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Ducted mini split – 18k or 24k?

jeffesonm | Posted in Mechanicals on

Looking for some input on selected a mid-static ducted mini split for a 1500 sq ft 1960s brick ranch in Durham NC.  This will be my third ducted mini split install (previous were a Fuji 7k+12k and a Fuji 18k at previous houses).  Manual J is attached (left out some closets and a stairwell which is why the sq ft is slightly off). Ducting will be going in an encapsulated attic space.  Considering either:

Fujitsu 18RGLXD – 18k, 19 seer; 0.8 wc;  $3100 ish 

Midea DLCSRBH24AAK – 24k, 21 seer, 0.64 wc;  $2300 ish

I’ve had good luck with my previous Fuji installs and would be happy to do another, but concerned the 18k is a little undersized (acknowledging 18k rated = 21.5k max).  Unfortunately the 24RGLXD is discontinued (I presume the 18 isn’t far behind) and next step up is a 30.

Midea is a good bit cheaper and from what I’ve read seems like it would be just fine if well installed.  

I’ve mapped out a relatively straightforward duct arrangement (further simplified in the attached diagram) and feel confident I can fabricate nice smooth transitions to make it work with either unit.   Really only concerned with cooling capacity… living room has a gas fireplace we use in the winter which does a good job keeping the living area warm.  Would the 18k Fuji cut it?

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