I have a section of my basement (all below grade, not a walkout) I will be finishing into a home theater. When finished, it will be 19’ by 14’ with 7 foot ceilings. It will be well insulated.
I used HVAC-calc (great program!) to figure a heat gain of 6,552 btuh and a heat loss of 2,738 btuh. The room will have seating for 8 but many times only 2-4 people will be using it. I figured my heat gain using the worst-case scenario, 8 people in the room. This heat gain also figures in a ceiling mounted projector.
I have been looking at using a mini-split to provide heating and cooling. I have looked at two models in the Mitsubishi line:
Model MSH09TW with 8,880 btuh cooling and 10,500 btuh for heating
Model MSZ09UN with 8,880 btuh cooling and 12,300 btuh for heating
This second unit uses Inverter technology to adjust the compressor speed. By varying the compressor speed it can output a variable amount of cooling (2,600-9,700 btuh) and a variable amount of heating (2,300-15,700 btuh). According to the specs it is quieter than the first unit as well.
I have three questions I am hoping someone can help me with:
1. I live outside of Rochester, NY. We can get short stretches of 2 or 3 days when the temperature never goes above the teens. There are 6 or 8 nights during the winter when the temperature goes into the single digits. Much of the winter it is in the 20’s or 30’s. Can the heat pump on this unit keep up with this type of cold? As far as I can discern, these two units are not available with supplemental heat strips.
2. The unit with the inverter is about $400 more than the one without. Is the unit with the inverter worth paying extra for? It seems like it might be for three reasons – it can put out a variable amount of heating and cooling, it is more energy efficient, and it is quieter (important for a home theater). I have not seen any other manufacturer (Sanyo, Samsung, Fujitsu, Daiken, York, etc.) that uses Inverter technology on their mini-splits.
3. Am I better off purchasing a cooling only mini-split and installing electric baseboard heating? In other words, split the heat and air conditioning into two separate sources.