A couple of weeks ago I made a little video. What’s new about that, you ask? Well, the video was an installation video of a product I feel is completely overlooked by the tiny house community. In fact, I hate even calling it a product because here in the Southeast it is as essential as ice in your tea or gravy on your biscuits. I made a video about installing an air conditioner. Now I’m not talking about a swamp cooler or a window unit or something other device I was only hoping would do the trick at warding off those 97º days (with 93% humidity, mind you). I installed a mini split unit air conditioner (and heater!) that from the description specs is efficient, demure, and effective. Here, watch the install:
Made by ClimateRight Air, the Quick Connect DIY Mini Split Air Conditioner 1-Ton 15 SEER system has a Quick Connect System, meaning that the installation is Do-It-Yourself (no HVAC tech required as I mentioned earlier). The line-set is pre-charged, snaps right into the compressor, and is plug and play. It runs efficiently between 4,000 and 12,000 BTUs with inverter technology, and is best suited for rooms up to 550 sq.ft. That sounds just like a tiny house, doesn’t it? But is it efficient? I mean, beyond the cooling watts (1241) and the operating amps (11.3), how has this AC actually performed and did I even notice it on my utility bill? Let’s have a look.
We installed the unit on May 14 and ran it for about 2 minutes to make sure it worked. It barely got into the 70ºF range until May 17 when it spiked to 79ºF. Since I installed the mini split in my “office” and my “office” is little more than a partitioned part of our utility room – yet still has insulation, mind you – it tends to get very hot and very cold based upon the time of year. As May continues the chart above shows our kWh increasing by single digits but also shows the high temp outside increasing along with the average temp of our region during the course of 24-hours. All of that to say there is no sharp incline to be noted. In fact, the 3 figures seem to rise and fall at almost the same intervals. What I think is most interesting to note is that since Thursday, May 26, we haven’t cut the unit off at all. It is set at 75ºF and on auto. Look at how on Wednesday, June 1, the high temp (red line) outside dropped causing the kWh to also drop. By Saturday, June 4, the temp skyrocketed to 88ºF outside yet our kWh stopped at 48. Look back at May 10 (first day of the chart). The outside temp was only 81ºF yet our kWh usage was ALSO 48. The mini split hadn’t even been shipped to us at that point. All of that to say the ClimateRight unit works amazing so far. It keeps my office quite cool, it is whisper quiet (please just take my word on that…I have no data to back that up and I can’t afford to buy a dosimeter), and it is not killing us at the meter.
I honestly feel like this unit in particular is well worth the money for tiny housers. In comparison, an LG LS120HXV 12,000 BTU 17 SEER unit retails for $983.95 and a Mitsubishi MUYGE12NA 12,000 BTU 20.5 SEER retails for $1,410.19.
What do you think? What are you using right now for air conditioning? Was it a solid investment? Would you recommend it to others?