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Community and Q&A

Pioneer Minisplit Review

Keith Gustafson | Posted in Green Products and Materials on

SO I was searching for a heat source for my garage.
Detached, 24×36 ‘Grossmans Garage’ for anyone old enough to remember what that is.

It is for intermittent use, but I wanted to establish a minimum temp to keep down condensation and make it more comfortable when I go to get some work done
Last season I modded a 220 volt heater I already owned to keep it above 40F and it worked well, ran little as it will naturally stay there on all but the very coldest days. Did make the meter spin

So, cost is an object, since ultimate efficiency must be tempered to actual energy used
I came across this unit:

PioneerĀ® Diamante Series 24,000 BTU 18 SEER 230V Ductless Mini-Split Air Conditioner Heat Pump Full Set with 16 Ft. Kit

It is not state of the art efficient, but it is cheaper than all the brand names

A key feature that I thought would be interesting to some here as it comes up with partial use structures. It has an ‘Away from Home’ key[AH] that sets it to 46 degrees F

So, will it last?
We shall see, and I will update good or bad.
This is the 7th mini split I have self installed and the 2nd that I have done all aspects of.

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Replies

  1. Expert Member
    Dana Dorsett | | #1

    An HSPF in double-digits for a DIY 2- tonner really isn't bad efficiency. (Only a decade ago that would have been considered pretty good!) It's probably WAY oversized for the 99% design load (assuming you insulated the garage) but that will help when you want to ramp it up from 46F to the mid-60s and beyond in a reasonable amount of time. It's not LUDICROUSLY oversized for that much space, and the beefier blower probably has sufficient throw to even the temps out end-to-end, with no cold corners.

  2. Jay Thomas | | #2

    I have the 12k. It works well and the blower is quite oversized for the unit (which is great to project the heat -- you can toggle turbo mode on the fan at any time). Make sure to get the wifi kit...it is an odd install but does the job.

    The 12k easily covers my 2nd and 3rd floors .... So it may be oversized for your use. Check your meter reads last year to check.

    You can also get it from home depot which makes it easier to return if you need to.

  3. BFW577 | | #3

    Pioneers are rebadged Mideas. Midea is the largest appliance and air conditioner manufacturer in the world. They make a good majority of mini splits out there and companies just put their sticker on it.

    I have installed a couple units from Midea. They were delivered in a Carrier Midea North America box from Georgia. They had both Carrier and Midea stickers in the box to put on the unit. I have had zero issues with them.

    Midea Air Conditioning is the leading manufacturer for all major brands like Toshiba, Carrier, Goodman, Friedrich, Samsung, Kenmore, Trane, Lennox, LG, and many more private labels like Senville, Mr Cool, Klimaire, AirCon, Century, Pioneer, Pridiom, Thermocore and much more.

    1. Max E | | #14

      I thought the largest was gree. no?

  4. Keith Gustafson | | #4

    It is in fact oversized for the exact reason mentioned, it needs to ramp up quickly in any weather and will undoubtedly never get to take significant advantage of long term steady state operation.
    The garage is, well a garage, and not as well insulated or as airtight as it ought to be. The electric heater I mentioned was large enough to pretty much maintain but not at all to heat up the space., and while its fan is small, its output if I do my math right was about 18k btu

    If you look at their website
    https://www.pioneerminisplit.com/collections/wyt

    there are some interesting anomalies in the turn down ratio. I would have to go to 12k to get a lower minimum output,and it looks like the 12k has a lower minimum output than the 9k [3500 vs 5400]

    The wifi adapter is out of stock, but i have an alert set up so I can decide if I want to get it. It would be nice [but not mission critical] to ramp the temp up from work, or turn it back down if I simply don't wish to trudge outside to turn it off if my plans change

    1. BFW577 | | #5

      I would spend the extra $249 and get the 24k WYS series. The Diamante WYT units have really poor heating capacity. Here are the Performance charts for the WYT and WYS. The WYT starts losing capacity at 47 degrees and stops at 5 after it lost half its capacity.

      Also, for $200 more than the WYS you can get an actual hyper heat Midea Premier that will blow both those Pioneers away.

      The wifi adapter is universal and available at a ton of places online. They are using the Cielo system. I have the separate Cielo breeze t-stat that has a built in thermometer and humidity sensor that can be programmmed based off that separate sensor. Works awesome.

      https://www.pdhvac.com/support/manuals-and-brochures/

  5. Jay Thomas | | #6

    I don't think that's the right chart - I think that's for the 19 SEER WYS vs the 22 SEER WYS. The AHRI suggests 16200/24000 = 68% capacity at 17 deg F.

    Just comparing the numbers on the AHRI it's 16200 for WYT vs 15300 for the 22 SEER WYS.

    Also the WYT wifi isn't the same same as the others - it's "Smart Life"/ESP Microcontroller based. (The built in wifi option - you can also use a Cielo if you like that better.)

    Let me know if I mixed anything up!

  6. Keith Gustafson | | #7

    The WYS appears to be rated down to +5F while the WYT is -13F

    I am sure for 40 percent more money I could do a lot of things........

    And the ability to maintain at 46 degrees F was key in the decision making

  7. Expert Member
    Akos | | #8

    If you have snow or lot of bellow freezing but humid days, make sure to get a unit with a pan heater. I've read stories of units without pan heaters freezing up even in warm climates during the winter. I use a budget unit for a studio and I payed a couple of dollars for an EMI unit over the Pioneer unit for something that had much cold weather performance and a pan heater.

    There is nothing wrong with oversizing the unit, I'm heating a 450sqft well sealed and insulated place with a 12k unit. Brings up the temperature in no time plus, since it is not a hyper heat, has a bit of extra capacity during cold snaps.

  8. Keith Gustafson | | #9

    Update

    It prefers 51 degrees to 46, so I am sure part of that is oversizing.
    IT is not massively oversized, as it still takes several hours to get up to 64 degrees from ~50

    The wifi piece is in stock and on its way, we will see what options the app gives me,
    The place does not freeze up when the heat is not on, so it may turn out to be more efficient to run the thing once a day to invest some heat into the building than try to run the thing in 'Away from Home' mode.

    There is so much available in electronics now that I am pretty sure I can get something that runs the IR remote to keep the temp where I would prefer without resorting to big relays and temperature controllers.

  9. Jay Thomas | | #10

    The internal wifi kit is in the smart life ecosystem so lots of applications you can connect to.

    The app does give you a lot of fine tuning of louver positions and fan turbo modes. Mine has held up pretty well through the cold part of winter (lows around 10 F) keeping 2000 ft2 on two floors warm. (For a fraction of what the steam boiler cost!!)

  10. Jay Thomas | | #11

    Also - try the Turbo mode to get up to temp faster - it does seem to make a significant difference unless you hit a lot of defrost.

  11. HoverDA | | #12

    WYS series is made by Midea. WYT series is made by TCL.

    For WYT, 9000/12000 btu models use GMCC compressor. 18000/24000/36000 btu models use SANYO compressor.

    Gree and Midea are Tier 1 mini split manufactures in China. TCL is one of the Tier 2 mini split manufactures in China . IMHO, I'll always go with the Gree and Midea made units in US, since it is much easier to find the parts.

    1. BFW577 | | #13

      When I bought my Midea unit it came in a Midea Carrier North America box from Georgia. It had both Midea and Carrier stickers in the box. I found the majority of the off brand name units are either made by Midea or Gree. My Midea Premier floor console is identical to almost every other floor console unit. Everything is identical including the manuals and parts diagram. I suspect Midea actually makes it for most of the bigger manufacturers like Fujitsu and Daikin as well.

  12. Keith Gustafson | | #15

    So I got the Wifi module and installed it

    In a word: Don't

    Hard to say on the smaller units, but on the 2 ton the entire front of the unit must be removed to access the control board. Yup, louvers dangling from the wires. Screws hidden behind covers. Just a really fun time

    Oh, and get it all back together because you probably don't want to fire it up to test with all its guts hanging out, and..............it doesn't work
    That's right, the wifi module does not respond at all when following the instructions.
    Push display 6 times in 8 seconds
    nope
    Push reset button on the wifi module
    nope

    Wonderful
    That is 4 hours of my life I will never get back

    1. Max E | | #16

      sorry to hear that. you have a lof of experience with mini splits. how often do they have to be cleaned? how good are the air filters? thanks

  13. Jay Thomas | | #17

    It wasn't too bad with the 12k. Just lift the hood, pull out PCB, plug it into the right slot (CN16) and push it back in again. I didn't take the PCB out, just pulled it out a little bit, plugged it in, then pushed it back.

    It did take a couple tries with the Smart Life app for it to pair - I reset the power on the unit while retrying the 6 times. Of course it's always possible a wire is loose some place. There also should be a pin hole some place to get into AP mode. I believe you put a paperclip in the black dot.

  14. Keith Gustafson | | #18

    Update

    As I like to say with British cars, there is a obscenity level that must be reached before they will obey.

    I got up on the ladder again and pushed the button and wiggled and pushed and wonder of wonders the display changed to the appropriate alpha characters to mean it wanted to do, err, something.

    It took several attempts as it only stays in that mode for a few seconds, and half the time it goes into another mode.

    One thing that is only mentioned in one section of the directions is that both the device you are using and the mini split must be on the same network. Well, I am on the phone and we have two routers.

    So, it works

    When I am in a better mood I will explain the steps it takes that get to this point

    Do not do what I did, instead get the wifi dongle before installing the unit and install it on the bench not up on the wall. It is 8 or 10 screws and a particular process to get the case off of the unit to expose the board.

  15. Jay Thomas | | #19

    Glad it worked out. On the smaller one it was nowhere as painful! I also ended up mounting mine at eye level in a lofted space so it makes the mechanics easier!

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