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Old 04-29-2013, 11:30 PM
 
121 posts, read 231,521 times
Reputation: 78

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Quote:
Originally Posted by WestieJeff View Post
I got quoted roughly $4,000 from two guys to have a HVAC guy install it. Granted I have no warranty, but I could do the job for around $1,200 now that I have the tools
Wow $4000?

I was hoping I could have it installed for $1500 - $2000. I have seen the units online starting at $1000. I have a good friend who manages a lot of rental property in california, and is a talented carpenter/handyman and he told me he put one in recently and it was easy. If he lived in town I would buy one online and have him do it. Unfortunately he lives in CA.

I am relatively handy with power tools, but I think this is out of my wheel house. I was thinking to possibly hire a Mexican handyman / union electrician, who did some similar work for me before, to do it.

At $4000 the math doesn't make sense enough in the short term for me to double the budget.

Swamp cooler with a hose hanging out the window just gained some serious ground!
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Old 04-30-2013, 08:31 AM
 
1,680 posts, read 3,043,376 times
Reputation: 1773
The units are $1000-$1500 for LG or Mitsubishi. Less if you go with no name chinese brand (I wouldn't). You'll also need an electrical disconnect, a copper lineset (depending on distance from the inside to outside unit, goes from $100+), and a plastic pad to put the outside condenser on. Also electrical wire and liquid tite electrical tubing.

The units come pre-charged for about 15-20ft lineset. If the distance between the inside unit and outside unit is further than that, you'll need an HVAC guy to add refrigerant, then you really won't be able to have a handyman guy do it.

The job isn't difficult, but there are a few places you can really screw up. At a minimum anyone doing the job needs a micron gauge and a vacuum pump. I recommend vacuum testing and pressure testing with nitrogen and bubble solution (soapy water) to make sure the connections don't leak at either the inside unit or outside unit. Once you open the valve to release the charge the outside unit is sent with, that's a one shot deal. If there is a mistake, you get to call a HVAC guy out to recharge the unit.

Also, on the interior unit, it's key that there is an obstruction free drain path for the condensed water to drain off when it's humid. The hole in the wall that the linesets and the condensed water drain has to be angled slightly down towards the outside and the drain tubing needs to have a constant slope similar to a plumbing drain, so the water can drain freely, otherwise water will accumulate and start to rust the interior coil.

Just some of the details for you. Let us know what you end up doing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jbov View Post
Wow $4000?

I was hoping I could have it installed for $1500 - $2000. I have seen the units online starting at $1000. I have a good friend who manages a lot of rental property in california, and is a talented carpenter/handyman and he told me he put one in recently and it was easy. If he lived in town I would buy one online and have him do it. Unfortunately he lives in CA.

I am relatively handy with power tools, but I think this is out of my wheel house. I was thinking to possibly hire a Mexican handyman / union electrician, who did some similar work for me before, to do it.

At $4000 the math doesn't make sense enough in the short term for me to double the budget.

Swamp cooler with a hose hanging out the window just gained some serious ground!
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Old 04-30-2013, 09:12 AM
 
421 posts, read 743,660 times
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From experience last year, we were unable to use our swamp cooler for 6 weeks and would have dies without the air conditioning! No way you can just put in a window air unit?
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Old 04-30-2013, 12:52 PM
 
121 posts, read 231,521 times
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Thanks for all the info WestieJeff...I will definitely keep you updated. The job is sounding prohibitively expensive due to all the other projects/improvements I have going right now.

My hope was to pay a large bill once and do it right the first time but now I am thinking of following MollieW's advice:

Quote:
Originally Posted by MollieW View Post
From experience last year, we were unable to use our swamp cooler for 6 weeks and would have dies without the air conditioning! No way you can just put in a window air unit?
The window opens side to side but I have seen instructions online on constructing a wooden frame to accommodate a window unit in a a side opening window. Perhaps I will look deeper into that...
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Old 04-30-2013, 01:16 PM
 
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Look into a through the wall unit. Simply install a standard sleeve in the wall and a 220 outlet. Should be doable for under a $1000.
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Old 04-30-2013, 02:17 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lvoc View Post
Look into a through the wall unit. Simply install a standard sleeve in the wall and a 220 outlet. Should be doable for under a $1000.
I will look into that as well. Why is a through wall AC unit so much cheaper and easier to install than the ductless?

Am I being shortsighted by trying to save a little money and not getting heating capabilities as well?
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Old 04-30-2013, 03:00 PM
 
12,973 posts, read 12,134,962 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbov View Post
I will look into that as well. Why is a through wall AC unit so much cheaper and easier to install than the ductless?

Am I being shortsighted by trying to save a little money and not getting heating capabilities as well?
Through walls are available as heat pumps so you can heat as well as cool. They are basically a variant on the window unit. Commonly used in motels and such.

Not as efficient or as flexible as a split....
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Old 04-30-2013, 04:04 PM
 
1,680 posts, read 3,043,376 times
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Like OC said, you can get heating as well. The cheaper through wall units ($300'ish) usually don't heat. When I looked in the past, it was closer to $750 for one with heating.

The main difference is the ductless is quite a bit quieter and can be mounted differently. The ductless usually mount high on the wall, the through walls usually mount at the floor.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jbov View Post
I will look into that as well. Why is a through wall AC unit so much cheaper and easier to install than the ductless?

Am I being shortsighted by trying to save a little money and not getting heating capabilities as well?
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Old 04-30-2013, 04:06 PM
 
121 posts, read 231,521 times
Reputation: 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by lvoc View Post

Not as efficient or as flexible as a split....
So it will cost less to install, but will cost more to run?



overwhelmed with options...

HVAC contractor coming tomorrow morning. Will update the thread with his take on the situation.
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Old 04-30-2013, 04:52 PM
 
12,973 posts, read 12,134,962 times
Reputation: 5398
Quote:
Originally Posted by jbov View Post
So it will cost less to install, but will cost more to run?



overwhelmed with options...

HVAC contractor coming tomorrow morning. Will update the thread with his take on the situation.
Yeah - but not enough to matter. The ductless system are very efficient and have things like variable speed compressors and fans and everything but one fan is isolated away from the point of use. I doubt it will do 20% over a through the wall.

I can't see it for a one room casita. I am presently considering replacing one of my two units with a ductless system because during most of the high heat portion of the day we really only use two small rooms. So we could cool those way down and leave the rest of the house in the high 80s.
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