Experience with "off brand" mini splits?

Discussion in 'HVAC Heating & Cooling' started by mar3232, Feb 16, 2014.

  1. mar3232

    mar3232 New Member

    Messages:
    87
    Location:
    Indiana
    There are several companies that have mini splits at substantially lower prices than the Fujitsu and Mitsubishi that appeal to me. Now I know that "generally" you get what you pay for but I've also been pleasantly surprised, even overwhelmed sometimes by lower cost items that perform well.

    Maybe some of you have had experience with these names and an opinion?

    Like Soleus, Haier, Pioneer, Klimair, Goodman and others ?

    Some of these also talk about their use of Toshiba compressors?

    Just need a dual zone good for 2 x 9000 BTU. (or starting to think about 2 separate 9000's also). Why not? I have the room outside.
  2. dj2

    dj2 Member

    Messages:
    407
    Location:
    California
    There are plenty of examples of good products from inexpensive "no name brands" as well as plenty of disappointments from expensive "brand names".

    Throw your dice and hope for the best when you make a purchase.
  3. houptee

    houptee Member

    Messages:
    182
    Location:
    Monmouth County, NJ
    Goodman is now owned by Daikin which is a huge Japanese global HVAC company.
    http://www.daikin.com/press/2012/120829_2/

    I am also tempted to try some of the off brand mini splits so please let us know if you do and what you experience with them.

    I noticed a no name split last summer but forget the name on it at a local restaurant by the back door, and it seemed to be doing fine, and the condensing unit was super quiet.
  4. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,889
    Location:
    New England
    Many of the manufacturers of these things do not make all of the parts, so it would not be uncommon to find some of the parts are common. Sometimes, though, it's the execution of the overall design that makes the bigger difference. So, it's hard to compare and make assessments directly.
  5. mar3232

    mar3232 New Member

    Messages:
    87
    Location:
    Indiana
    yeah, I know -- just looking for personal experiences to ease my fear. some of these are almost HALF of what I'd pay for the Fujitsu or Mitsubishi.

    they say the Fujitsu does a great job of heating and I'm looking for both the ac and an effective heat pump.

    who knows, some of these names may be be using the very same manufacturer and just sticking their name on it -- thanks for the info on Goodman.

    they all seem to be big names (haier and pioneer especially).
  6. mar3232

    mar3232 New Member

    Messages:
    87
    Location:
    Indiana
    also -- just read goodman mini splits will be discontinued now that they merged -- so no goodman, for sure
  7. Dana

    Dana In the trades

    Messages:
    2,805
    Location:
    01609
    Daikin-branded mini-splits tend to be pretty good, Daikin being the world's largest vendor of variable-refrigerant-volume heat pumps for commercial installations. But not all models have operating temperature ranges appropriate for heating in every Indiana climate, though some do. What are your 99% and 1% outside design temps (or zip-code)?

    IIRC Fujitsu compressors and refrigerant valve components are widely found under the sheet metal of many other mini-splits, but that's not to say it's the same as a Fujitsu. The coil designs and the control algorithms have a huge impact on both efficiency & capacity, no matter whose compressor they're running it's still up to their engineers to get the most out of it.

    Look at both the HSPF and operating temperature numbers- anything under 10 for HSPF on a single head mini-split is a dog, delivering only about 75-80% of the heat per kwh that a better class Mitsubishi would. Dual head versions have a hard time hitting 10, but the mid to high 9s would be worth considering.

    Sizing it correctly for the load is also important for getting the efficiency out of them- if you oversize it by more than 25% you'll lose quite a bit to cycling and standby during the shoulder seasons, and have a noisier unit to boot, due to the higher cfm blower on the interior unit.

    The noise numbers make a difference too- the Fujitsus, Mitsubishis, and Daikins of the world are usually dramatically quieter than the no-name "me too" units that might feel right at home in a 3rd world hotel.
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2014
  8. mar3232

    mar3232 New Member

    Messages:
    87
    Location:
    Indiana
    Thanks Dana -- printed all that out -- I'll compare those numbers. Going to buy my first one soon. Another thing, I definitely want to avoid the 120vac units, I hear they're on the way out anyway.
  9. DonL

    DonL Out of the Trades

    Messages:
    3,909
    Location:
    Houston, TX

    You need plenty of power and 240 would be more efficient.

    I would not cut corners, If you plan on buying a unit that you can maintain and work on.

    The Electronics play a big part in, what you can and can not repair. Best to pay more for good electronics and compressor.

    As Dana pointed out, You need to make sure the unit you get can support your Climate, Or you may be disappointed.


    Good Luck.
  10. mrbeing123

    mrbeing123 New Member

    Messages:
    19
    Location:
    Louisiana USA
    My boss had bought a 1.5 ton ymgi split heat pump on **** and had it installed at the office. The listing said it has a name brand compressor. (Mitsubishi or Sanyo iirc). The outside unit looks of real good quality. Almost unbelievably quiet. The air handler unit on the other hand looks and feels very cheap and the electronics are a bit flaky. The remote control (the only way to operate the unit) is generic with 10 extra non-functioning buttons. The remote control began to not operate the unit after about a year. Customer support at first, said that the remote was no longer available. After a few more call-backs to different people at ymgi, I was able to buy a new one for about 30 dollars. About 6 months after that, the electronics on the unit itself started to get squirrely. Heat and cool modes would work, but when in heat mode, it would bring it up to the preset 75 degrees and then just revert to fan-only and not heat anymore until the unit was turned off and then back on. Any attempt to increase or decrease the temperature and the numeric led display would flicker and then revert to fan mode. The cooling mode has always worked well. We still have the old central air handler with the electric furnace still hooked up, so the heat mode wasn't a huge problem. We're in south Louisiana and only heat a few handful of days out the year anyway.

    For about 850 dollars 2 years ago, ac works well. My boss is a cheap skate. He sees it as him saving thousands of dollars and getting away with it. I can imagine the electronics really starting to futz up. And like every other time he gets caught in this situation where I'll have to tell him "I told you so", he's gonna be looking at me like deer in the headlights to fix his mistake. And I'll probably have to rig up a separate thermostat for the unit. So I'd say it's a gamble. A gamble I wouldn't take at my house if I depended on it. But ymmv
  11. houptee

    houptee Member

    Messages:
    182
    Location:
    Monmouth County, NJ
  12. cubgirl

    cubgirl New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    Alabama
    Product reviews are important. Here is a 12,000 BTU mini split heat pump (heat/cool) Not sure what size you need but they probably have other sizes.

    Only $665.00 delivered with install kits & GREAT reviews.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 9, 2014
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