Need Mini-Split multizone for cold climate
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  1. #1

    Need Mini-Split multizone for cold climate

    I'm looking for a mini-split heat pump for a cold climate (Canadian border) that is capable of four zones. BTU requirement (heating) is roughly 40,000. It will be a small house (1,400 sq. ft) and will have a propane Vermont Castings stove for supplemental heat.

    I thought the Mitsubishi Mr. Slim was going to be the answer, but now I see that their models rated to -13F are only available in single-zone. They also offer their "City Multi" which appears to do what I want, but it is about double the BTUs that I need.

    I have read here and on other sites that Fujitsu leaves a lot to be desired in terms of quality of service and parts availability. I also looked at the Acadia, but it appears that Hollowell is essentially out of business (apparently for good reason).

    I'm looking for a recommendation for a brand/product that will be appropriate for what I'm trying to accomplish.

    Thanks in advance, and, yes, this is my first post here

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    1,253
    Quote Originally Posted by Karl in NY View Post
    I'm looking for a mini-split heat pump for a cold climate (Canadian border) that is capable of four zones. BTU requirement (heating) is roughly 40,000. It will be a small house (1,400 sq. ft) and will have a propane Vermont Castings stove for supplemental heat.

    I thought the Mitsubishi Mr. Slim was going to be the answer, but now I see that their models rated to -13F are only available in single-zone. They also offer their "City Multi" which appears to do what I want, but it is about double the BTUs that I need.

    I have read here and on other sites that Fujitsu leaves a lot to be desired in terms of quality of service and parts availability. I also looked at the Acadia, but it appears that Hollowell is essentially out of business (apparently for good reason).

    I'm looking for a recommendation for a brand/product that will be appropriate for what I'm trying to accomplish.

    Thanks in advance, and, yes, this is my first post here
    You will need to provide some additional info. What are the winter design temps for indoor and outdoor? Where and who came up with the 40K BTU requirement? Why do you need four indoor units?

    If you were looking at City Multi systems with capacity twice double what you needed (80K BTUs ??) then you may have been looking at the commercial units that probably would not work for you anyway.

  3. #3
    The 40K BTU heating requirement is a "guestimate" at this point...it may be slightly low for the lowest Winter temperatures (-20F), but those days are rare and will be augmented with the ~30K BTU output of the Vermont Castings stove.

    The house specs are still not complete, regarding insulation, number and type of windows, etc., so a formal energy calculation has not been done yet.

    The four zones are needed because the upstairs will generally be unheated during Winter months, and thermally isolated from the downstairs (downstairs ceilings to be insulated to R19 or so, possibly higher). The floor plan is generally open, but I feel that two zones per floor will be necessary to insure uniform comfort levels, without having to provide for inter-room air circulation, although that is a possibilty since the crawl space will be conditioned and will get continuous air movement.

    Upstairs is two bedrooms with cathredral ceilings, downstairs is kitchen, LR, MBR and laundry. The cooling load will obviously be greater upstairs than down during Summer, but with metal roofing and good insulation, I am not too concerned with the cooling BTUs.

    Really just looking for a mini-split product that supports four zones, and is efficient at ambient Winter temps. below 0F.

    I'm still open to Fujitsu or Daikin, just don't know much about either except for some negatives I have read about Fujitsu service and parts...

    I had hoped to go with a more "mainstream" manufacturer like Mitsubishi but they are ignoring the cold-climate multizone market at this point.

    They do have the ducted Zuba-Central for the Canadian market, but it appears that it would be hard to zone, plus they refuse to sell/service US customers.

    Maybe I'm just missing something obvious, which is why I have turned to this forum.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    1,253
    Quote Originally Posted by Karl in NY View Post
    The 40K BTU heating requirement is a "guestimate" at this point...it may be slightly low for the lowest Winter temperatures (-20F), but those days are rare and will be augmented with the ~30K BTU output of the Vermont Castings stove.

    The house specs are still not complete, regarding insulation, number and type of windows, etc., so a formal energy calculation has not been done yet.

    The four zones are needed because the upstairs will generally be unheated during Winter months, and thermally isolated from the downstairs (downstairs ceilings to be insulated to R19 or so, possibly higher). The floor plan is generally open, but I feel that two zones per floor will be necessary to insure uniform comfort levels, without having to provide for inter-room air circulation, although that is a possibilty since the crawl space will be conditioned and will get continuous air movement.

    Upstairs is two bedrooms with cathredral ceilings, downstairs is kitchen, LR, MBR and laundry. The cooling load will obviously be greater upstairs than down during Summer, but with metal roofing and good insulation, I am not too concerned with the cooling BTUs.

    Really just looking for a mini-split product that supports four zones, and is efficient at ambient Winter temps. below 0F.

    I'm still open to Fujitsu or Daikin, just don't know much about either except for some negatives I have read about Fujitsu service and parts...

    I had hoped to go with a more "mainstream" manufacturer like Mitsubishi but they are ignoring the cold-climate multizone market at this point.

    They do have the ducted Zuba-Central for the Canadian market, but it appears that it would be hard to zone, plus they refuse to sell/service US customers.

    Maybe I'm just missing something obvious, which is why I have turned to this forum.
    There are a number of products that could meet your requirements but without knowing the details of what those requirement are it would just be a guess at this point. Trying to figure this out now is like trying to start hammering nails before the plans are finalized. Cart before the horse.

    Both the Mitsu City Multi and the Daikin VRV (they are the largest manufacturer in the world of comfort systems) have their 'S' models in 3 and 4 ton sizes that are suitable for residential applications. Mitsu also has the Hi2 system which can not have but a single indoor unit per outdoor unit, may provide the comfort you wish with having one system per floor.

    Also the new Carrier inverter system has good heat output at lower temps. I believe it can be zoned through ducting.

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