (was show floor display) Mitsubishi 1 ton unit for $900.  Bigger than I needed but could not beat the price.  Will only be using for heat not cooling as we live in the mountains near Asheville, NC.  Our weather over the last week or so has been cool, down in low 40's at night.  We have not moved into the house yet so nothing was running other than the mini split.  Over 24 hours only used 8KWh so I am happy with the unit except for one issue.  Set the unit for 67 degrees but it never completely shuts off.  Inside fan runs all the time putting out a small amount of heat.  For my 800 sq foot house which I tried to hit the Passivehaus standard this low running mode over heats the house, Temp would go up to 73 degrees or so with unit set at 66 degrees.  I was hoping to use the unit set at perhaps 65 and have it come on only if the house reached that temp but it will run all the time.  Looking into a hard wired thermostat to see if that would solve the problem.  I do like the drying mode the unit has.  My house is currently at 120 CFM50 so moisture will be an issue and hope the drying mode of the Mitsubishi will solve that problem as I have been told an HRV or ERV system will not do a lot of drying.  But again thanks for all the great comments.  James

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