We recently renovated the apartment above our garage and turned it into a rental unit. My wife and I have been retired for the past couple of years, and so we have been doing different things here and there to supplement our income. One of the things that my wife has been interested in doing for a while is renting out our garage apartment. Of course, completing all of the renovations that were needed in that space took quite a while. In addition to all of the cosmetic work and the plumbing that needed to be done, we also had to take the heating and air conditioning issue into account. Previously, the garage apartment space had no heating and air conditioning in it at all. It wasn’t even outfitted with ductwork or air vents, so we really had our work cut out for us in that department. A friend of ours who is an HVAC technician suggested that we look into buying a ductless mini split air conditioner with a heat pump. After talking to him, the first thing I did was head over to the Home Depot to take a look at a couple of their more popular ductless mini split units.
The first one I looked at was the Hessaire 12,000 BTU 1.0 Ton 115V Ductless Mini Split Air Conditioner with Inverter, Heat Pump, Remote, and 16 ft. Copper Line Set. This mini split has efficiency ratings up to 17.9 SEER and it is a super high performance unit. The packaging on this one claim that from the minute you activate it, you can start cooling or heating your space efficiently with it. That’s because the unit comes pre-charged already for air conditioning so you do not need to add freon to it after you install it. This unit also acts as a dehumidifier and it runs very quietly and requires no ductwork. This A/C unit has a permanently lubricated condenser fan motor which helps with ease of maintenance. It also offers a sleep mode, an auto restart function, and a louver position memory. It offers smart digital programming, plus it uses an environmentally friendly refrigerant. This Ductless Mini Split Air Conditioner can cool any area up to 600 square feet. 600 square feet just so happens to be the size of the garage apartment that we were looking to heat and cool.
This unit also features something called inverter technology to help with adjusting the speed and temperature output. It has a 16 foot copper line set that’s included, but the refrigerant for that is sold separately. The manufacturer recommends having a professional to perform the installation. You could probably install this system yourself if you know a little bit about electrical systems or HVAC installation, though, since it comes with a helpful installation kit – if you’re up to the challenge, that is. This Hessaire single zone condenser is wall mounted and very energy efficient. The high performance, quiet energy efficient design, remote control, and environmentally friendly technology made me feel like this was a great option for what we needed. I thought that it would be a good choice for our garage apartment, and it was on sale for $719.00 on the day I went in to check pricing. It was actually marked down from $899.00 so we would be saving $180.00 off of the regular price.
The other unit I looked at was the DuctlessAire Energy Star 12,000 BTU 1 Ton Ductless Mini Split Air Conditioner and Heat Pump Variable Speed Inverter – 220-Volt/60Hz. This mini split has efficiency ratings up to 21.5 SEER and it yields ultra high cost efficiency. This is a top of the line unit that runs exceptionally quietly. Like the other unit I looked at, this one is a low cost heating and cooling solution that doesn’t require the installation of any ductwork. It’s an ideal solution for open floor plans such as our garage apartment, and it also cools and heats up to 600 square feet. This is a wall mounted unit that looks sleek and modern, and it only requires a tiny hold to run the line from the air handler to the outside condenser unit. This unit also comes with a remote control, and the average cost to operate is a mere $70 per year! It comes with a 25 foot copper tubing kit and a 6 foot drain hose. This particular unit also has refrigerant leak detection built right into it. Because of this new kind of technology, the built in system will sound an alarm whenever a refrigerant leak is detected in the unit. A HEPA filter is included, which helps to maintain high indoor air quality throughout your space. Additionally, this unit has a built in electronic diagnostic system. If there is a parts failure, the A/C system will turn off to protect the system automatically and the digital display will give you an error code. It has a sleep most, louver position memory, and turbo mode to get you to the temperature you want in a short amount of time. Not only that, but this unit offers a self-cleaning function, too. If you press clean on the remote control, the unit will automatically clean the evaporator which helps to reduce bacteria and will keep your air fresh.
This DuctlessAire Energy Star 12,000 BTU 1 Ton Ductless Mini Split Air Conditioner and Heat Pump Variable Speed Inverter – 220-Volt/60Hz was very obviously superior to the one I previously looked at, and the cost reflected that as well. This unit was $1,0005.82, but I was certain that it was worth every penny. For our purposes, just the fact that it had leak detection and a HEPA filter built right into it was worth the extra cost. I purchased this unit and had our local HVAC company send a technician over to the garage to complete the installation for us. Now, our ductless mini split unit works like a charm in our garage apartment.