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Recommendations for a Small Minisplit

Andy Fellenz | Posted in General Questions on

My son is looking for a minisplit to put in a 12×24 building his partner uses as a studio.  The building is in Central NY, fairly well insulated and is easily heated with a 1500w heater in the winter.

He would like to install a small minisplit for both heating and cooling, but is having difficulty finding one that is small enough.  He has installed minisplits in other buildings on the farm and is looking for a DIY product.  Any recommendations?

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Replies

  1. Expert Member
    Akos | | #1

    There are very few DIY options, this is probably in the ballpark:
    https://ashp.neep.org/#!/product/30946

    It has pretty good modulation range, even it is oversized for the place, it should still work well.

    I use a different brand budget 12k unit(similar cold weather performance as the MrCool one) for heating a similar size studio space in Toronto (zone 5) and never had issues. It is actually nice to have the oversized unit as it can quickly heat up or cool down the space if you are not using it all the time.

  2. tvrgeek | | #2

    First, I am not an expert, but researched this a bit. Here is my experience: I am central NC and have a bit larger workshop. 24 x 36. I had a small Mitsubishi put in and it works fantastically. But, it does not de-humidify worth a darn. I have to run a secondary de-humidifier. May need some aux electric heat in the winter. Amazing to me a modern unit can do about 50 degrees delta so I don't need resistive heat, but that is not enough for NY.

    Now to your question, for that size, why not just a medium side window unit in a frame? Same high SEER. Totally DIY.

    1. Expert Member
      Akos | | #3

      Most mini splits don't have great SHR ratios and this ratio generally gets worse(higher) as at the lower end of modulation range of the unit. My not factory warranty approved modification around this issue is to slightly block the intake of the wall mount to get the outlet cooler.

      Even if you had lower SHR from your AC, if you are in a place that needs a lot of latent cooling (mild but humid), there is no way around a dehumidifer.

      Air sealing your place and putting rigid insulation over the slab can make a huge difference in the amount of moisture making it in the building, which would reduce the amount of time your de-humidifer needs to run.

      In the studio I mention above(converted 100 year old garage), the place is wrapped in peel and stick with rigid insulation on the outside, floor has R4 of rigid insulation, the roll up garage door was replace with a set of bifolds made out of insulated exterior door slabs with good seals around the perimeter. . Even with our hot and humid summers, the oversized mini split keeps the place pretty comfortable, never noticed it getting humid inside.

    2. Andy Fellenz | | #4

      The window unit punched thru a wall is definitely an option, but a minisplit install will be easier and have a cleaner look on the interior

  3. SierraWayfarer | | #5

    PTAC, Packaged Terminal Air Conditioners, like in motels, heat and cool both. Very inexpensive and many laymen could install them and replace them.

    Not as efficient as mini-splits but I would hazard that total lifetime costs are significantly lower than mini-splits.

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