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DIY Mini-split in my Garage

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Review by Breeze73 posted 11-04-2018 10:09 PM 1303 views 10 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
DIY Mini-split in my Garage DIY Mini-split in my Garage DIY Mini-split in my Garage Click the pictures to enlarge them

I installed the MrCool 24K DIY unit in my garage about 2 years ago. While I was doing my research in this system I saw that there was little feedback from those who have pulled the trigger. I bought mine from Ingram’s and posted a review there. But, I will save you the hassle of looking there and post a copy here:

This unit has been A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!! It wasn’t the easiest thing in the world to install as I wanted to install the air handler on one wall of my 800 sqft garage and the compressor on a adjacent wall. However, with a little time it wasn’t too hard. To get this right (since I had a bit of a complicated install) it simply took some planning. The unit has been running for over two years and I have not had any problems at all. My unit has never frozen up. If I could change one of my decisions during the install it would be to use a 4” line-hide kit. I used a 3” SpeediChannel line set cover. While 3” did fit, it was very difficult around the 90 degree bends as I had 3 of them.

This unit is a true DIY installation, assuming you can do the 220v electrical work yourself. The lineset comes precharged and attached to the interior unit. Once you run the line and connect it to the exterior unit, a diapham is punctured when tighening the connection, thus enabling the system to keep 100% of the refrigerant inside the system.

I deviated from the installation instructions just a little bit. I did not use any of the corrugated drain line. I used a dishwasher/garbage disposal drain adaptor and connected the units short 4 ft drain line straight to 1/2” PVC line. Doing this method I will ensure that I get no leaks and I have my drain connected neatly into my downspout with goes underground to a french drain. Additionally, the unit comes with a very handy 3 piece connector that allows you to electrically connect the indoor unit to the outdoor unit. The problem with this connector is that it will not fit through 1/2” watertight conduit. I doubt it would fit through any 1/2” conduit. In order to make the electrical panel water tight, I decided to cut the connector about 2 inches down. This then allowed me place some bullet connectors on each wire. With each wire separated, I could then feed the conduit over the connectors and reconnect the wires to the “connector leads” and make everything water tight.

I have had the unit up and running for over 2 years now and I am nothing but thrilled. I was quoted around $8,000 by a couple of local companies to install an AC unit in my garage in this manner. I did it myself for $1800. A no brainer if you ask me.

Attached are some photos of my install. Cheers!

-- Breeze




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Breeze73

98 posts in 854 days



8 comments so far

View wuddoc's profile

wuddoc

318 posts in 3891 days


#1 posted 11-04-2018 11:17 PM

Very good review and I agree with you a little planning installation is a no-brainer. We added a Senville 24000 BTU Mini Split Air Conditioner Heat Pump SENA-24HF/Z when we added to our existing shop as support for our in-wall unit in the older part of the shop. Like you we did the installation but left the hook up to a licensed professional since we wanted the extended warranty offered by the manufacturer. Our outdoor unit is on the optional stand to stop shrub, tree trash and rodent nests from clogging the fan.

-- Wuddoc

View Darryl Jones's profile

Darryl Jones

197 posts in 3342 days


#2 posted 11-05-2018 03:19 PM

Nice review! However seeing your french cleat wall in pic #2, I am sure that we would all love to see your shop. Any chance you will do that in the near future?

-- Dread Knot Wood Shop http://www.dreadknotwoodshop.com

View Mainiac Matt 's profile

Mainiac Matt

8498 posts in 2501 days


#3 posted 11-05-2018 03:42 PM

Nice write up…

I had a two zone system quoted this past summer and they told me $9,900 .... uh… no #^&*## way.

I’ve since been looking into a DYI install and like what I’m seeing out there.

Great to know the install is straight forward with the freon lines.

-- I yam what I yam and that's all what I yam

View brtech's profile

brtech

1049 posts in 3095 days


#4 posted 11-05-2018 05:02 PM

I have a Bryant mini-split, contractor installed, in my office, which is add-on space in our house. It works okay, but there is a limitation I did not understand when I agreed to this solution: it can only handle a limited differential between the inside and the outside. In the coldest days (which are minus a few degrees here in Western PA), it cannot maintain 70 degrees. Actually, it can’t maintain 70 when it’s less than about 20 degrees F. I’ve had a different HVAC guy than the one who installed it out, and there were discussions with factory techs. The unit is working the way it’s supposed to. It’s sized correctly for the space, and it can’t maintain a comfortable air temp when it gets really cold.

YMMV

View Breeze73's profile

Breeze73

98 posts in 854 days


#5 posted 11-05-2018 05:27 PM

Darryl,
I’ve been looking at doing that. But I’m currently applying the finish to a queen sized bed in my shop and there isn’t much room in the garage. As a result, my work area is a complete mess. I’ll try to get on that in a week or two once I get things put away.

brtech,
That was one of the things I was concerned about when selecting my mini-split. My garage is insulted, as well as the doors, but it is still a garage. There are leaks around the doors and I knew that it might be a challenge for any HVAC to keep up. So when sizing my mini-split, I choose to go bigger than I think what is normally necessary. I’m sure an 18k BTU unit would have sufficed, but I was worried in the dead of winter when it is around 10 F outside, the heat would not be able to keep up. So I decided to bigger with a 24k BTU unit. The larger size cost little more up front (like $100) and probably does cost a little more every month, but it keeps up with the summer heat and the winter cold just fine. It’s so nice to be able to come out to the garage in the winter when it used to be like 20 degrees in there, and now it’s 65 to 70 (depending on where I have it set to).

-- Breeze

View Breeze73's profile

Breeze73

98 posts in 854 days


#6 posted 11-05-2018 05:31 PM


Nice write up…

I had a two zone system quoted this past summer and they told me $9,900 .... uh… no #^&*## way.

I ve since been looking into a DYI install and like what I m seeing out there.

Great to know the install is straight forward with the freon lines.

- Mainiac Matt

Matt, I purchased the unit from Ingrams Water and Air online. Here is the link.
https://iwae.com/shop/24k-btu-16-seer-mrcool-diy-ductless-heat-pump-split-system-wall-mounted-ha11722.html**

note: I have no affiliation with Ingrams. I am in the Military and just found that their prices and support were great. Plus, I had it about 2 days after I ordered it. The shipping was super quick.

Also, there is a great install video showing the installation in a garage on YouTube. Here is the link for that.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GxlewxYU620&t=1s

-- Breeze

View Fallon's profile

Fallon

92 posts in 3301 days


#7 posted 11-06-2018 01:19 AM

“I have a Bryant mini-split, contractor installed, in my office, which is add-on space in our house. It works okay, but there is a limitation I did not understand when I agreed to this solution: it can only handle a limited differential between the inside and the outside. In the coldest days (which are minus a few degrees here in Western PA), it cannot maintain 70 degrees. Actually, it can’t maintain 70 when it’s less than about 20 degrees F. I’ve had a different HVAC guy than the one who installed it out, and there were discussions with factory techs. The unit is working the way it’s supposed to. It’s sized correctly for the space, and it can’t maintain a comfortable air temp when it gets really cold.”

That’s actually a limitation of pretty much all heat pumps (which is just an AC unit you can run forward or reverse). They are much more efficient than an electric resistor element for heat with a small temperature differential. But they get less efficient the bigger the temperature differential is. And at a certain point their output just drops off to far. That 20 degree mark sounds about right from units I’ve had in the past.

View bigJohninvegas's profile

bigJohninvegas

501 posts in 1635 days


#8 posted 11-13-2018 04:26 AM

After being quoted around 6K for a mini split system, I too bought the same Mr Cool system this last summer. Had it up and running around the fourth of July weekend. Bought mine through Home Depots web site. Deliverd to my local store for free. Price is the same everywhere is seems, and I figured if I had to return it, it would be to the store and not online shipping it back.
Like Breeze says, true DIY. The system Kept my 3 car fully insulated garage/shop about 650 sqft. at 76 degrees all summer.
Honestly though, I am not real happy with the remote control. It may just be me, I really have not figured out the programming to it. And the instructions suck.
Seems like the condenser unit runs all the time. However it never froze up, and kept my shop cool all summer long. even on the 115 degree days.
I got a late start into the summer season, and am planning a full review in about a year. After It has had a full Las Vegas summer on it.
Nice review Breeze,
A little add on,
I just saw your shop photos, Sure wish I had run my line set indoors. I cut the 3” hole in my wall and ran it outside. Your install looks a lot better, cleaner than what I did. I may have to change it some day.

-- John

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