I've done a far amount of searching and reading through posts in the forum and am impressed with the info on this forum.
Here's my situation and what I'm asking.
We're in CT and are typically "open the windows" type of folks. We have an attic fan that does an excellent job of cooling the house off provided the outside air is reasonably comfortable. Our heat is a combination of baseboard hydronic (original part of house) and radiant hydronic (staple-up application in an addition).
I'm considering having a professional install one of the mini-split systems to provide cooling for parts of the house. SEER ratings aren't all that important because we would likely only use the system(s) on the really brutal days like we're having now (90+ temps with high humidity). Use of the A/C would be as much for dehumidification as for cooling.
Here are some assumptions for you to consider:
- The primary installation would be in a large sunroom - 24' x 18' with cathedral ceilings that start at 9' and increase to 14'. The air handler would be mounted high (11'-12') on an outside wall on the long axis of the room. The condensor unit would be on a concrete pad close to the air handler. This is the south side of the house. At the other end of this sunroom is a 6' wide opening (used to be a sliding glass patio door) to a 20' x 12' standard height room.
- Assume the system will be properly sized, which to me means not over-sized. I'm OK with a somewhat undersized system that runs longer to achieve the desired results, especially since that's what appears to be needed for good dehumidifiation.
- Assume the system will be "properly" installed by an HVAC professional. I realize that having a top-notch HVAC guy/gal doing the work is as or more important as the equipment itself.
- I need a neat and clean installation to keep the wife happy. Are there any brands that will give a cleaner looking install, from the perspective of walking into the sunroom from the rest of the house and seeing the air handler up on that opposite wall?
- Of the various brands, which are easiest for you HVAC pros to service? Which brands do you tend to see fewer problems with, understanding that we're probably talking about a mini-split system in the 12,000 BTU range (assuming my understanding of sizing the systems is somewhat correct).
- The most important equipment factors to me would be lowest profile interior installation, quiet operation, remote control is a must (I ain't crawling up a ladder to turn this on and off!), and reliability/servicability of the equipment. Least important is SEER and, to some degree, purchase cost. What other factors should I consider when looking at systems?
Thanks for your time and help.