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Mini split electric usage & solar?

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I read a post a few weeks ago from someone who installed several mini splits in their home.  Thinking about the same, but the numbers in terms of kWh seem really high! Right now I have 8 solar panels generating appx 12 kWh daily, which would be completely eaten up by 1 mini  split run at night for 8 hours, is that right?  And here I am thinking of 4 mini splits, am I crazy?  That would mean I need something like 32 solar panels for two months of every year.  

How about the alternative, one of those little portable floor units on wheels, that uses a rubber hose to vent outside....could drill a small hole through the wall, cap it off when no longer needed.  

Any suggestions?

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Have you noticed that almost always when it is very hot outside that the humidity is below what is called ideal? According to the "Lake Chapala Weather net" during much of the time when it was very hot out that the humidity was in the mid to upper twenties (%). That is much lower than ideal and is perfect for running a swamp cooler. Yesterday when it was 92 F out, the humidity got as low as 21%

I have a whole house evaporative cooler on my roof and run it at a low speed and use about 500 watts and the outside air coming into the house is slightly more humid bringing it closer what most charts say is ideal and blows in air maybe 20 to 25 degrees cooler than the outside air. Then in the bedroom should it be very hot out and humid (something I almost never see) you could run a single air conditioner helping to cool the hot humid air.

Right now, about midnight the temp is 75 according to the weather station and the humidity is 62% which to many is slightly higher than ideal. And the humidity is high enough to make the swamp cooler not practical.

Soon you will have several different suggestions here on the forum. And you will have to choose what is best for you, In my case my architect found a specialist who listening to my needs and who suggested the roof top cooler. This was ten years ago and I remember that the swamp cooler cost much less than an A/C system, and that it was purchased from a restaurant supply company in Guadalajara  And it sure does use less electricity than an A/C unit, Good luck

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Our 18,000 BTU (1.5 ton) Whirlpool uses about 7-9 KwH per night of use. I chose this unit over LG or Rheem due to some energy saving features. Tio Sam's carries them.

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8 hours ago, johanson said:

Right now, about midnight the temp is 75 according to the weather station and the humidity is 62% which to many is slightly higher than ideal. 

Soon you will have several different suggestions here on the forum. And you will have to choose what is best for you, In my case my architect found a specialist....who suggested the roof top cooler... The swamp [evaporative] cooler cost much less than an A/C system. And it sure does use less electricity than an A/C unit.

I am from Florida, and I would think 75 F with 62% humidity to be wonderfully refreshing!

I spent some time in the Amazon Rain Forest, and at night we slept under wool blankets to keep warm. This was because the combination of an air temperature in the low 70s, a humidity level from 90-100%, and a (solar powered) floor fan kept our cabin chilly at night. Sounds to me like the same thing happens with an evaporative cooler.

Because I need the cooling for three dry, stuffy rooms that face the street and therefore, can't have open windows, I am going to try a swamp cool before considering a mini split. Even if I had three portable room size evaporative coolers going 24/7  my solar supply could keep up with that power drain, as I am netting about 8 kWh daily that is building credits with CFE.

I'm looking now on MercadoLibre, they seem to have a lot of the same models sold in the US.

By the way, I think these evaporative coolers are used in Europe frequently, I recall seeing them in many of the small cafes and shops in Athens and Rome, two hot and dry places.

 

 

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They are used throughout the southwestern US extensively, where the normally dryer air makes them ideal for some (Most?).

 

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I think that most people Lakeside who have Solar are just trying to keep their 'normal' CFE costs in check and maybe run a pool pump. Trying to power several air conditioners running all night in addition, with Solar, would probably never be cost effective. 

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33 minutes ago, RickS said:

I think that most people Lakeside who have Solar are just trying to keep their 'normal' CFE costs in check and maybe run a pool pump. Trying to power several air conditioners running all night in addition, with Solar, would probably never be cost effective. 

Yeah, that's me....putting in a pool pump, so need to add a couple extra panels to cover that.

And I think running the economical evaporative coolers, which are going to run only seasonally and only as needed, would be offset by the credits I am accumulating with CFE.  Trying to run a household of minisplits is terribly cost ineffective. I don't need drier air, I am already pruning up like a raisin. To feel cooler during the evening and bedtime is my goal. So yes, a swamp cooler sounds ideal.

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We have 6 solar panels and our every 2 month electric bill is about 60 pesos.  We have 2 Mirage mini splits in each bedroom and we put them on timer and run them about 2-3 hours when we go to bed, close all the doors to the bedroom and the a/c cools the room for the night.  We do not run them 8 hours.  During the hot time of the year our electric bill goes up about 100 pesos, so the a/c does make a difference but if you don't run them all night, it is doable.  


We recommend Mirage since it is a Mexican brand and you can get parts and labor easily if needed.

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7 minutes ago, sm1mex said:

We have 6 solar panels and our every 2 month electric bill is about 60 pesos.  We have 2 Mirage mini splits in each bedroom and we put them on timer and run them about 2-3 hours when we go to bed, close all the doors to the bedroom and the a/c cools the room for the night.  We do not run them 8 hours.  During the hot time of the year our electric bill goes up about 100 pesos, so the a/c does make a difference but if you don't run them all night, it is doable.  

We recommend Mirage since it is a Mexican brand and you can get parts and labor easily if needed.

Really?  Thanks for the info. 

If your CFE bill goes up that small an amount....gee, I was thinking we would be happy with paying $150 - $ 200 USD a month to CFE to run the mini splits, since that is still less than what we were paying in Florida every month....our electric bill averaged about $240 USD every month, from June through November, about $130 all other months.

I think I need to find out how much CFE charges per kWh above DAC.

 

 

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Two months of A/C use shouldn't send you into DAC if your net consumption is low the rest of the year.      Best reco is to go through 1 season with the A/C and then assess what might be needed.

Also keep in mind that if you add enough panels to generate credits during the other 10 months, those can help cover off your 2 months of A/C use.     CFE "banks" those for you on a 12 month rolling basis.

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Also remember that if you use a swamp cooler, that you want to bring in air from outside and cool that. If you run it inside only, it will work great at first but as more water evaporates and enters the room you are cooling, the humidity will go up and up and the higher the humidity the less efficient the evaporative cooler is.

So if you were running a small air conditioner and the air became even dryer, you could run an inside swamp cooler for a short time and humidity would go back to normal and you would have a little extra cooling. Just don't run it too long.

In my old home I had both an A/C and a swamp cooler and living at the top of Ajijic away from the lake perhaps my humidity was even lower than those who live closer to the lake.  And I almost never used the A/C. I just used the swamp cooler.

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Just a thought... if you do decide to go with an a/c minisplit, be aware that there are units that will also heat in the cooler weather (just in case you need it).

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The Whirlpool Inverter models have a heat mode.

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It's not what CFE charges for the DAC rate, it is when you get into the DAC rate, you lose the government subsidy, which is about 40% of the total cost.  
Try to stay out of the DAC, also I have been told the more KW you use, the cost of each KW goes up when you hit different usage levels, so it is an incentive to save electricity to keep under the DAC.

There is a big Mirage sales and service place just west of Maskaras clinic strip on the lake side.  It is next to the Telecable place, also on the lake side.  I have not used them, but apparently the carry Mirage.  When we were shopping, we were recommended by the local places to put in the Mirage since the parts are readily available and do not have import duty on them from the states like Whilrpool and LG probably has.  We have had ours about 4 years and no problems with them.

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Swamp coolers are great in low humidity, but worthless in high humidity. As in the warm rainy season. An A/C unity will only be used a short time during the dry season and very little in the rainy season. The CFE bill is only a little higher for the year.

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I have a swamp cooler in the master bedroom and have no problem with humidity, as I leave a window partially open for air circulation--this is critically important! I run it maybe 2 hours before bedtime (and sometimes later) in the hottest weather. Have not had to run it this year, or last year, but it is ready. My big problem is that it has lights on it, and my one dog is afraid of it in the dark--swears it is coming after him--so I have to leave a light on!

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someone please give us a name of someone you can recommend---don't care about all the nickel and dime evaluations--just need a good contractor

 

 

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On 6/6/2017 at 12:15 PM, Ferret said:

Just a thought... if you do decide to go with an a/c minisplit, be aware that there are units that will also heat in the cooler weather (just in case you need it).

We have the dual purpose units- LG Dual Inverters- and although we rarely need the heat (we're from a cold climate and mostly use additional clothing and blankets), when I've been ill it was a lifesaver to be able to heat the bedroom to ward off chills.

 

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In Puerto Vallarta, which as you know can get hot and humid, or not, in the summer. Many of the full timers, mostly in condos, make sure they have double pane windows, and air tight insulation. Then they run their DC inverter minisplits on dehumidify. Wet hot air is very difficult and expensive to cool. Then they open their balcony doors to let in the seabreezes when the time is right (mornings and sunsets). The higher you are up, the more breeze you are going to get. On the shore, anyways.

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I live at the top of Ajijic. Above me are the  woods. I have double glazed windows in my bedroom window that face the lake. Not only does it help insulate, but more importantly it cuts down the sound from the parties downtown and the loud fireworks shot into the sky.

Being from the greater Seattle Vancouver area, I hate heat. I therefore have both an evaporative cooler that I can use when the air is very dry and a mini-split AC/heater that I use for cooling when the humidity is too high to run the evaporative cooler.

I have very occasionally used it for heating as well

EDIT: Remember that a mini-split draws a lot of electricity. I had to run a new set of wires from a breaker box to the mini-split which are connected to their own breaker in the breaker box

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6 hours ago, kelly8762 said:

someone please give us a name of someone you can recommend---don't care about all the nickel and dime evaluations--just need a good contractor

 

 

The guy is asking for an installer!  Surely someone can help him.....

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I purchased my Mini Split from Electroventa Home Appliances located at Hidalgo #348 Riberas del Pilar last April, 2018. Who installed it? They did. No problem  (765-2222)

I'm asking, but don't most local sellers of equipment like this either install the equipment themselves or have a recommended installer for the job?

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8 hours ago, kelly8762 said:

someone please give us a name of someone you can recommend---don't care about all the nickel and dime evaluations--just need a good contractor

 

 

Alberto Farias installed my mini split four years ago and have never had a problem with it. Cell 33 1706 9407. Home 387-763-1200. Jocotepec.

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23 hours ago, RickS said:

The guy is asking for an installer!  Surely someone can help him.....

ElectroDomestico did ours.

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On ‎6‎/‎5‎/‎2017 at 10:43 PM, kimanjome said:

I read a post a few weeks ago from someone who installed several mini splits in their home.  Thinking about the same, but the numbers in terms of kWh seem really high! Right now I have 8 solar panels generating appx 12 kWh daily, which would be completely eaten up by 1 mini  split run at night for 8 hours, is that right?  And here I am thinking of 4 mini splits, am I crazy?  That would mean I need something like 32 solar panels for two months of every year.  

How about the alternative, one of those little portable floor units on wheels, that uses a rubber hose to vent outside....could drill a small hole through the wall, cap it off when no longer needed.  

Any suggestions?

I have one of those roll away A/C units (7k btu ). It works fine but is pretty noisy . Why would one of those suffice in place of four mini splits ? If you only want to cool one room, just use the mini split in that room. 

I just ordered a 12k btu  Rheem mini split with a seer rating of 16, which draws 5.8 amps at 220v which is 640 watts while cooling.

Only 7000 pesos brand new delivered to my door, pretty darn cheap imo.

Installation not included, which I will try myself

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