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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    ohio
    Posts
    40

    Default Duct-Free Mini Split Reviews

    Right now my home only has baseboard heat. The windows I have make it difficult to install window or floor units (large sliders and casement). I have heard about the duct-free mini split (fijustu specifically). I have a big house but I think a "4 zone" system would be OK. I could cool the main bedroom, the large living and dining areas, and kitchen. I'm having trouble finding good reviews on these systems. Anyone have experience with them? What are your impressions? Also do you know a rough estimate for a large 4 zone system (system + install)?

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Washington State
    Posts
    579

    Default Re: Duct-Free Mini Split Reviews

    Here's my opinion on mini split systems.

    1. They are efficient in most situations. They are quite considering there output.
    2. Most of the units I have seen look and feel cheap.
    3. They will most likely have less life expectancy compared to a standard forced air HVAC system.
    4. The indoor air handlers have lots of cheap plastic parts that can easily break.
    5. The systems area best suited for smaller homes or detached bonus rooms etc.
    6. For a large home it will likely cost more to install and multi zone mini split system vs a standard forced air HVAC system.
    7. Most people do not understand or know that there are numerous ways to route duct work in existing homes. It's not as hard or difficult as most people think.


  3. #3

    Default Re: Duct-Free Mini Split Reviews

    We have two mini-split systems and love them. They were installed about 12-13 years ago, and since then the technology has just gotten better and better. Next year we are planning on replacing the system with a newer one that will serve more areas with a single unit, rather than multiple condensers.
    The current issue of "Fine Homebuilding" magazine has an excellent article about minisplits.

    Welmoed Sisson
    Inspections by Bob, LLC, Boyds, MD
    "Given sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine."

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Orlando, FL
    Posts
    1,339

    Default Re: Duct-Free Mini Split Reviews

    I've seen quite a few mini-splits around here. Most are installed as the primary HVAC in a large addition, or extension. Some are used in those condo conversions from prior commercial buildings, where they don't want or can't have ductwork.

    I typically see off brand mini-splits in small projects, and Mitsubishi "Mr Slim" in other larger installations. I've never seen more than 2 zones off of one condensing unit, although I know they support more than that.

    I think the installing contractor is more important than the brand, so if you go that way, follow their recommendation. I often find these "imported no-name" systems to be non-operational, so reliability is questionable.

    I bet the overall price of a 4 zone mini-split is quite high. Have you considered a high velocity traditional HVAC, such as Unico, which uses small diameter ducts that are easy to route?

    Dom.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Southern Vancouver Island
    Posts
    4,546

    Default Re: Duct-Free Mini Split Reviews

    I think they are very good for retrofit installations. I would suggest two Slim-Jim two-zone units on opposite sides of the house. The refrigerant lines are hard to hide, and you don't want a run to be the full length of the house.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Lansdale, PA
    Posts
    876

    Default Re: Duct-Free Mini Split Reviews

    Quote Originally Posted by Sam Alex View Post
    Right now my home only has baseboard heat. The windows I have make it difficult to install window or floor units (large sliders and casement). I have heard about the duct-free mini split (fijustu specifically). I have a big house but I think a "4 zone" system would be OK. I could cool the main bedroom, the large living and dining areas, and kitchen. I'm having trouble finding good reviews on these systems. Anyone have experience with them? What are your impressions? Also do you know a rough estimate for a large 4 zone system (system + install)?
    We put one single and one double Mitsubishi systems in our church. They work well for relatively large single rooms, and the inverter units are very efficient. I question whether they would be an ideal choice for many houses if you have 6 to 8 rooms. I would look into a high velocity system. You could do every room for probably a similar cost. Some people complain about noise or drafts, but when properly installed they seem to work fine. I have been in a number of houses with them and the owners have generally been happy with them.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Caledon, Ontario
    Posts
    5,005

    Default Re: Duct-Free Mini Split Reviews

    These units are relatively simple to install, most always installed in bedrooms or kitchens.
    There is the option of some units to be a heat source (air source heat pump) during colder months.

    In terms of cost much cheaper to install than conventional high velocity as those systems require access to attics and confined spaces, at least in my experience.

    Also popular in older homes with older duct work (supply/return). Or homes with hot water heating.


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Southern Vancouver Island
    Posts
    4,546

    Default Re: Duct-Free Mini Split Reviews

    Thanks, Raymond. They serve well as heaters in our climate. I have seen an outdoor unit mounted on the sloped roof of a small commercial building here. They built a little shelf up there and hoisted up a Slim Jim.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

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