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Minisplits for new home in the Hudson Valley

ChrisMax's picture

We're having a new home built in Rhinebeck NY that's going to be about 1200sq ft.  I've been talking to contractors about using Minisplits for heating and air conditioning and been told it would take about 5 indoor units to do the job.  The home has an open floor plan with a loft area for sleeping.  In addition to the Minisplits we were thinking to install in floor heating in part of the house.  I have two questions:  Is it really necessary to have 5 Minisplit indoor units for the air circulation?  Will having the in floor heating be a good backup for the colder days of winter in the Hudson Valley?

Depends (post #213611, reply #1 of 2)

Depends on how even you want the heat/cooling and how truly open your floor plan is.  Disadvantage of Minisplits is that they use no ducting so getting conditioned air to hard to reach places like bathrooms and closets is next to impossible.  

Without knowing your floor plan and what the criteria you told your HVAC contractor it's hard to say whether you need all 5 of the inside units.  

They are cheap to operate IME but 1/2 of that eqaution is the insulation of the structure.  My shop is just under 1400sqft (2 floors of ~700sqft) with 1 unit for each floor with each floor having only 1 wall unit.  The shop is spray foamed and some extra effort went into breaking thermal bridging.  Georgia summers with the AC set to 75 or so and my cost is under $2/day.  Each floor is completely open though.  and celing fans run constantly.  

I have a similar sized home (post #213611, reply #2 of 2)

I have a similar sized home in Long Island and was really into the idea of mini splits for their energy efficiency (I am also planning on spray foam insulation).

A few of the manufacturers now make ducted minisplit systems so you should be able to get the air where it needs to go. I've had four contractors take a look at the project and to a man they have all recommended NOT using the minisplit system they'd rather see a traditional HVAC setup.  Is it just that contractors are more comfortable with what they know and always do?