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I think it was bullethead who posted last week about his new air conditioner just in time for the hot summer.
We have central air but I'm very curious about those Mitsubishi (and other brand) mini split air conditioners for use in a listening room.... or garage.
Are there relatively small units available sufficient to cool a small 15-ft x 12-ft bedroom (set up as a listening room)... or a good size 3-car garage with 14-ft ceilings?
And just as important, are they quiet on the their lowest setting or do you still hear it in the background during quiet passages in the music?
Just an example of: wall mounted indoor unit, outdoor unit, remote control
The dealio is thus :
When you got one of those the compressor is outside, if you got walls that takes are of that, just don't screw it to the biggest wall of the house. In fact screw it to something else than the house.
With that now out of the way you get to the blower noise. When you need maximum cooling you use a higher speed on the blower. Some units do this automatically. As the temperature approaches your set point on the thermostat the blower slows down. If it slows down enough the compressor might start cycling. In face that may have an impact on purists, the best thing you can do is use a totally isolated circuit for the outside unit at least, and it being 240 volts is a big plus.
I didn't really think about this much because I just turned up the volume, but really I listened to alot of rock etc., while some of you might listen to Bach or a string quartet or whatever. This requires depth in the dynamic range of the listening space, to put it one way. I mean you need quiet for certain material. But then remember I got out big knives or guns when good music was playing and people were getting too loud. But that was way beyond an AC unit.
This subject reminds me of a scene in a movie called The Neon Empire in which one Junior Morloff was building a casino and the guy was working on the AC, before it got walled in and he goes and smacks the guy around and when the AC guy runs, Morloff pulled out his gun and tried to shoot him, but failed partly because the AC guy dropped himself into a swimming pool, and you knbnow how hard it is to shoot into something like that. Just try to stab a fish one of these days. But the whole icidet happened because Juior was a nut.
The REAL bosses had to come out, and they layed it off like a publicity stunt and paid the AC guy hansomely. At that point Junior was almost done. they let him build the casino but not to run it, which is what he wanted the most. You might not have heard this before, but you can fuck with the mob, BUT ONLY IF YOU ARE NOT IN THE MOB. Not that there ever was a mob of course. But that is how it goes. You are just an outsider, those protection rackets are pretty much gone, those people have moved into government work. But some of the stories about that type of people are bullshit. they do not want to kill Women and children, but if you swore loyalty to them and break it all bets are off. If you are just some dude they do business with, they will never lift a finger against you. It is when you got something they want. Sound familiar ? Government.
Anyway, I digressed again. Sue me.
If you want a silent AC unit you buy one that uses gas, it is called an absorption type cooler. Couple that with a DC motor and you are good to go. What's more, the gas (propane or otherwise) you use can be throttled and that acts about the same as having speed control on the compressor.
But there are no valves as we see on these reciprocating jobs. We do not hear the 60 Hz hum anytime it is running. The only other option is a scroll compressor which works like a power steering box on an older car but in reverse. That is the best I can explain it on short notice. The problem with those is that because of the cost they are only used for much bigger systems. If you are made of money of course you can scale one down for a normal size abode and MAYBE it will quiet up, but they are made for restaurants and grocery stores, and they put them on the roof and you can still hear them. Even with all the other noise in there.
But I find this an interesting point to which I had never given much thought. I want AC and I want it quiet, just what are all the options ?
"If you are just some dude they do business with, they will never lift a finger against you. It is when you got something they want. Sound familiar ? Government."
Government? I will add "union bosses". Trust me on this.
"Government? I will add "union bosses". Trust me on this."
I won't argue with that.
My Uncle ran for office in the union at Ford where he worked, they made him an offer he couldn't refuse to step down and endorse their guy. However, being educated he went onto management and probably made more that way.
We are/were a car and gun family, and I mean for one everyone, even the girls, learn to drive on a stickshift. It also means like a 12 year old gets a scope for his rifle on his birthday. However we do not seek trouble.
He did quite well without that office, but died suddenly of a heart attack. He was holding a ladder for his daughter in law and keeled over as she was picking apples. Me thinkst maybe he looked up and saw something...
Yes, we joke about death like that. You should have seen some of our funerals, or actually the party after. However the joke is on us who are left because most of the people of that stock are dead.
Anyway, we accept death, but not necessarily being killed. He knew he could be picked off at any time, or his car could go boom. We knew people who could find Danny Green's body, but like everyone else most of them are dead.
There are still people you do not screw with. What little is left of the unions in this country are probably the baddest and the sharpest of them all, with the others eliminated. Right to work laws killed off alot of union business. Actually they were getting a bit too powerful like the groups who ran Chicago in the past when there was almost no government. There never was a mafia what we had and still have are gangs.
Neon Empire was put on moratorium, probably because it has some criminal Jewish characters. I knew a video store owner and tried to get it and he said it was held up and who knows for how long. I cannot find it for download, and could not even when I was on P2P.
But in control of business, I see that at least among audiophile circles there might be a deand for silent heating and cooling systems. If I was younger I would seriously consider getting into it and I really believe I missed out like 20 years ago when I had the resources to actually do it.
Even though some windows units actually have a dB rating, I realize it is probably not low enough for some listening. Years ago I would be willing to get into it and find a way to make them totally silent.
There are squirrel cage blowers thaat now make almost zero noise. That, coupled with either a very small scroll compressor or perhaps absorbtion refrigeration might fill the bill. I tried to understand that gas system for cooling and can only partly get it. Apparently a small flame boils some water at the bottom and somehow this carries the refrigerant up a tube to get gravity to work the system. I THINK this means these systems usually must be level but they have been implemented in RVs. A friend of mine had noe, the flame is only a heat source, he said his would run on danear anything. It has a burner for gas and also electric heating elements for 12 volts and 120 volts.
Such systems will be hard to find because the big boys don't really want to do it. That is mainly because of the limited market. Starting a small business in this country is almost impossible and then you are dealing with poisonous chemicals. They can't even make vitamin pills here because of regulations. This is one of the areas where I am with Trump, defanging the EPA so we can do some business. The business will get done but it will be China polluting the other end of the fish bowl. Does us no good to cripple ourselves.
However the Chinese might make them and just mold the pipes and whatever and they will leak out and possibly kill people. And how do you sue them ? A US firm that is not afraid to charge an arm and a leg might do it with mostly stainless steel, but the cost of the thing will further reduce the market pool.
Believe it or not I almost built a split system. I wanted the condenser unit in my pickup truck and the coil and a big fan on long lines to get up to an attic where we did band practice. It was seriously hot in the summer. I mean it took your breath away to walk into that attic. After I learned a bit more about such systems and running a flooded compressor we just sweated our (_|_) off. Just as well, I had a problem with the drummer and left, and then he found god. He must have stalked god because god is in jail, that is where everyone else finds him.
Anyway, it seems it is much easier to implement a system with a condenser (or at least compressor) above the area to be cooled.
PRODDING OP HERE : How much did this thing cost you, and how invasive was the install ?
We have central air. My AC guy recommended one of those for the bedroom we have over the garage. That room has always been a few degrees warmer than the rest of the house. We had already paid him around $800 to run a larger duct. It was going to cost a few thousand.for the unit he wanted to install. I decided to buy a portable AC unit for $300. It's a guest room. If my guests don't like it there are motels they might like better.
I was thinking of a mini-split AC possibly for my office listening room, maybe one bedroom, and the garage so I don't have to run the central AC throughout the entire house just to cool down a smaller space. It may not be practical supporting 3 rooms as they are far apart and I believe there will be plumbing challenges with distance from the outdoor unit.
We just put a 12,000 BTU head in one room and a 9,000 in another. The exterior unit is a two ton unit, 240 volt, on a 25 amp breaker. The units are extremely quiet. With your ear up to the units on medium or low, they are barely noticeable, like a very faint whisper. Six feet away and you won't hear them at all, even if both are running. To answer your question, you won't hear it on quiet passages, or pauses in the music.
The 12,000 is cooling a room 36'x14' without any problem. The 9,000 is cooling an adjoining 14'x13' room easily. I found it best for efficiency in the big room to set a temperature and run it on auto, where it adjusts from low to high speed on its own. For serious listening, I would just switch it to medium or low.
Head unit Model numbers: MSZ-GL12NA and MSZ-GL09A.
Check with your state or electric company; there may be a decent rebate available. I just sent my paperwork off for a $1000 rebate.
Sorry just realized I didn't answer your first question. Cooling, no problem. BTU is BTU. I have a 2 ton mini-split in my office, 32' x 24', ceiling sloping 8' to 12', it cools fine, and this is Phoenix. I went with a bit more capacity than I needed because of the equipment in the office. Cost was just under $1,000 delivered. Installation was a couple of bags of cement, 24' of wire and about 3 hours including mixing the pad.
I had seen these units in Asia and Europe for 20 years before doing it. One of the brands you mentioned, Mitsubishi has an excellent reputation, so does Fujitsu and Daikin, but you look inside and they are all very similar with many brands using the same compressor.
The retirement community installed a new one in my Father's apartment.
I was surprised how quiet it was.
They vary, and you have the fan in the room with you not on the other end of the duct. Read the specs which include fan dB. Another problem with many of them is in cooling mode, the fan is on all of the time because the temperature sensor is in the air handler. I got around this by building my own remote with a temperature sensor. Downloading sound level meter ap to your phone is a nice tool to measure and gauge your options.
Off the noise issue, if you are cost conscious, there can be significant mark-ups. A lot of the HVAC manufacturers common in the US, buy and re-brand with large mark-ups. Heat and cool dot com will give you an idea of the mark ups. Same with installation. They come charged, ordered by evap to condenser distance, pour (very) small pad, run power, cut hole for lines, screw in brackets, hang, tighten lines, vac and you are done. After pad setup it was two hours and that was mainly waiting on the vac.
I installed a Fujitsu Halcyon about 18 months ago for my office. The room is about 500 sq ft and the unit is a 12,000 BTU model. My AC guy thought that a 9,000 BTU model would be enough, but I wanted to be sure.
These Fujitsus are so energy efficient at 29 SEER that I seriously never even notice much increase in the power bill at all even during the summer when I run the AC in the afternoons. But, to get the most efficiency, you need the 240 volt models. I have mine programmed to go on at 6AM to heat up the office and shut down at 10:30AM. Then, I'll kick it into AC mode now and then in the afternoon.
As far as noise, it's nearly silent. Even the outdoor unit has just a slight fan noise, nothing like a normal forced air AC unit. The only time you might hear the indoor unit is when you just turn it on and it's already 90 degrees inside. Once it gets the temperature down which is amazingly fast, I don't hear it at all.
Oh, if your listening room and garage are close together or adjoining, you can go to an 18,000 BTU compressor and mount two head units off of it and control each unit separately.
Must be nice to only run the AC in the afternoon. Here in Dallas, it's 7:40 AM, it's already 79, and the AC is running.
Same here in New Orleans. The lows in summer are like 80 degree. AC runs all summer. We have a programmable thermostat that turns it down for sleeping and then up 3 degrees for day time. The humidity here is stupid. Our air is like soup in the summer.
Have you been to Houston?
Other than being on the gulf, I'm still not sure why that city exists.
I have spent lots of time in Houston. I have probably spent 3-4 years of my life there living in extended stay hotels working on projects that lasted 3-9 months.
Houston and New Orleans have similar weather. Actually, New Orleans gets most of the same weather patterns as Houston a day later.
We get some pretty hot days in the Denver area as well but the humidity is very low... unless it's about to rain.
It generally cools down at night and into early morning so we open the windows until about 9 a.m. when I shut everything and close the blinds. My wife complains that it's like living in a dark cave but she can't seem to understand that the bright light from the sun shining down in the rooms heats things up. We turn ON the AC in the afternoon.
Do to limited space, I have. It cools my 1 bedroom apartment, kitchen, bathroom and listening room. I have a 9000btu. Not sure how much square feet I have but 9000btu is supposed to cool up to 400 feet.
I don't notice it even when it is on high and it is in my listening room. Critically listening and you'll hear it, but not overwhelming, I have a very similar to a Mitsubishi.. actually I had it on last night when it was in the 60s freaking out after passing out to bed that it would be too cold to run, doesn't matter because these units most come with sensors outside which manage the compressor, the one I have also heats, I think they all do nowadays, but I have gas heat so I don't use that option. I'll try it though now to heat for giggles.
fluttery distortion, even a Buzz.
I never have a fan going when I'm listening or practicing.
YMMV I guess...
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