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  1. #1
    I am contemplating a mini-split for a home theater room I am building in my basement. It will be a cool only Mitsubishi unit, the smallest one they carry, rated at 8,500 btuh.

    I went to a local dealer today who had a Mitsubishi installed and working. It was a model that provided 17,000 btuh. After looking at the specs, in general, the more cooling one of these puts out, the louder it is. The unit I saw at the dealer and the one I am thinking about purchasing both have three speed fans. The faster the fan speed, the louder they are.

    The unit I heard at the dealer puts out 40-43-45 decibels
    The unit I am thinking about purchasing puts out 26-31-36 decibels.

    On the lowest fan speed, at 40 decibels, the unit in the showroom was a little loud for my taste, especially since a home theater needs to be quiet. Unfortunately, they did not have the unit I am thinking about purchasing mounted so I could not hear it first hand.

    Has anybody heard the smallest mini-split in the Mitsubishi line? Even the smallest one in the Fujitsu or Samsung line have similar decibel ratings, has anybody heard one of these?

    I would just hate to shell out the money for one of these units and find out it is louder than I like. I do know that the decibel scale is logarithmic so their is a sizable difference between 26 and 40 decibels.

    How loud they are also depends on how close they are to my seating area. I have two locations picked out, one is the best aesthetically but it puts the unit about 3 feet from the seats. The other is not as good aesthetically but the unit is 8 feet from the seats. What location do you think would be better based on how loud these units are?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Upstate, SC
    I have installed several and they are pretty dog gone quiet, so I don't think you'd have a problem with the noise, but it is impossible to be sure. Anyway to run ductwork to your project? Maybe a zone with oversized duct from your existing unit? You'd have to add a zone control and some dampers to control the system, but it might be an option. Just so hard to see it from


  3. #3
    Unfortunately, using my existing furnace is not a good fit. I have had three different HVAC contractors look at it and all three said the same thing. Hard spot to get enough returns and supplies to coupled with a furnace that only has a one speed fan makes it a bad candidate for zoning. All three suggested either baseboard electric plus cooling only mini-split or a mini-split with a heat pump. I think I will opt for the first choice since most of the time the room will need heat. As quiet as mini-splits may be, a good baseboard electric heater is nearly silent.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    if you are looking for cooling only, take a look at

    i ran into these at a trade show. very attractive, they even have a model you can put your own art in.

    i can't speak for reliability, having never installed, serviced or even seen one in an actual residence.

    but they sure look good.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    The 9K's are very quiet on low speed. But don't put one 3 ft from people. No one wants air blowing on them. The futher away the better.

  6. #6
    I agree, I do not want air blowing directly on somebody. My home theater will have two rows of seats. This puts the back row about a foot from the back wall and the front row about 6 foot from the back wall. My thought was to mount the mini-split centered on this back wall and as close to the ceiling as possible (3" for a Mitubishi).

    This puts it about 3 foot above and 1 foot behind the heads of the back row and 3.5 feet above and 6 foot behind the people sitting in the front row. The Mistubishi has the ability to adjust the angle of the vain. If I set it to shoot air out horizontally (parrallel to the ceiling), then it should not be blowing directly on anybody. The cold air will be going over people's heads and sink to the floor.

    My bigger concern is noise of the smallest Mistubishi in this location. How noisy will it be about 3 feet from a person in the back row and 6.5 feet from a person in the front row?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    You know the wall mounts blow out of the bottom of the unit. The front grill is the intake, so you really can't blow straight out along the ceiling. They have ceiling casette units and ceiling mount units that could also be mounted lower on the wall like a radiator and blow up but these are normally for the 12-18K size units.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Maybe want to thing about fan coil unit with plenum and supply defusser would be slot type locate them to the rear or sides of the room.

    I have done this with regular air handlers and used slot defussers and they are really quiet..

    First Company /Fan Coil 18HX240-
    8273 Moberly Dr.
    Mesquite, Texas

  9. #9
    Aircooled53 - I am not familiar with the fan coil unit you mention in your post. How do these work? Any links you can provide?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Fan coils normally relate to hydroninc heat/cooling in building with water chiller systems. I don't think you want that. The smalest split type ac air handle ris usaually 12K btu's, too big for you.

    You may want to look at companies like EMI. They have mix and match smaller ductless evaporators (like a ceiling one that blows out) with small condensers.

    You may want to get a ceiling cassette unit that has the option of running 4" flex duct between the ceiling joists to a more remote part of the room (by the screen) and leave the cassette in the rear wall or ceiling for the return air.

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