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Mini Splits Again


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#1 hillbilly

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Posted 03 November 2012 - 07:59 PM

I looked thru all the old posts and I believe I have an idea what to do but thought I would ask again.
We are replacing an older window unit that I am sure is not very efficient. I wondered if the extra 500 pesos for the DC converter was worth the money as anything has got to be better than the one we have so just upgrading to a newer mini split might be enough. I would love to find a mechanical engineer or AC specialist to come by the house and advise. The big shop on 30th has gotten mad at me as I do not believe how big a unit he wants to sell me is necessary. All we want to do is break the back of the heat that builds up about 4pm in our one level house . Not live in an AC climate all the time and I cannot get him to understand. My fault of course but given time my sign language will improve.LOL!!!!!!
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#2 TRAVELER89

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Posted 03 November 2012 - 11:48 PM

This may help........: http://www.cooloff.org/sub_cool.html

An 8000 BTU, 220 V or a little less should be enough to cool any normal size room. I am using a 6000BTU unit to cool 290 Sq Ft. with a 9 ft avg. ceiling. Everyone that I have met here will try to sell you an 18000 BTU unit or larger.

This link will help you Calculate your comsumption based on the size unit you are looking at....: http://www.rapidtables.com/

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#3 CZMDM

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 07:05 AM

Albert is 100% correct. You want a mini-split that runs constantly, at low power usage, rather than a lager one that needs to re-cycle.

I just learned one thing this week: After a year with a new mini, even though I clean the filters bi-weekly, the force of the fan seemed greatly diminished and the cooling effect was really poor. I talked to several people and a couple of a/c companies were pitching to clean the unit for anywhere from $80USD to $150USD. The coil looked like new to me so I did not believe this was the problem. Even though the filters would pass water and appeared transparent, I removed them and washed them with a grease removing soap (you ever notice how grime sticks to a ceiling fan) and gently scrubbed it with a sponge. I was shocked how much brownish crud came out of them. To make a long story short(er), once I made sure they were completely dry, I reinserted them and the a/c is working like it is brand new. So if the coil of your air looks clean, but you are having cooling problems, you might try this little trick.
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#4 mslf500

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 07:51 AM

Traveler89 is correct. A smaller unit running more often than a big unit turning on and off offers you two things. First you will get better humidity control as a longer running unit removes the moisture better. Second, a unit that cycles on and off a lot is hard on the compressor and shorten the lifespan of the unit.
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#5 hillbilly

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 03:29 PM

Thanks everybody for the responses
We have an area about 650 sq.ft. to slightly cool. the AC guy wanted me to buy a 32000 btu cooler. Sams has an 18000 btu one with the DC converter for about 13200 pesos. Area is a little big but the Dc converter from what I read keeps the voltage swing from being very extreme. Do not want two of them and the bedrooms have individual ones. We are ok unless somebody comes to visit.
House is an open floor plan with bedrooms separate of course.
Now just need to figure out how to plug the hole where the old AC unit is. The filter cleaning tip is cool.
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#6 morenita

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 03:52 PM

There is no doubt that A/C with a DC converter is the best technology on the market. The only caution is they need very consistent current. There are many problems with them here because of the irregularity of the power supply. Just a caution. There are some other options that will give you close to the savings in electricity of DC converters. DC converters will no doubt provide the best savings but with the problems stated might not be a good option here in Cozumel. In areas with uniform current they are excellent. I know of many problems with the DC inverter here.
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#7 hillbilly

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 10:43 PM

Thanks Morenita, you just saved me some pesos
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#8 morenita

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 04:59 PM

DC inverter airconditioners are the very best technology on the market and if I lived somewhere where the power supply was very consitent I would not hesitate to install one. But after doing quite alot of research and asking the engineers here they all agreed that with the power surges here on the island that it can cause serious problems with the inverters. What I need to do more research on is if there are sufficient 220 volt surge surpressors or regulators that would allow them to work properly and protect the equipment. It might be possible and I plan to check that out. What I would caution though is to do your research first before buying one to assure yourself you will not have problems later with the unit. I will be speaking tomorrow with my enginner friend and will post what I find. He has some other units that claim about the same savings as the DC inverters.
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#9 hillbilly

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 08:02 PM

Wow thanks again. Please do post what you find out. It will help quite a bit as left to my own devices I typically look a little , spend allot, regret a bunch.
Hey that sounds like the stock market.


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#10 mslf500

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 09:11 PM

Just for giggles, I plugged my volt meter into an outlet and watched the needle move back and forth on a regular basis.

As far as sizing another thing to consider is the exposure of the room to the sun. I was going to say about 1 ton (12,000 btu's) about every 400-450 SF should be plenty for you. So for the 650 SF you have, 18,000 btu's should be fine.

We have 10 tons for 2500 SF and I usually flip one of the units off so it cools slower but removes the humidity better.
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#11 hillbilly

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 07:45 AM

18000 it is then, No DC converter,kind of what I thought.We can see our lights dim several times so the flucuations are quite evident. Thanks again for input
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#12 morenita

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 03:49 PM

According to my engineer friend at Dube, who I really trust, he says there is no problem with a DC inverter being used here because the new ones have their own regulator. So now I have read and heard both sides. All I can say for sure is that it will require more investigation. I will do some more checking. But before you buy just make sure to research it. I will report what I find. I am going to look into it more. Size of the room is not the only thing to consider in what AC unit to buy. You also need to consider windows, type of construction, what direction the windows face, etc. It is true the slower it cools down the better for dehumidifying. A large unit will cool down to quick.and shut off. A unit to small will not cool efficiently.
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#13 CZMDM

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 07:00 AM

Lights dimming while running a/c or microwaves can indicate that main electrical connection is faulty. The connection to the meter box usually go out in around 10 years due to the climate.
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#14 Jim912

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 08:12 PM

Lights dimming while running a/c or microwaves can indicate that main electrical connection is faulty. The connection to the meter box usually go out in around 10 years due to the climate.


I would also check all the lugs on your breaker box and also tighten the screw on each breaker. BE SURE AND CUT OFF POWER FIRST. I've done this twice in the past several years and both times the connections needed tightening. It's the heating and cooling and different types of metals.

I put in a whole house surge protector a few years ago and and have not lost anything to power surges. Wired it into my breaker box and I think it was about $25.
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#15 Ron

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 09:58 PM

[Jim I did the same and it has made a big difference. But I still use surge protectors and voltage regulators on the outlets.
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#16 BronxJoe

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Posted 10 November 2012 - 08:58 AM

Jim 912
A whole house surge protector or a voltage conditioner of some type sounds like a really useful thing. Did you buy it on the island or is there someone who does this ? I think it could pay for itself in light bulbs alone !
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#17 Jim912

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 10:31 AM

Jim 912
A whole house surge protector or a voltage conditioner of some type sounds like a really useful thing. Did you buy it on the island or is there someone who does this ? I think it could pay for itself in light bulbs alone !

I bought ours at an electrical supply house here in Monroe close to where I work. It is just slightly smaller than a coke can and has three wires. It is designed to be wired directly into the breaker box. It can go on spare breaker or shared if you don't have enough space. You might check at Niplito's on 65th or Promeasa. They might have something similar.

If you can't find one let me know and I'll pick you one and bring it down.
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