Houzz Logo Print

Cooling Mini Splits

We have debated heat pump, AC unit, other, on and off for almost six years now. The reality is we love having windows and patio doors open on the main floor. Heat pump would require replacing the furnace so it matches the heat pump to get tie rebates and our current furnace is only six years old. We have forced air so AC would work but we do have some heat distribution woes so would likely have cooling too.

What room based cooking options are there? Not window AC or fans.

Comments (83)

  • last month

    Just met with the first HVAC person and update is below.

    Our home is 3000 square feet. We are teetering on the furnace being possibly too small but a bigger one would be suitable for up to 5000 square feet and as a result too big. The bigger furnace would also not work because the ducting would be too small for it. Zones could be put in if we really wanted but he cautioned against it as said it would mean pressure on the furnace which is intended to service 2-3000 square feet.

    The wall units in each room are possible but not a cost effective option as they are expensive,

    Recommendation is heat pump or AC unit for whole home. Quote will be forthcoming. We don’t qualify for rebate for heat pump because we won’t be replacing furnace.

    Estimated price is $8-12k Canadian depending on what unit we choose.

  • PRO
    last month

    Has anyone done any performance testing on the ductwork system to determine how leaky it is?

  • Related Discussions

    LG Art Cool


    Comments (5)
    I don't have one but have seen them numerous times at HVAC shows. They look nice, well made, perform as well as most ductless splits do from a quality manufacturer. Perhaps only one more component to fail that others donÂt have and that is the motor & actuator that tilts out the unit when it runs. If you have a place that you want a small mirror or artwork and need AC, I say go for it. Have you been told the price yet? $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
    ...See More

    Disable cooling mode on Carrier mini-split head?


    Comments (2)
    Carrier heatpumps (split systems) have a wire at the thermostat to energize the reversing valve for cooling (usually the "O" connection). If your minisplit thermostat is wired the same ("legacy"), you can simply disconnect this wire. If the minisplit thermostat has serial communications ("digital"), then this may be more difficult as you would need to program it in the thermostat, if possible. Your dealer should be able to find this out from Carrier or their local distributor.
    ...See More

    Mini-split for cooling and supplemental heat


    Comments (30)
    @fsq4cw - how about a ballpark price just for the air-to-water heat pump? Just out of my own curiosity. Note that due to @mtvhike having a fairly large solar array and the specifics of his tariff scheme, I'm not sure that any significant capital cost to reduce his electricity usage will pay off well. This shows one of the oddities about specifics of solar tariffs. As I understand the way it works is this: his base tariff for electricity is 9.5 cents/kwh. Any solar he generates offsets the electricity he consumes (calculated annually?). BUT: any solar generated in excess of consumption is only paid at the wholesale rate, which is dramatically lower than the retail rate (call it 1 cent / kwh). Right now - without full year data - he expects to consume somewhat more than his panels generate. The upshot is that his savings from reduced consumption are limited (You could analyse this differently but I find it easier to just take what he already has as the base case, I think the conclusions are the same). Let's say, for example, he consumes 4,000 kwh annually more than he generates, for a bit less than $400 (netted out annually). If he saves more energy than that, every 'extra' kwh saved only gets him 1c / kwh. At least unless or until he adds some significant extra load, like buying an EV or putting an aluminium smelter in his garage or something. So: I'd say it makes sense to consider a minisplit primarily for the air conditioning comfort and if it also offsets some of his straight resistance heating, great, there's some modest savings there (within a 'limit' of however much his consumption currently exceeds his solar generation). Spending much additional for the 1c/kwh savings just won't make much sense financially. This is pretty simplistic as right now he has historical data for consumption and the solar array is relatively new so annual generation only estimated, and of course from year to year both may vary. And at any rate, a good argument to not rush into anything with high upfront expenses or to prioritise other projects for the time being.
    ...See More

    2nd floor mini-splits cooling the 1st floor?


    Comments (3)
    I installed a mini split in the upstairs of my 2000 sq ft home a few years ago. It is in a large open room used as the main bedroom. I seldom turn it on, as I like to sleep cold (but if the outside temps go into the 30's I'll use it to warm the room). We don't normally need air conditioning here (PNW) because the nights cool nicely, my room has walls of windows, so it sleeps like a screened porch almost. I live near the saltwater and benefit from cooling breezes after dark. My lower floor (the main living area), stays cool for the most part. But a few years ago, the forest fire smoke choked the air and I couldn't open the windows to cool the upstairs in the summer, and it was stifling. So, I put in the mini split but didn't really use it for air conditioning because the following year we had no smoke, so I just kept the windows open...until last year when we had a record breaking heat wave with temps near 110 or over. Even the normally cool downstairs got sweltering, the upstairs unbearable. The two floors are connected by a small entryway/stairwell with a door at the top of the stairs and door at in the entry leading to the living room, kitchen/dining, which makes keeping the heating zones easily separated. I keep the doors to the bedrooms on the main floor closed always But last year when it was so hot, I ran the air upstairs and opened the doors between the floors. The mini split kept the upstairs cool, kept the downstairs not so cool, but cooler than without. I finally remembered I have portable fans, so I set those up downstairs to move the air and make it feel cooler. This year, I added a mini split downstairs, just in case we have such suffocating heat in the future. I would not rely on the upstairs unit to cool the downstairs effectively, but it will likely provide some cooling as Elmer describes, when the hot air from downstairs rises and gets cooled. But it's not powerful enough to draw much air from downstairs via the fan system.
    ...See More
  • last month

    I don’t think so. But even if we knew it was leaky what would the fix be?

  • PRO
    last month

    One way to improve the performance of an existing forced-air system is by reducing duct leakage. Doing so will put more of the air you're paying to heat/cool where it is intended to go, improve comfort and reduce heating/cooling costs. Ducts can be sealed from the exterior with mastic if they are accessible or sealed from the interior using a product like Aeroseal

    Your HVAC contractor should be able to perform a duct blaster test to assess the amount of leakage. I'd aim to get it down to 5% or so.

  • last month

    Thanks! I’ll ask the next hvac person to do this. Will report back

  • PRO
    last month

    Our home is 3000 square feet. We are teetering on the furnace being possibly too small but a bigger one would be suitable for up to 5000 square feet and as a result too big.

    It's not uncommon for HVAC sales people to manipulate you for an outcome they want. They come in looking know your current furnace isn't that old so they have to persuade you that sizing is an issue and a reason to replace it.

    It's an argument used all the time. Maybe your furnace isn't sized properly or maybe it's ductwork.

    So in terms of sizing here are some common furnace sizes along with maximum air flow rates.

    click to enlarge.

    So while there are limits as to what sizing can be a combo can be made to get to 3000 sq ft structure vs 5000 sq ft structure.

    The big limit is more or less the room you have for the solution in your house.

    Say your structure needs 160,000 BTU/h and your current furnace is 100,000 BTU/h you could add another 60,000 BTU/ h furnace. (no room, yeah big problem)

    Another option to get to 160,000 is two 80,000 BTU/h furnaces twined together. OR if room allows (2) 80,000 BTU furnaces as seperate units (zoned) to a particular area of the structure.

    Similar things can be done for cooling in the event of a twined furnace system. But given your climate in Canada that is probably not necessary as heating is typically the larger concern.

    There are plenty of other options between a 3000 and 5000 sq ft structure. Sounds to me like they are manipulating you to get what they want. ( I could be wrong, but I've seen this kind of thing before in person going behind others.)

    One such one was in a review I took down from refrigerator to show you about 20 posts back in this thread. (it's not always an equipment problem, not to mention sizing -- in some instances it's control of the unit.)

    I think if you had this wildly leaky duct system, someone viewing your system in person by now would have mentioned it to you.

  • last month

    No one is suggesting we get a bigger furnace. In fact the hvac person from yesterday said it wasn’t a good plan at all. He stared the ducting we have works for the furnace we have and a bigger furnace would need different ducting. As a result doesn’t make sense to consider it. We also have no space for a second furnace so it’s not even on the table.

  • PRO
    last month

    The point about evaluating the ductwork is to ensure the existing system is performing as close to rated capacity as is practical before replacing it or adding to it.

    Leaky ductwork is pretty common in older homes. In fact, EPA estimates duct leakage of 20% to 30% in a typical home That's a potential capacity improvement of 20% to 30% which might be all it takes to achieve the OP's desired comfort level. I would expect duct leakage to be less in newer homes, particularly if leakage testing is required by code, as it is here in Virginia. HVAC techs who routinely work under permits and get their work inspected will be familiar with the testing procedures.

  • last month

    Charles, I asked about this for the guy coming on Thursday and was told it’s not a part of the call out. It requires a separate paid appt from the quote for AC. So we are having the quote done and when he’s here I’ll ask about if he thinks necessary etc.

  • PRO
    last month

    It's not a free service in our market either. Some utility companies in the U.S. have cost sharing and/or rebate programs to help offset the cost. I suggest you check with yours. For a system older than 10 years, I consider the cost of leakage testing to be a smart investment. Compare the cost of your annual heating bill to the cost of the testing. What percentage reduction in duct leakage would it take to pay back the cost of the test in, say, a year?

  • last month

    Our house is 5.5 years old.

  • last month
    last modified: last month

    I'll mention an evaluation of your attic insulation and attic ventilation. If your utility does a complete evaluation, keep those factors in mind. Yu mentioned dampers for the main floor. If these are registers at the wall outlet that isn't the trunk dampers others have talked about.

  • last month

    We don’t have an attic. We also don’t have trunk dampers and won’t be putting them in.

  • last month

    This is a copy and paste from HVAC person regarding current system.

    Your furnace is a 80k BTU / 3 Ton B cabinet furnace. CFM is 1250 - 1300. These furnaces and heat pumps at 3 Ton size can service up to 3200 sq ft.

    Your return air is 10x20 which is perfectly sized for the furnace. To go larger you'd really need 10x24 in the return air drop which is a redo of your ductwork around your furnace. That could be done, but you would be looking at another 8000-10000 for a larger furnace plus additional money for the ductwork.

  • last month

    We live in the PNW also and have recently considered a cooling unit. Never felt we needed it before. We live in a split level home and downstairs is always cool. Upstairs we have been overheating the last few summers. Upstairs is where we spend all of our time. Are the floor units the same as a mini split that goes on the wall? Is one more efficient at cooling than the other? Would we need one for each room, or is one able to cool the whole upstairs floor (about 1200 sq ft) if it is placed centrally?

  • last month

    We were quoted $5k per room for wall units that aren’t connected to our forced air system. So for us that’s cost prohibitive as we have four rooms to cool upstairs when the quote for AC is more like 10K for whole house

  • PRO
    29 days ago
    last modified: 29 days ago

    Our house is 5.5 years old.

    So it was a builder made problem? Charles the builder has left the chat. ~ha, ha, ha! It is to laugh.

    So if it's a duct sealing problem? the builder did it. If it's air flow problems? The builder did it.

    If you're not comfortable? the builder built that into your home as a selling point. LOL.

    NOTE: 80K BTU furnace is typically rated for 4 ton. Provide your furnace make / model / serial number to further see what it truly is capable of.

  • 29 days ago

    If you are adding whole house AC, you should probably just get a heat pump. Painful to replace a 5-year-old furnace, yeah. But when it does finaly die, you aren't going to want to switch to a heat pump and throw out the relatively new AC unit, .... rinse repeat. AC units are a lot more expensive than furnaces, and rebates from switching to a heat pump may make the cost pretty comparable (not sure what the Canadian rebates are).

    For the rooms that don't get good heat, you might investigate improving air return flow. Having overall sufficient return can still leave cold (or hot) air stuck in one room. There may be solutions like various types of jump ducts that don't require modying your duct system.

  • 29 days ago

    I’m not blaming anyone for anything and haven’t this whole thread. I’ve presented the info as it is. The house is how it is. Do I wish during the build we had better understood many things that are now behind the walls, you bet, do I blame others for that, not at all. The thing that is lost in this thread, and I do get why, is that we aren’t planning on doing anything dramatic here. The choices are, at this point, add AC or do nothing. We aren’t making holes in our walls, getting a new furnace, adding zones or special dampers. It just isn’t needed for our space. Yes it’s not perfect with two bedrooms cooler than I like in winter but to me that’s not a reason to make massive changes.

    The furnace is American Standard. Info in pic. I’m sure Austin Air will find some dramatic issue with this now too. Can’t wait.

  • PRO
    29 days ago


    It may be different in your area, but here in Virginia, residential HVAC systems are installed by licensed mechanical contractors. The mechanical contractor is responsible for the design of the system which is reviewed by code compliance (manual J, S and D) before a mechanical permit is issued. Performance testing is mandated so there's no guesswork regarding duct leakage. If the system is substandard, the folks who installed it are responsible. The OP"s builder's problem is that he/she hired the wrong folks to do the work which is usually the product of awarding the job to the lowest bidder.

  • 29 days ago

    There is no builder problem here. No one is being blamed for anything. This forum is mind boggling with assumptions and judgement.

  • PRO
    28 days ago
    last modified: 28 days ago

    No one is being blamed for anything.

    Correction: Except for me.

    Luckily it matters not one bit to me.

    I’m sure Austin Air will find some dramatic issue with this now too. Can’t wait.

    Break out your duct sealer then and start sealing air leaks. LOL.

    PS: Your furnace is a 60K BTU furnace / not 80K BTU. How's that for drama?

    I suspect a whole lot of fun is coming your way..... enjoy. (more drama) --- because the people you are using don't even know the proper size of your furnace. If they don't know that, what else (more important things) do they not know either?

    I leave little to the imagination: some call this drama, that's ok you have that freedom to think however you want to think -- give your builder reprieve / the mechanical contractors etc. Some people have to experience the fun for themselves. I know what it's like to be uncomfortable all summer long, this is drama too.

    So if you use xyz contractor and due to their understanding (or the lack thereof that even you do not know?) and your understanding are you going to also not blame them? Hey everything is ok, we'll pay for whatever mistakes are made / have been made in the past? no problem were setting asside some money to pay for others mistakes?

    This is essentially what you're saying. Two sides to every coin, unless you're a magician.

    At what point do you break and start blaming someone? (we all have our limits)

    I have a over 30 year career (HVAC) going back behind builders. The review I took down from the refrigerator? (posted earlier in the thread)

    Yeah that house in that review was about 6 years old at the time of the repair(s) I made to that system. (They weren't blaming the builder either, BUT it was the builder's fault.)

    At over 30 years... it's more about the stories for me than anything else. Why else would I get involved in a thread for someone that lives on the other side of the world from me with an AC season that is nothing more than an elaborate blink of time? (my season is typically 9 to 10 months long -- drama!)

    In order to be a straight shooter, you have to tell it like it is... no matter whose feelings are going to be crushed. (drama --- even if that means you and the way you are thinking.)

    If you didn't want drama: don't search for it on the internet. ~ Abraham Lincoln

    I service the Katy, Texas area.

  • 28 days ago

    Listen, I’m not sure if get it or not but here’s the thing. I’m close to my breaking point with this thread where it feels like I’m constantly being attacked which is ridiculous. But I’m not remotely near any breaking point in real life as the HVAC workers coming in are lovely and helpful and in real life have lots of suggestions. By next week will will have had four different, local and reputable companies in to provide quotes and options that work for our system and meet our needs. The likelihood of all four separately trying to screw us and send us in the wrong direction isn’t high. Let’s face it a home in Vancouver, BC, Canada doesn’t remotely have the same HVAC needs as one in Texas.

  • 28 days ago

    WestCoast Hopeful ... what you've experienced is the order-of-the-day in the HVAC forum. Houzz would do well to provide a "Beware: attacks and off-topic rants will occur" warning at top of the index page.

  • 28 days ago

    @dadoes I don’t scare easily and have been on the forum for almost a decade but it’s annoying for sure

  • PRO
    27 days ago

    How are you being attacked?

    How am I being attacked? Was it not you who said --- I was 'supposedly by your definition' giving you drama and you encouraged me by saying: I’m sure Austin Air will find some dramatic issue with this now too. Can’t wait.

    Now you are providing drama too?

    But WISDOM entered the Chat:

    As more information that you provided came to light --- did this not provide important details that "you" thought best to not divulge? (The actual size of your furnace vs what you were being told by so called pros with honey that runs off their deceiving lips?) It's either that or they don't know? which is worse? You choose. I'm just giving you a dose of common sense.

    Now because you didn't provide that info from the start ---let's make claims of being attacked? When being discredited as to what your Furnace is capable of?

    I know truth is a bitter pill to swallow. So we make an excuse of being attacked? I don't make excuses --- to bad for you.

    But I’m not remotely near any breaking point in real life as the HVAC workers coming in are lovely and helpful and in real life have lots of suggestions.

    They have an incentive to be lovely, but clearly you can't see the forest from the trees. Lovely telling you your furnace size isn't what it is. Great. (It's known as 'they selling you bro')

    I've done nothing but provide you truth from what you've divulged information wise. When you didn't like that (drama) I told you to break out the duct sealer and start sealing ducts. So I guess I was attacking you with duct sealer now?

    We don't have any complaint with anyone? That didn't last long. (ooh I'm being attacked with words I said) yeah because it paints a picture.

    If you choose the wrong thing --- what other things will begin to unravel. -- To some this is an attack, to others this is words of WISDOM. --- I have traveled in these footsteps for over 30 years (HVAC).

    Things are changing in HVAC. If you want rainbow confetti and purple farts --- sorry I can not provide that to you.

    You have a problem with a roughly 5 year old HVAC system. So lets ignore the truth of the matter so we can make more mistakes? Yeah we have no complaints with anyone? What happend to that?

    Truth cuts deep and quick. You can run from it, you can ignore it, you can say whatever you want to avoid it... but given enough time it always shows up.

    I understand why? Truth is described as a two edged sword.

    Looking 2 min down the street the future as it were: The words here are not necessarily for you. These words of wisdom are for those who read thru this sometimes years later searching for reasons why they continually have problems with their HVAC system and are at the point of wanting to know the real truth of WHY. I can only do what I do in person. There are nuggets within the text I provide, but only for those who can handle the truth. (not riddle off excuse after excuse for avoiding it)

    I service the Katy, Texas area.

  • 27 days ago

    @austin air companie feel free to not reply anymore. Clearly you aren’t content with what I’ve posted or shared, questioning my motives, if I’ve shared enough, the motives of the people I have in, how upset or not I am, how frustrated or not I am with the existing system and my general feelings on the whole process. So please go ahead and take a step back then, no need to offer help.

    For the record it is possible to just make suggestions or give a couple ideas. One doesn’t need to write a novel and expect a homeowner to essentially redo their entire hvac system when they ask about adding cooling options.

    Have a great day

  • PRO
    26 days ago
    last modified: 26 days ago

    WestCoast Hopeful

    The truth always comes out. I am a Texas Licensed HVAC contractor. The rules I play by are far above that of what you have displayed here. I don't send minions to do my bidding.

    I have to be "on top of it" for my climate. Other climates "like yours" --- appears to me to be lackluster don't worry about it type attitude. My climate does not afford that kind of luxury. (make excuses and just live with them -- no complaint against anyone)

    Comfort is a fickle beast. I am well aware that some don't care as much about it as others.

    I don't have a fish to fry in your situation (CANADA so what is a 100% unbiased opinion worth in Canadian Dollars?), but I get involved in these kinds of things to provide clarity "when you have the wherewithal to not make excuses and accept the truth for what it is."

    When you only go to those who provide you what your ears want to hear you get responses like duct sealing and silver bullet mysteries during an eclipse -- so called simple cheap fixes that aren't fixes for "design issues". Given the climate they could appear as fixes for a time until an extreme weather event comes and proves otherwise. My solutions work in 80 degree weather just as much as 100F weather... a snapshot that many do not realize.

    Design issues are fixed by a new design... "OFTEN" this ignored --even here-- with a house (structure) that is under 10 years old. (Yours is only 5 years old)

    I've set myself apart with what I do. The truth has to be a part of it --- OR the story continues changing like the wind. The truth (sets you free) --- So given what I know about the truth and what it does to people?

    Now throw in money into the equation. From the very beginning of the thread how does money come into all of this? Plus you've been debating a heat pump since you owned this "new" house. Not just new to you --- but actually BRAND NEW home.

    Telling me not to respond will often get a response ---because it gives me yet another opportunity to provide clarity not to mention context. If it were some other area of interest of mine besides HVAC probably not.

    I don't have any mixed feelings against you -- you answer for what you do I answer for what I do. The words I provide you with only hurt you if you continue to IGNORE THEM. That is on you, not me. Not a judgment, a warning.

    In 30 years time... How many people with similar attitudes have I come across in my career?

    Even in other areas --- there is a separation of the wheat from the tares. (Testing all things --- tells you essentially all you need to know.)

    Those that I am leaving bread crumbs for people ( that never respond to forums like these) those people will find them and find me.

    I service the Katy, Texas area.

  • 26 days ago

    So not going to take a break from replying then. Got it. If I stumbled across this thread I definitely know who I wouldn’t want to work with.

  • 26 days ago

    After 61 comments still no options yet for cooking in his room, eh? You can't really cook with an AC or fan so try a hot plate buddy.

    It could be the language barrier, eh? Calculations need to be backward like how they write write a date. I believe buddy wants some poutine with his double double and believe you chaps took a Larry where a Roger should be been, eh?

    I spent 30 years learning to understand Blonde to get my wife to nize it and works well to communicate with hosers. Maybe stop the Kerfuffle and focus on his question, eh? and stop thinking he needs a warmer togue and bunny hug just to cook so don't get your gotch all in a bunch, eh?

  • 26 days ago

    What in the world is this nonsense?

    There are ideas already flowing. We’ve had 2/4 companies come to provide AC and heat pump quotes. We are roughed in for cooling with a pad at the side of the house, all set up on the electrical panel and access to furnace too. We have two more hvac companies coming Monday then will move forward.

    We are asking everyone the same thing and so far getting the same answers.

    Is the size of our furnace appropriate for our house? Yes but barely. Bigger would have been better with bigger ducting too. The size of ducting is suitable for furnace size and a bigger furnace would mean a ducting change which is likely cost prohibitive.

    Is it possible the current system is leaky and that needs to be addressed? The two cooler rooms are still getting heat. When the furnace is on you can feel heat coming out of the vents. All other spaces are heating well. The two cool rooms are farthest from the furnace and will likely always be different than other spaces closer to. Unlikely this is leaky ducting.

    What are the options for cooling just in the bedrooms? Wall units at about $5k a piece. Can be done. Perhaps not a good cost options since you need for. Recommended brand Mitsubishi

    What is better AC or heat pump? AC will be a bit cheaper now but local municipalities are starting to phase out AC usage and in some areas it’s already no longer allowed to be installed. Recommendation is to lean toward heat pump for ease of repairs as well as long term alignment with municipalities rules.

    Brands given quotes so far are: Bosch, Mitsubishi, Comfortaire, Daikin

    Reasons we didn’t put in cooling when we built the home were cost saving but we did future plan for it. 6-10 years ago AC or cooling in homes in Vancouver wasn’t as common. Since then several heat waves and a change in temperature in summers has shifted things. For reference in 50 years I’ve never lived in a home with cooling.

  • PRO
    25 days ago
    last modified: 25 days ago

    The two cooler rooms are still getting heat. When the furnace is on you can feel heat coming out of the vents. All other spaces are heating well. The two cool rooms are farthest from the furnace and will likely always be different than other spaces closer to.

    yep, design issue. In some instances I've found it to be a messed up duct connection, but usually those types of problems are in much older homes. Along with a few leaky ducts.

    I've been in / repaired systems with leaky ducts but not the leaky ducts (because the owner facing money problems was better inclined to spend the money on actual "cooling" problem. Is it ideal, no. (when the design is good, it makes up for a lot of piddly stuff like duct sealing. Not a license not to do it, but I'm not going to deter a paying customer who doesn't have the money for leaky ducts that 9 times out of 10 better off to just replace the whole duct system. (ducts don't last forever either, unless they are hard pipe insulated metal and no one steps on them, which is rare these days in residential HVAC systems.)

    There's pros and cons to anything and everything you do. IF someone is only telling you the pro side of the coin? What would that tell you? In order for you to make a good decision you should be told everything. The good and the bad.

    Many of these things you're offered are going to gut type decisions. Look at it from the perspective if things go wrong you have someone to call. (The people who do the work on this system). If you don't trust them fully, don't choose them just because there price was more of your liking.

    Hopefully your experience with AC is a good one.

    Probably one of the most common reasons I am called was because the home owner had gotten a good deal on the unit that was installed. When I ask why they didn't call the installing contractor?

    If the unit is new, new like 1 year old? It's extremely rare that I would even look at it. Deal of the century kind of stuff.

  • 12 days ago

    Well it’s taken awhile to get here but we are now at decision time. We are putting in a heat pump and will need to upgrade our electrical panel to do so. We are leaning toward the American Standard unit below because we understand it to be the quietest of the three.

    Does anyone have any personal or professional experience with any of these three units?

    American Standard 3 Ton (36,000 BTU) Quest

    Comfort-aire 3 Ton: B-VCD36SA-1

    Bosch IDS Bova 2.0: Bova 36

  • 12 days ago

  • 12 days ago

    American Standard is only one on that list. I wonder if the list is only US manufacturers?

  • PRO
    11 days ago
    last modified: 11 days ago

    That list that Paul F. posted only lists the manufacturer, but not the model of the machine in question.

    (There couldn't be any change from one model to another?)

    Then we don't know what era this list was orignated from? Times / fortunes change all the time in HVAC.

    I'm more in the camp of Bosch Bova 2.0, not because of the name... because of what it does and how it does it.

    The Bosch Bova 1.0 isn't a bad choice either, but for efficiency reasons better to just go to the 2.0 in my opinion.

    Here's from mad consumers with American Standard problems ( contractor problems, etc)

    If you scroll down from that link above you'll see Trane is even worse. Probably every brand there is going to be ranked poorly. Because? these are actual consumer experiences, not designed to dupe you / to sell you.

    The review system is scrubbed everywhere else selecting only those with positives to say about the product. Some of this can be blamed on the manufacturer, some can be blamed on the contractor.

    Hopefully you realize how new you are at this and take my advice for what it's worth.

    Even if you chose Bosch, you could still have problems. The nature of HVAC is hiring those experienced enough to handle problems when they come up / if they come up.

    The contractor you choose is ultimately who you will be calling to fix any problems you have after the machine is installed. Choose carefully the contractor. The brand name essentially means nothing. (The model, what it does, how it does it -- how well it's installed is the ultimate prize)

    I service the Katy, Texas area.

  • 11 days ago

    Excellent we feel confident in the two providers we are down to and they are local and standby their work.

    Bosch, on paper, will be quite a bit louder and the exterior unit will sit by our suite. I am a bit concerned by that

  • PRO
    11 days ago

    Bosch is one of the most quiet units on the market, but with that it depends on a variety of factors like what mode it's running in etc. As in fully ramped mode it runs in comparison with a run of the mill AC noise.

    To say that one make, model etc holds the record for less noise is a misnomer. When comparing them on paper? They are both quiet.

    Manufacturers suggest not putting a heat pump near a bedroom window or near really any window, because you're most likely going to hear it and be disturbed by it. Especially when you've never had one before.

    There isn't a brand that doesn't make "any" noise. Huh? (noise or the lack thereof is subjective)

    I made a video about it (to demonstrate what I mean) below as noise is a fully argumentative subject. (how loud is loud?)

    This video was made before there was a Bosch to compare it to... so this noise test is of the entry level AC variety. (The Bosch would be quieter than these upwards of over 90% of the time as these units in the video are either on or off no 60 some speeds of comfort.)

    Typical normal operation for Bosch in ramped mode (for you that would be winter time) would be in the 76 decibel range or so --- which is more or less normal for any heat pump, only difference for Bosch is that it ramps to that amount in extreme weather hot or cold. Most of the time you'd have to be up on it to hear it.

    Other issues for heat pumps that cause noise is defrost cycle. This mode is only entered when necessary after running in heating mode.

    There have been other odd issues with noise with the Bosch that I've heard thru the grape vine, but haven't experienced myself. So installer error maybe the issue, I don't know for sure.

    Glad to hear you feel confident, local definately matters. I don't have a fish to fry in it but my experience tells me even the most confident has risk attached to it.

    If it were 20 years ago and not today, I'd tell ya sounds good. But it's 2024, not 2004.

    Example: You were told by sales guy this unit is quieter than XYZ. The unit makes noise, you complain they come out and tell you "oh that's normal operation". If I seen that once I've seen it a thousand times. Not to suggest you won't be happy with your choice, but again noise is "subjective" AND you're not accustomed to ANY noise whatsoever.

  • 11 days ago

    Here's the complete consumer reports list if its helpful. I find that's its usually pretty helpful but I see that Mitsubishi is not on here and that's what I have... mostly because at the time they had the slim cassettes that recessed into the ceiling and they were the only game in town that had them. I am very happy with them.

  • 10 days ago

    I wasn’t told one was quieter than the other. It’s literally in the info the manufacturer provides to people the decibels outside when running at different speeds is listed.

  • PRO
    10 days ago

    What people classify as "noise" may be subjective, but sound levels can be measured objectively. Consumers can use manufacturer's measured sound level data to compare different alternatives and make informed choices.

  • PRO
    9 days ago
    last modified: 9 days ago

    From a piece of paper telling you one is quieter than the other?

    How many times are things sold only listing the positives and no negatives?

    I only know what you tell me remember? So I can only imagine how, what, where & why you found the info you found. Does it matter how you found it in 2024? no.

    Every installation is different. The noise could be factors of the install itself? Realize the numbers they feed you are the best numbers. It doesn't mean you will achieve the best numbers. (sound rating numbers)

    Being able to measure the numbers is only after it's installed and if the manufacturer instructions say don't install the unit near a window and you do it anyway? That's on you.

    Keywords like as quiet as 50 decibels. "as quiet as" ? Then you also have to wonder about cycle on / cycle off noise? These functions are typically not recorded. It's only run mode noise that is specified in literature. But from a ramping perspective in terms of an Inverter? Noise increases as it ramps. They all do this.

    If the system in question is an Inverter? Whether it's American Standard, Trane, Carrier etc they all make inverter condensers. The more that system ramps higher and higher the more noise it will make. In Carrier's case the inverter unit makes odd hissing noises when it cycles off. There are differences from one manufacturer to another. Bosch doesn't make any loud cycle noises. It's virtually quiet start and stop. Noise only goes up when the unit ramps and this typically a slow and gradual process in the case of the Bosch inverter.

    I've heard the Trane inverter run on youtube in ramped mode. It's comparable to the sound that Bosch makes. It's certainly not "noiseless" it makes noise in that mode. American Standard is essentially the same as Trane, with merely cosmetic differences like condenser fan top housing.

    I realize none of this is "fun" by this point. I could have easily taken the attitude of do nothing say nothing... again this isn't to suggest you will be disappointed, but as I said before it is things like this that lead to disappointment.

    Once the system is installed making noises you don't think are reasonable? What do you honestly think will happen in that event?

  • 9 days ago

    Consumers can use manufacturer's measured sound level data to compare different alternatives and make informed choices.

    Is there a test method all manufacturers use to test noise levels? If not then you really can't compare the noise levels between manufacturers.

    Here is the sound of a new Bosch IDS 2.0 Heat Pump.

  • PRO
    9 days ago

    Yes, Mike, there is a standard test methodology for testing sound levels of HVAC units; it's AHRI Standard 270. If manufacturers follow the methodology, consumers can directly compare the results across different equipment models and across different manufacturers. Keep in mind that how the equipment discharges (e.g., vertical vs. horizontal) and how it relates to adjacent structures, (e.g., proximity to adjacent walls, neighboring homes, building overhangs, visual barriers etc.) can produce different results from laboratory test results. Those factors are outside the manufacturers' control. Where installation options are limited and sound levels are objectionable, outdoor acoustic barriers may help.

  • 9 days ago

    The noise it makes is annoying from both of the two videos in the link mike posted. It's not mellow hum and a harsh ErrrrreeeErrrreeeeErrrreeerreeerereerr, and something I wouldn't want the hear. I really wanted to take a baseball bat and kill both those units.

    Maybe ask for a few addresses with the Bosch installed and go hear them running.

  • 9 days ago
    last modified: 9 days ago

    Yes, Mike, there is a standard test methodology for testing sound levels of HVAC units; it's AHRI Standard 270.

    Charles Ross Homes,

    Thanks for supplying this AHRI Standard.

    I also agree with kevin9408 suggestions of doing field testing and coming to your own conclusion.

  • 9 days ago

    Tons of people we know have heat pumps. Yes they are not silent. We all know this. I’d like to choose one that has the potential to be the most quiet but we aren’t naive and know it will make noise and the noise level will vary. The location where the unit needs to go is dictated by the existing rough in’s and the pad for it.

  • PRO
    9 days ago


    Measuring sound levels in the field (after installation) isn't a particularly good way to compare equipment alternatives prior to purchase. The sound levels in the field are affected by a number of variables (some of which are noted above) outside manufacturers' control. Experienced HVAC contractors should have a list of installation best practices compiled from installations that produced objectionable sound levels.

  • PRO
    8 days ago
    last modified: 8 days ago

    I have a snippet for you demonstrating the noise of the Bosch Bova 2.0 running in ramped AC mode that is quite different than the noises made from the unit that Mike_home posted.

    In the clip I say "this is the worse the noise will be" as it's in fully ramped mode. There are segments within that video that demonstrate the unit noise from start up. The shut down is similar to start up of the unit. Not sure if I show that or not in this particular video.

    The ramped up noise demonstration starts at 19:05 which will start a few seconds after you start the video below.

    Notable differences, the unit I show is installed on a concrete slab, there is no concern of snow / ice accumulation / drainage etc. for my climate. (It's primarily AC here) Noise issues can be accredited to how the unit is installed / what it's placed on etc. / surroundings like echo noises.

    If anything the difference between the two videos will show you what?

    American Standard Noise after the unit shuts off. The noise while it runs is comparable to what I show. You won't get and discernable difference from run noise between the two.

    The unit cycle off noise? These noises are typically not included in literature.

  • 8 days ago

    Our pad is concrete, under cover, won’t be impacted by snow and has good drainage. One of the hvac providers has offered to us to go view units like what is recommended for us to see how loud they are.