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  1. #1

    combination of hot water baseboard/radiators and mini-splits vs regular hot/cold air

    Dear All,

    I am thinking on putting a combination of hot water baseboard/radiators and mini-splits in my new house. Any thoughts on pros and cons of the above solution vs regular hot/cold air delivery systems. All comments/suggestions are highly appreciated.

    Thank you,
    Mimochka

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
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    Is theis a new construction house, or an existing construction house your renovating.
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    How many times must one fix something before it is fixed?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
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    1,996

    I have it my house

    Hydronic heat is the best. But I have 4 mini-splits and it still can't cover the whole house.
    2 bedrooms still have sleeved wall ac's when it's very hot out. The one mini-split out in the hallway keeps it comfortable when kept on all the time, but I need to throw on the wall units to help cool down the space if the AC has been off during the day. Running 4 separate splits is not as efficent as one larger conventional duct system. But when zoning, and only cooling the part of the house your in, it saves money. Having 4 condensers outside the house gets a little crazy. But they're very quiet and I hide 2 under my deck. Now this is a retro, not new construction.

    If the house has a large open floor plan, I'd recommend the multi-unit models that can do 2 or 3 rooms. If the house is bi-level, you might get a regular duct system for the 2nd floor and splits for down stairs. Problem is buying and installing several mini-splits will probably wind up costing you more then a high end split duct AC duct system.

  4. #4
    Beenthere,

    I am planning for a new construction

  5. #5
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    For new construction, a Central A/C.
    You can still put in HW heat.
    With new construction, there is seldom a reason not to have central. It will also help with resell value without the ductless indoor units on 4 or more walls.
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  6. #6
    How about the IAQ? My thinking is that going without duct will significantly improve IAQ as well as limit the loses due to air going thru ducts

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    MN
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    Quote Originally Posted by mimochka View Post
    How about the IAQ? My thinking is that going without duct will significantly improve IAQ as well as limit the loses due to air going thru ducts
    ductwork will improve IAQ with the proper filtration system. Mini-splits have little filtration, they are just plastic screens to keep the coil clean, a good quality system like the clean effects, or electronic air cleaner, even a 5 inch media filter, plus then you can have a humidifier (if necessary) installed in the ductwork.
    You can't fix stupid

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    As above, a mini split doesn't address IAQ.
    If a central systems ducts are sealed, and you use a good air filter, a mini will never touch it for IAQ.
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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
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    With new construction, your options are limited only by your imagination. What are your priorities? Initial cost? Long term operating costs? Greenhouse affects? I currently heat with a combination of systems. Baseboard, radiant floors, hydro-air and air-to-air heat pump.

    Lowest cost of installation is a basic ducted system, single stage, 1-zone up to equipment maximum sized, then additional equipment as needed to satisfy the needs of the home. This gives you both heat an AC, greatly enhancing the value of the home.

    Greatest comfort year 'round; properly sized 2-stage heat and AC, zoned as required for the most even temperatures, electronic air cleaner(s), humidifier(s), Ultra-violtet lights and a heat recovery unit for fresh air exchange.

    Lowest operating costs; geo-thermal heat pump w/solar domestic hot water.

    Most common compromise system based on inital cost and cost of operation with great comfort, properly sized, multi-staged, gas furnace(s) with multi-stage heat pump dual fuel/Hybrid Heat system, zones as indicated for best comfort and all the IAQ items listed above.

    Radiant floor/wall/ceiling heating is great for comfort and can be very economical to operate but it doesn't give the AC in the summer.

    Standard baseboard is an anachronism today, IMO. Plumbers still cling to it but it's really not the distribution system of the 2000's.

    Mini-splits can be very economical to operate but are not the #1 choice in all instances. Geothermal heat pumps can generally out perform them for efficient operation when conditioning the whole building. Now if there are areas to be shut off for substantial lengths of time, then minis might be more economical. And yes, there are mini-split systems out there that will do up to 3-zone on single phase systems. In fact, Mitsubishi for one makes a City Multi that will do up to 4-tons and 8-zones but the building layout must lend itself to make it attractive. Most often these are used in retrofit applications.

    IMO, if the budget is a consideration, I'd put in a nice Carrier or Bryant Hybrid Heat system, Infinity or Evolution, top of the line stuff. If the budget is no problem, geo-thermal without a doubt.
    If YOU want change, YOU have to first change.

    If you are waiting for the 'other guy' to change first, just remember, you're the 'other guy's' other guy. To continue to expect real change when you keep acting the same way as always, is folly. Won't happen. Real change will only happen when a majority of the people change the way they vote!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by skippedover View Post
    And yes, there are mini-split systems out there that will do up to 3-zone on single phase systems. In fact, Mitsubishi for one makes a City Multi that will do up to 4-tons and 8-zones but the building layout must lend itself to make it attractive. Most often these are used in retrofit applications.
    Each of the Asian manufacturers have systems similar to the Mitsu City line. Daikin, also has a 4 ton and Sanyo has a 3 and 5 ton units. The beauty of these systems is that you connect multiple indoor units to a single outdoor unit. The outdoor units can be connected to the typical ductless type indoor units and they also have ducted air handlers too (look more like commercial air handlers then what we think of as an air handler). The heat side produces much more heat at lower temps than the systems we typically see from Carrier, Trane and such. As an example, a 5 ton Carrier 25HNA6 (around 15-16 SEER) produces about 27K BTU at 10* while the Sanyo unit produces about 39K BTU. The Sanyo unit also picks up some efficiency as more indoor units are attached.

    They are not rated with SEER ratings and so you have to do some math on your own to compare efficiency. The Sanyo line seems to best the most efficient (comparing COP) from the data I have found.

    The Sanyo site is: http://www.sanyohvac.com/productList.php?cat1=3&cat2=13

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