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I am trying to help out the owner of my favorite bar / saloon up in the mountains. The place is 3000 sq-ft all open floor plan less 400sqft kitchen area. In winter, the heat is provided via a pellet stove and supplemented by two wall mounted propane heaters. the cooling is provided by four window a/c units. the owner wants to get rid of the propane wall heaters and the window a/c units. My suggestion was a mini split heat pump with the primary / supplemental heat provided by the pellet stove. I do hydronic heat and plumbing, not a/c. An other customer who does a/c work said that a mini-split would not be a good option as this place is so dusty (on a gravel road) and that the smoke from the patrons (allot of it, the entire interior of the 80 year old building is the color of nicotine.) would block up the coils of a mini-split in no time and that the only way to clean them was to take the units down, disconnecting the line sets, take them apart and clean them. This he said would lead to allot of maintenance costs and shortened service life.

Does anyone have any ideas or options in a situation like this?




  • don_9
    don_9 Member Posts: 395

    Any system you put in that enviroment is going to require maintence.i see no problem with what you suggested.the mini splits has filters so if they saty on top of them and you guys foam the coil every year you should be fine.Maybe you would have to pulled them every two years or so to clean the blower wheel.

    How did the window unit and propane heater do? if they have done well over the years then so should the mini splits.
  • RobG
    RobG Member Posts: 1,850
    Mini Split

    The propane units are no problem and easy to clean. The window units filters are cleaned weekly and the units last about three years.

    Can you clean the coil on the air handler without removing the unit (vacuming down the system, cutting the line-set and removing and diassembling)?

    How much maintanance is involved? The filters will only catch so much, and the smoke creates tar which then catches anything the filter missed.


  • don_9
    don_9 Member Posts: 395
    coil cleaning

    Yes we clean the coil on them all the time without removing them.We foam them and then take a spray bottle of water and rinse it down the drain.As for pulling them off the wall you may have to do that every three years or so in the environment you are in.Only time will tell the maintenance they will need. I would have no problem with putting them in a bar and offering them a service contract.

    Japan has bars and that all they use in that part of the world.What are they doing for fresh air into that building?
  • Ron Jr._3
    Ron Jr._3 Member Posts: 603
    The upside is

    they use flare fittings . Much easier to work with !

    Good to hear they don't have to be removed to be properly cleaned . Been doing alot of sheetrock work in the house and I can see some is getting into my coil already on my Fujitsu . And yes , I shut it off and bag it when working !
  • TonyS
    TonyS Member Posts: 849
    They will work fine

    I have some in the kitchen of a local Italian restaurant. I have them clean the filters every day at closing and I foam the coils once a year.

    Have several in bar rooms, no problems at all.

    Here is a unit in my shop alongside the ducted gas fired ammonia system that it replaced. It boggles my mind every time I look up at that system and tell myself I have to tear it out and take it in for scrap and then I look at the small inverter and think, What was I thinking!!! I clean the filters a couple times a year. By the way, it is also a heat pump that works great during the swing seasons until I fire up the radiant slab. 
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