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Thread: Split Air systems are for CRAZY people

  1. #1
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    Split Air systems are for CRAZY people

    Ok this will be the third estimate I have gotten for split air (ductless) heat/air system for my workshop and garage. Workshop about 400 sq ft and the garage is around 500 sq ft (one and half car garage) so we are talking a two zone split air system. The lowest estimate is $6300, highest was $10,700 what is wrong with these people. I don't see it. This isn't rocket science it's a condenser outside.. a couple of cooper tubes and two small air handler. What or where is this crazy cost coming from...someone explain to me. How can this cost so much, for heaven sakes I can buy forty 12,000 btu heat pumps for these prices, make an whole wall full of ac units and still be cheaper. I just don't see where the cost is, and these estimates are real vague about it too, they don't list anything, no man hours, no material cost, nothing just the total cost, and they all that way. When you ask them they just babble on and tell you NOTHING. I guess I'm just gonna be hot in the summer and cold in the winter, because there is no way I paying these prices.
    Last edited by Mark E Smith; 08-05-2015 at 11:26 PM.

  2. #2
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    Sounds to me like the local guys have more work than they care to do. That's often the case when they write up overpriced estimates.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  3. #3
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    Last year, I got an estimate for a split system for my ~800 ft² shop. It was $3,200.00, all in. I even thought that was high, and passed on it. I'm still using my 12,000 BTU window unit.
    Jim D.
    Adapt, Improvise, Overcome!

  4. #4
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    Jul 2015
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    Tahlequah, OK
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    This was my trade for 20+ years. Those prices aren't too far out of line. The equipment that is dual zone with 2 indoor units and one outdoor are much higher than the single zone units. There is a unit made by Quietside (owned by LG) that is pretty inexpensive so if you can find someone that sells their stuff you might be able to find a little lower price. Even still, the $6300 is a pretty good price for 2 zones. You could probably get a better $ on one conventional split system with minimal duct to take care of the 2 spaces if that were an option.

    On a side note, I refused to break down a price estimate as well. Our liability, auto, & work comp insurance premiums were $88k/year. It's hard to find a line to put that kind of thing on that the customer will understand. The price shock is one of the reasons I'm out of the business now. AC purchases are so few in a lifetime that we just don't know what to expect. Cars run ads on TV showing us what they're selling for, groceries creep up on us, but that AC? You hope to get 10-15 years out of it and when it's time to replace it's not so great that it's doubled in a decade but everything else has tripled...

  5. #5
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    The Split Air systems is mainly what we have here in Tokyo, I just checked and for the 500 sq ft area that would be two air cons, they each cost about $600 here and I could install them in your garage in an afternoon. Basically you have to have power inside near where you want the fan unit and then you have a hole in the wall that the power cable, drain and coolant pipes run through, the hold is usually 75mm or 3".
    You put the outside unit on level ground, and attach the inside unit above and to one side of the hole, you attach the power cord, drain and two coolant pipe to the inside unit, and you have already attached the mounting plate on the wall, pop the unit onto the mounting plate, it hooks on the top and clicks on the bottom. then outside you hook up the three wires to the outside unit, red/black/white, you hook up the two coolant pipes, and then run the drain somewhere that works for you, tape up the coolant pipes, the drain and the power cord into one unit and attach it to the wall in a few places, make it nice and straight so it looks nice. Then you open the valves on the outside unit to let the coolant flow. Usually they have enough coolant in them for a 5-7 meter (16-22') coolant pipe run. Go inside and plug your AC into the wall outlet, put the batteries into the remocon and you have cool air. The units that I was looking at here are all 200V single phase, for the larger units they usually do the 200V.
    Installation here by a pro is about $400 a unit, so I'd say here in Tokyo I could get two units installed that would do your 500 sq ft for about $2000.

    FYI
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  6. #6
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    Not to stir the pot, but I can keep my shop area (850sf) comfortable with a $250 window unit. Just sayin'...
    Bill Arnold
    Citizen of Texas residing in Georgia.
    NRA Life Member and Member of Mensa
    My Weather Underground station

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Arnold View Post
    Not to stir the pot, but I can keep my shop area (850sf) comfortable with a $250 window unit. Just sayin'...
    You're exactly right Bill. A window unit or even a PTAC aka motel unit is a good choice for a shop since noise and aesthetics are usually of less concern.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart Ablett View Post
    The Split Air systems is mainly what we have here in Tokyo, I just checked and for the 500 sq ft area that would be two air cons, they each cost about $600 here and I could install them in your garage in an afternoon. Basically you have to have power inside near where you want the fan unit and then you have a hole in the wall that the power cable, drain and coolant pipes run through, the hold is usually 75mm or 3".
    You put the outside unit on level ground, and attach the inside unit above and to one side of the hole, you attach the power cord, drain and two coolant pipe to the inside unit, and you have already attached the mounting plate on the wall, pop the unit onto the mounting plate, it hooks on the top and clicks on the bottom. then outside you hook up the three wires to the outside unit, red/black/white, you hook up the two coolant pipes, and then run the drain somewhere that works for you, tape up the coolant pipes, the drain and the power cord into one unit and attach it to the wall in a few places, make it nice and straight so it looks nice. Then you open the valves on the outside unit to let the coolant flow. Usually they have enough coolant in them for a 5-7 meter (16-22') coolant pipe run. Go inside and plug your AC into the wall outlet, put the batteries into the remocon and you have cool air. The units that I was looking at here are all 200V single phase, for the larger units they usually do the 200V.
    Installation here by a pro is about $400 a unit, so I'd say here in Tokyo I could get two units installed that would do your 500 sq ft for about $2000.

    FYI
    Interesting, the wholesale cost of a 'cheap' 1.5T ductless split system is easily 3x that here. Plus the refrigerant lines are not pre-charged (most do have flare fittings so you only have to make up flare joints and not braze them) so you would need a gauge set and vacuum pump to evacuate the lineset before releasing and checking the refrigerant charge. All of the hundreds of these units I've sold and installed did have 3-4 wire connection between indoor and out but the 220v power supply is to the outdoor unit.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Johnson View Post
    You're exactly right Bill. A window unit or even a PTAC aka motel unit is a good choice for a shop since noise and aesthetics are usually of less concern.



    Interesting, the wholesale cost of a 'cheap' 1.5T ductless split system is easily 3x that here. Plus the refrigerant lines are not pre-charged (most do have flare fittings so you only have to make up flare joints and not braze them) so you would need a gauge set and vacuum pump to evacuate the lineset before releasing and checking the refrigerant charge. All of the hundreds of these units I've sold and installed did have 3-4 wire connection between indoor and out but the 220v power supply is to the outdoor unit.
    The lines are not charged, you buy them in various lengths, usually 3m, 5m, 7m and 10m are common, with the 5m being the most common.

    The inside unit has the two flare nuts on a short piece of copper line all ready to go the line set you buy has the flares and nuts on it, as well as the insulation already on the lines. You just connect the lines inside, and then to the outside unit, open the valves on the outside unit and you are done. Like I said if you run only 3m or 5m of hose, usually you don't have to add extra refrigerant.

    They are VERY easy to install. Most home already have the hole in the wall and the electrical outlet nearby wired in.

    Here you go, this is a very typical install, in fact a bit of a nicer install with the outside pipe cover and mounted to the wall of the house, often the unit is just set on the ground on some cement bases.

    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  9. #9
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    You'll notice at 2:19 he's using a vacuum pump to evacuate the moisture and air from the refrigerant lines. Skip that step and it won't work well at all nor will it last a week.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Johnson View Post
    You'll notice at 2:19 he's using a vacuum pump to evacuate the moisture and air from the refrigerant lines. Skip that step and it won't work well at all nor will it last a week.
    yes he is because he is using a roll of tubing, the sets are sealed and you don't need the vacuum pump. I've installed at least a half dozen of these in our building in the last few years and they are all working just fine
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

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