Friday, October 28, 2016

Adding A/C to your garage

This year we have had several new and past clients call about adding a/c to there garage.  For most people they would think it would be a waste of money and energy, but for us who live in Arizona were the summer temperatures reach 115 it's not uncommon.  Normally the best solution to heat/cool a garage would be a ductless mini split, but in some cases adding a central a/c unit is more efficient to handle the heat load.  When choosing to install a ductless mini split make sure you choose a system with inverter technology.  The inverted systems optimize energy consumption with the change of ambient temperature making the compressor run at different speeds.  So if you have a 12,000 btu systems it could be cooling/heating at 9,000 but if the heat gain increases in the conditioned area then the system can heat/cool up to 12,000 btu.  Ductless mini splits come in single, dual, tri, and quad zones.  Most garages we install mini splits for are only 800 sq ft or less and only require single zone systems, but in some cause we're the garage is 800 or more then we would install a dual zone system.

     Different ways to install ductless mini splits in you garage.

Exposed refrigeration lines ran down the wall inside the garage.  We don't typically like to install the lines this way because of the look, but sometimes the homeowners association won't approve line set covers on the side of the house.

Copper refrigeration lines ran inside the way.  This way is very tricky to install because you have to bend the copper lines just right so that the air curtain snaps onto the back frame.  We always make sure to pressure test the lines and check for leaks before patching up drywall.  In most cases when it is installed in the Garage we will install a white covered access door just incase we need to get to the flared fittings.

If you don't have a homeowners association then you can install the refrigeration lines on the outside of the wall along with the condensation drain line.  We use 4'' abs pipe to go through the wall that way everything is sealed and the copper and drain lines go through the wall smoothly.

                                  Ways not to install ductless mini splits

Placement is a key factor to a for both efficiency and maintenance.  You need to be at least 4 inches from the ceiling (we prefer 6).  If a air curtain is to close to the wall it will not have enough air to breath and opening the face to get to the filters and electrical will be difficult.  Outdoor units must have 12'' ( Arizona code) around the complete unit and the outdoor fan can not be facing a structure wall.  We have seen several condensers installed incorrectly cause the system to overheat.

Lg have mini split air curtains that can be a mirrored finish or even the LG art which is a picture frame style.  If you don't want to spend the extra $$$ you can get creative and design your own art.

              Central heat pump split system installed in garage

We recently had a customer who wanted to add a/c and heat to there 4 car garage.  It was a split style garage which was around 1,000 sq ft.  For this size we could install a 12,000 btu tri mini split to satisfy the garage.  This would be three 12,000 btu air curtains and one 36,000 btu outdoor condenser.  The installation process would include cutting drywall and the attic space was extremely tight. After exploring all the options we decided the best system would be a central heat pump system.  The garage had high ceilings and no attic so we would have to use exposed spiral ducting.  We started off by building a platform in the corner of the garage so that he still had room for his off road jeeps and toys.  We built the platform and lined it with sheet metal to give it a nice look. We also insulated the platform inside with duct board to reduce the noise of the return.  We installed two return grills that were sized for the 3 ton unit.  The ducting for this install was difficult because of the high ceilings and finding studs to secure the duct straps.  We do a lot of garage installs but this one is by far my favorite.  Usually we will install the unit in the attic and run flex ducting or install the unit on the platform and add a plenum box with some registers.  This customer went all out with the ducting.  He choose the thick spiral ducting and curved registers that matched the spiral.  It gives the final install a clean finish compared to tap registers that are square.  Overall the install took two days to finish from installing the equipment and ducting to running new power to both units.  The customers was very happy and the system cools the garage great.  One thing that you have to remember when wanting to have a/c in you garage is to always have a split unit installed.  Never attached ducting from your existing system to cool the garage.  This method is not allowed in Arizona because the air you are cooling the garage with is not coming back to the system.  This cause you existing system to find the lost air needed and the system will pull from leaks and cracks within the house.  Not only that but the garage has unwanted co2 and dirty air that you don't want in your house.

Garage install with no ducting

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Gibson mini splits

We have installed several brands of mini splits from high end LG to cheap Tiyo systems. We get a lot of DYI customers who call and ask if we can come out and help with a mini split install that they tried to install but can't seems to get it running.  What we find out most of the time is the low end Chinese brand usually come empty on charge or have issues with the controllers. We have been a strong supporter of the LG brand. But when our Frigidaire distributor came to us and offered us the Gibson line at a more reasonable price we decided to give them a try. We installed a 22 seer 1.5 ton unit to a guest house and the installation went smoothly.  I like how the air handler has the temperature on the center of the unit.  The LG and several other brands don't have that option. The out door unit was extremely quite and looked nice.  Overall I would give the Gibson unit a 10 out of 10 and would recommend it over the LG and other brands in the market.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Today's maintenance included landscaping and pest control service

Today we did a summer maintenance in Buckeye in the beautiful Verrado community which was nice because it was just a hop and jump down the street from our office.  I logged onto my iPad and looked over the work order.  Homeowner notes says that he has owned the home for 5 years and has never had the systems maintenance.  He also notes that his electrical bills have increased over the years and he changes his filters every 30 days.  So far this maintenance sounds like a normal typical maintenance.  Man was I totally wrong!!  I introduced myself to the homeowner and asked him some typical questions and things were going good until I asked him where the outdoor units were located. He replied back with a loud laugh and said they are on the east side of house and you might need to trim some branches to get to them. I didn't quite understand his response until I opened the gate to the side yard. Trim some branches was an understatement.
I have seen tons of weird things in the field but an A/C unit with a tree growing through and around it was a first. At first glance you can't even tell there are 2 condenser back there.  I went ahead and put some gloves on and spent the next hour or more trimming and pulling weeds.  After the trees and weeds we gone and I had a nice pathway to condenser I was able to wash the outdoor coils that were saturated with leaves.  3 hrs later I was finally done with the maintenance and ready for lunch. The homeowner was amazed that I not only trimmed the tree growing on the unit but that I trimmed all the trees and weeds and put them in the trash.  I reminded him the the condensing unit needs air to breath and can't be covered with trees or weeds.  This was the cause of his increasing electrical bills.
Unit full of spider webs and tons of leaves
Yes that is a scorpion on the coil. One of many I found

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Frigidaire 15 seer E-series heat pump condenser

This year the Frigidaire HVAC brand has been are top seller.  It has a great 10 year warranty and with over 100 installs we have not had one service related issue.  Frigidaire has two types of model the F-series which comes with the 10 year unit replacement warranty and the E- series which comes with a 10 year compressor and parts warranty.  Besides the warranty the only difference between the two is the looks. The  F-series has a square bar type grill on top were the E-series has a round traditional wire grill.

This week we installed a E-series heat pump split system.  The new unit was installed on the garage roof and the multi speed air handler was installed in the mechanical room.  Adding the multi speed air handler raised the seer from 14 to 15 seer.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Carrier 14 seer standard install

Last week we had the opportunity to do a install for a lovely customer in Arizona Traditions.  We replaced her old 10 seer Carrier gas split system with a new 14 seer condenser matched with a indoor coil and variable speed furnace.  Having the variable speed furnace installed actually gives this system a 14.5 seer rating.  

Call Frigid air today for a free in home estimate on all Carrier hvac systems and mini splits.

Monday, April 6, 2015


Today we had the chance to install the LG ArtCool ductless mini splits.  We install tons of LG mini splits but we really don't get customers asking for the ArtCool system.  For this type of application it couldn't have been more perfect. The homeowner was a artist who had a art room located in a loft of his house that just could not say cool in the summer.  When we showed him the types of ductless air curtains he could choose from he feel in love with the ArtCool.  We did not take any pictures of the install  but when we were all done the install looked great.  The homeowner said the whole reason he pick the ArtCool was because he could put a picture of his artwork in the air curtain frame.  The ArtCool is different then any other ductless mini split we have ever seen.  Like traditional air curtains the air blows from the front of the system but on the ArtCool system it comes from the sides.  The only bad thing with these systems is that they only come in 9,000 and 12,000 BTU sizes.

• Inverter (Variable-speed compressor on the outdoor unit)
• Customizable art panel
• R-410A Refrigerant
• Self-cleaning indoor coil
• Dehumidifying mode
• Chaos Wind
• Three-way cooling
• Jet Cool/Jet heat
• Cooling mode/Heating/Fan mode
• Auto operation

Friday, March 27, 2015


This year we have had more calls for mini split installs then ever before.  In the past we would do a lot of installs for studio or server rooms in a commercial location.  This year we have had so many people have then installed in there garage to keep there garage cool. We normally install LG mini splits but this week we got a call from a client who purchased a Klimare 17 seer unit and was having a hard time finding a contractor to install.  Typically we will NEVER install HVAC equipment that is purchased from a homeowner or is bought online.  Since it was only a mini split and he was just down the street we decide to take a look at what the install would need and the equipment.

 The homeowner was very nice and told us that he was getting outrages prices to have the system installed. We glanced over the specs on the Klimaire mini split and the wiring was not different than any mini split we have seen.   Usually when we install a mini split its never truly easy.  The condenser is always on the other side of the house or the roof.  The main panel is never close to the outdoor condenser and the building / house is block.  This install was for a custom house with a 1000 sq ft garage. The client wanted to keep his garage cool while he worked on his hot rod. The air curtain was to hang on the center wall and the outdoor condenser  would be located on the back side of the wall.  The best part was the main panel would be right next to the condenser.

The homeowner had 2 old Goodman split systems that looked like they would need to be changed out soon, so we decided to take this install opportunity to grab the client for future installs and repairs. We gave him a great price and he was extremely happy.  Overall the install went smooth. No wiring issues are charging issues.  Total time to install was 2 hrs and the system cooled great.  We did notice that the outdoor Klimaire units are way noisy compared to the LG mini splits.

                                        Here are a few pictures we took from start to finish

                                     Here are some more mini split install the we have done

                                 LG mini split installed in music studio on a custom house

                   Mini split installed in garage to keep customers land rover and Harley