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Opinions on Carrier Brand Minisplits

Chris D | Posted in Mechanicals on

We had a full HVAC design done for our house retrofit, spec’d with Mitsubishi equip, with Fujitsu as an alternate.
Two ducted units for the downstairs, one ductless for the (much smaller) upstairs level.  I believe the Mitsu HyperHeat was the original spec, for CZ3 with no need for any type of backup heat.  All individual units, not multi-split.

The HVAC contractor I will likely use was a Mitsubishi dealer, and is now Fujitsu instead.  Apparently Fujitsu availability is difficult at the moment, so Carrier was thrown into the mix as an alternative.

Does anyone have experience or opinions about the Carrier ducted and ductless units?  It appears that they’re a product of a Carrier/Midea collaboration, but I can’t find much about them for reliability/performance/etc. outside of marketing materials and press releases.  It looks like they’re cheaper, which is nice but is less important than performance and reliability for obvious reasons.

If Carrier isn’t going to be a great option, I will push back and find a way to stick with Mitsubishi or Fujitsu instead.  I think I can have the Mitsubishi stuff sitting in my driveway in about a week (if I purchase it myself), but the contractor would have to be on-board with that.

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Replies

  1. Walter Ahlgrim | | #1

    My guess is the Carrier unit you are looking at is made by one of the 3 or 4 Chinese companies with a Carrier name plates installed in China when it was made.

    I think your choice should focus on selecting the best installer. The finest equipment poorly installed will be unreliable and useless. A quality installer will not be installing stuff he can’t make work well.

    Walta

    1. Chris D | | #2

      Someone highly respected on this site has dealt with this installer before, and had good things to say about him, and that carries a lot of weight with me.
      The other 4 or 5 companies I dealt with locally were eventual dead ends, and I stopped following up out of sheer frustration.
      So I should have a good starting point for installation, to the best of my knowledge. This comes with the matching price tag.

      I'm not sure if those Carrier units are a private labeling by Midea, or made by Carrier themselves, or a "final assembly" blending of the two. Carrier's own press release is where the Midea tie-in was mentioned.

  2. Tekjunkie28 | | #3

    I just got off the phone with a supplier today. I had some questions about sourcing a Minisplit for a company to install. He told me that the last time he carried Carrier minisplits they were made my Gree.

  3. Sofiane Azzi | | #4

    I can’t speak from first hand experience, but I’m currently looking for an installer and Carrier seems to be the best choice for me although I am in zone 6. Specs wise, the ducted Carrier units have better modulation than Mitsubishi and most units will be able to accommodate higher static pressures than the Mitsubishi models can.

    I believe Akos has installed one and is quite satisfied with it… I hope he read this to confirm. Dana has written a bit about them, you could use the search function on google or the website to find out exactly what he wrote. I don’t remember anything of concern though.

    I hope this helps.

  4. Expert Member
    Akos | | #5

    For the Carrier units, there is a lot of mix and match, so it isn't always a straight forward answer. Most of the slim ducted units are Midea as all the part numbers match :
    https://ashp.neep.org/#!/product/36673

    Some of the high static units are Midea outdoor unit with a Carrier air handler:
    https://ashp.neep.org/#!/product/33276

    I've installed the Midea slim ducted units (slightly different than the ones rebaged as Carrier but near identical specs), works great so far, for the money and performance you can't go wrong.

  5. BFW577 | | #6

    I have a Midea Premier floor console that has been running pretty much nonstop for over 2 years. I have had zero issues with it and for the low cost the performance has been great. I bought it online and it actually came in a Carrier Midea North America box from Georgia. The Midea stickers were just taped to the box and I had to put them on the units. My guess is the only difference with a Carrier is the stickers. The Midea was cheaper than the Carrier as well.

    Midea is I believe the largest manufacturer in the world of refrigeration and mini splits with Gree being the 2nd. Many of these systems like the Mr Cool are actually just rebadged Mideas or Grees.

    The other nice thing with the Carrier/Midea is you can use the remote as the the temperature sensor with the follow me feature. The remote will constantly transmit the temperature back to the unit and it bypasses the sensor on the unit. None of the big names like Mitsubishi, Daikin, Fujitsu, etc have this simple but effective feature. They make you spend a ton extra for wired thermostat controllers and systems. The Midea/Carrier also plug right into a cheap generic ceilo home wifi system.

  6. Cody Sibell | | #7

    I have a carrier performance multi-split system, installed 2 years ago in a 150 year old house. Aside from the fact that the installer insisted on absurdly oversized two heads and my SO insisted on trusting the "professional," leading to absurdly high humidity levels in the bedrooms in summer, the system itself seems fine. The outdoor unit modulation range is quite high, both the indoor and outdoor units are quiet. No reliability issues so far. We've pretty much stopped using the poorly-designed hydronic baseboards since installing it. When we do a big interior remodel next year, I hope to replace the 7 high-wall heads with 3 slim-ducted units.

  7. Eric Habegger | | #8

    I think it may be a conceptual mistake to fixate on Mitsubishi or Fujitsu mini-splits. I learned about those company's product lines here on GBA. I'm sure they're fine units as attested by numerous experts on this site. "However", what I didn't realize as I was learning about them is that their main advantage may only be in one specific area; they heat down to very low temperatures. Their reliability may not be greater than the installer's ability to install it. In other words, a Midea rebranded unit may be just as high quality and provide just as much customer satisfaction if you have a quality installer and YOU LIVE IN AN AREA THAT DOESN'T HAVE TEMERATURES THAT GO BELOW +5 DEGREES FAHRENHEIT. (I capitalized that not to be shouting but just to emphasize this point.)

    I recently found out that Mr. Cool, Senville, and Pioneer are all rebranded Midea units and are similar high quality mini splits. See this video, which I wish I'd seen before I'd installed my Mr. Cool mini split because it has a lot of helpful tips I could have used in my installation, beside the useful information about rebranding. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qeI3aPo8li0

    It sure sounds like you don't have any need for a mini split that needs to go below +5 F outside temperatures. To me insisting on a Mitz or Fuj in that situation is just the usual case of over specing in a case where it isn't needed. The learning experience for all of us is usually not perfect. We often learn from people who have special requirements, such as living in a cold climate, and don't realize that those requirements are implicit in their favorites. You don't have that need and I doubt you will necessarily see greater dependability or performance in a "prestige" brand over a non-DIY segment in the Mr. Cool, Senville, or Pioneer lines. Ask Carl Seville about his experience. Just get a good installer and make sure they know that you know they are saving money on selecting a midea rebrand and don't let them pull the wool over you by charging you installation costs of the prestige brands that probably gain you nothing.

  8. Cody Sibell | | #9

    Excellent point, except that the carrier/midea offers the same cold temp performance as the mitsu hyperheat - they just don’t do a great job of marketing it. 100% at 5 degrees, around 75% at -13. The Carrier is rated to operate down to -22, which is actually lower than mitsu or Fujitsu.

    1. BFW577 | | #11

      If you actually search the AHRI directory for Mini Splits and sort the list by highest HSPF and Seer Midea and Gree are at the top of the list. They both have many units that are way more efficient and have lower and better cold weather performance than the big names like Fujitsu and Mitsubishi. They also cost a fraction less than those brands. Midea/Carrier has a 42 seer split with an almost 16 HSPF now.

      Personally I have been blown away by the performance of my Gree Sapphire here in New England. It's Grees most efficient mini split line and its cold weather performance is stunning. You can get it shipped to store at Home Depot for $1500.

      It has almost its full capacity available all the way to -22 and can provide 18.7k btu at 47

      https://ashp.neep.org/#!/product/25406

    2. Chris D | | #12

      Yeah, that's why I think they sound like a good alternative to the Mitsu/Fujitsu stuff. I didn't even know Carrier was marketing mini-splits until about 2 months ago, so they're a little behind when it comes to reputation, etc., compared to the familiar players.

      It's too bad they don't seem to make anything under about 9k, because that's significantly larger than the 6k ductless that was spec'd for our (subsize) second story. But, as long as the turn-down is good, and it can control humidity adequately.....

  9. Eric Habegger | | #10

    Well, they sure haven't marketed that point well if you're right. At any rate, the non-DIY brands I mentioned are dirt cheap, like 700 -800 dollars for the smaller units. It would seem to me they would fill the OPs needs easily. It does not pay to get hung up on brand names if Mr. Cool, Senville, and Pioneer are just rebranded Midea. Even paying up for a Carrier branded Midea might not be wise in that case. Everyone comes from a position with certain prejudices that one usually doesn't even know one has. It can be a long and difficult process to unwind them and come to a completely objective decision free of those influences...

  10. Richard Levinson | | #13

    I don't know, I think sometimes other brands look cheaper than they are when just comparing nameplate capacities, but you can get away with smaller rated units because they normally significantly exceed that. Take the Fujitsu 09LZAS1; that's nominally a 9K unit, but it can put out 22K at 47º and 16K at 17º. To get that output with something like a Mr. Cool, you're looking at an 18K unit. Now the latter is still definitely cheaper (about $1100 vs. $1650 for the Fujitsu), but the Fujitsu is also a fair bit more efficient and modulates lower in warmer temperatures.

    And when you get into the higher performance models (like the Gree Sapphire that BFW577 mentioned above), the cost is quite similar. In fact, the Gree is actually about $200 more expensive than the Fujitsu for similar outputs and COPs (though the Fujitsu is a bit more efficient).

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