Editors Note: Now that we’ve had this unit installed for almost a year, I strongly advise you to avoid Pridiom brand mini-split systems. We’ve had multiple repairs and extremely poor customer service. Plus, this brand is almost unheard of among HVAC professionals. At this point, we are considering replacing the entire system. Save yourself the headache and go with a more reliable brand like Mitsubishi or Sanyo.
I’m really excited about the progress in the official OPC workshop. It’s getting close to the point where we can begin moving in our tools and setting up the workspace (after we finish some more drywall, install the lighting and apply the epoxy floor coating). The big improvement since my last update is that we’ve had our mini-split HVAC unit installed.
Mini-split systems, also called ductless systems, are great for conditioning a limited area. They are composed of an indoor air handling unit and an outdoor compressor so you get some of the benefits of a forced air system like minimal noise but on a smaller scale. Some units are air-conditioning only, but we selected a model that can act as a heat pump too. We choose the Pridiom 16 SEER, 24,000 BTU AMS241HX.
Installation is just beyond the capabilities of an avid DIYer. I say this because you may be able to properly place the indoor and outdoor unit, run the necessary electric and drain lines, and even flare the freon lines. The problem is that only professionals will have the necessary equipment to vacuum the lines free of outside air and ensure the proper pressure is achieved. Also, most warranties are void without a licensed contractor.
Editors note: A valid warranty proved to be important since our indoor unit quit working about a week after this initial review. We followed the proper channels to resolve the issue however technical support was not very helpful. After some back and forth, they sent an entire replacement for the indoor unit and that fixed the problem, however Pridiom refused to compensate our installer for diagnosing the problem and swapping out the defective unit. While we are still very pleased with the mini-split system, the same can’t be said for Pridiom customer support. I’ll grant that our test unit was not a typical exchange. Even so, I hope we don’t have reason to contact them in the future.
Even so, we captured pictures of the install, and thus far are very pleased with the results.
Here’s a look at the blank wall where the indoor unit will be installed. You want to place the indoor unit up high with at least 6″ of clearance from the ceiling. This will ensure the best air circulation.
The indoor portion mounts on the wall much like a microwave with a metal bracket secured to studs. You’ll notice the lack of any visible connections. That’s because everything runs through a 3″ hole to the outside of the house.
Nobody wants ugly tubes and wires hanging off their house so the installer used a PVC channel that looks much like a downspout.
Here you can see the drain and the flexible copper freon lines and the electric supply running from the compressor.
We think it looks very tidy.
From the sub-panel in the garage, the installer ran 10-2 wire through conduit directly to the outdoor compressor.
This picture shows the outdoor electric cutoff switch.
We set the outdoor unit on a small pad of concrete behind the house. It’s out of sight, somewhat protected from the elements and HOA compliant.
And here you can see the electric junction (top) and the freon connection (bottom).
I mentioned that so far we’re very pleased with the AMS241HX. It has four modes- heat, A/C, dehumidify and fan. The display shows the temperature, and there is a remote control to change settings. Anything above 14 SEER is Energy Star qualified and this model carries a SEER rating of 16. It uses the new R410A freon which has become the standard as it’s will not deplete the ozone if the system ever leaks. With 24,000 BTU’s our workshop should always be nice and warm.
We found this Pridiom unit on the Air & Water website. If you’re considering a mini split, check out some of the options they provide. If you want to learn more about Pridiom, take a look at their facebook page.