A/Cool tiny house

I got an email asking about this “box” on the wall from the last post. It’s shown here.

Split AC unit
Split AC unit

well, that is my split unit AC/heat pump indoor unit.  The condenser is outside on the back as shown here.

AC unit on the left
AC unit on the left, propane in the middle, and solar batteries in the storage area on the right

I live in an area where the AC is (unfortunately) a necessity and, after doing some digging/reading other blogs, decided on this unit (which is 9000 watts) over a window AC unit due to energy efficiency.  Of course no AC unit is exactly energy efficient but sometimes it’s a requirement when you live in an extremely hot and humid environment.  If I stayed in the Pacific Northwest I would not have gotten an AC unit installed.

This unit is actually a heat pump and will supply heat in the colder months.  I prefer not to use that function since it’s a bit fidgety and it uses a lot of electricity.  When I run this system I have to plug into the main electric utility system as the solar panels are not big enough to handle the AC unit.  =(  I was truly hoping this would work off grid but unfortunately it just doesn’t work with the current set up – and it’s not for a lack of sun.

I’m not exactly happy with this AC unit not just because it won’t run on solar but also because it just doesn’t work very well.  I had an air conditioning company come out to look at it because the first time I used it, it wouldn’t cool.  I thought it might just need some more refrigerant since I’ve had that issue before in the past and it was a fairly quick fix but the guys that came out have never worked on a split AC unit before.  They aren’t very common where I am located as most houses in the area need larger units.  They had to leave and do some research which involved calling the manufacturer and looking at the manual I provided.  Long story short, they came back the next day, found one of the bolts was loose – I’m hoping just from traveling during shipping and it’s not a crack! – and it didn’t have any Freon.   They filled it, I paid the $150 service charge and that was that.

So far it’s been working ok BUT this unit only goes to 68 degrees and sometimes that’s just not cool enough.  I’m not sure where the temperature sensor is on the device but I have a room thermometer located on the fridge and with this unit set to 68, it’s still around 80 inside on some days and I’m parked partially in the shade and have window treatments closed.   All in all, I’m not sure if I selected the wrong size unit or if this is just typical for a split AC system.  This unit is rated to cool/heat a space of 300 sq ft so I’m well within it’s range.  What do you think?  Have you had any experience with split AC units?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *