Building Modern on a Budget Ep. 6 | Mini-Split A/C & Heat for the Shop

Friday, September 25, 2020 -

Installing 18K Mr Cool DIY Mini-Split AC/Heat systems in the dream shop we built ourselves and sharing all the costs

*This video is sponsored by Mr. Cool and contains affiliate links.

I know, I know! I've been terrible about updating you guys on the house progress. The good news is, if you follow me on Instagram or YouTube, I've been much better at posting updates over there. I've decided I need to finally catch up with our progress and give you some more information about our custom house build. 

Not only are we building a cool, modern house, we have also built a 1,200 sqft detached workshop for my husband and I to share. We live in a suburb of Phoenix, Arizona, so you can probably guess it gets pretty dang hot here. In fact, this summer has been brutal here (record breaking actually). The temperature inside the shop typically exceeds 105 degrees + from late-May to mid-September. In order to be able to work year-round, we really need some sort of air conditioning. 
In a brilliant stroke of luck, I was contacted by Mr. Cool  and asked if I'd be interested installing two, 18k BTU Mini-Split heating and cooling systems

Um. Yes! 

Check out the video above for the full details, or keep scrolling for the rundown. 

The first thing we needed to do was to build a concrete paver pad for each condenser unit. 

We had a pretty good sized ditch running along the entire perimeter of the shop foundation, leftover from digging the foundation stem walls. This was one of the many times I've realized how much I would love owning a mini skid steer. 

After moving several wheelbarrows full of dirt and filling the ditch, we wet and tamped the soil to get a flat and compact surface. 

When then laid a layer of sand and arranged the concrete pavers into a 32" x 18" rectangle. We used a rubber mallet to tap them together, until we had a flat, level, continuous surface to install the mini-split condensers upon. 

The Mr. Cool DIY mini-split systems come with two main parts: the condenser, which sits outside and heats/cools the air in the line, 

And the wall unit, which is mounted to the wall, inside the building and blows the temperature controlled air into the space. 

We ended up hanging OSB siding on the interior wall of the shop instead of drywall (I explain why in this installation video), so attaching the wall unit mounting bracket to the wall was no big deal. 

Ideally, we would have drilled the large, 3" hole required to pass the coolant and power lines through the wall prior to having stucco applied to the exterior, but with construction you don't always get to control the schedule like you'd like to. 

Luckily, it wasn't terribly difficult to drill the hole, but do you see those annoying little cracks extending outside the liner ring? Yeah, we had to patch those before we could move onto paint. 

Mr. Cool actually has a great DIY mini-split installation video where they work through every step of the process with more detail than I'm sure I'm qualified to do. I highly recommend you check it out! 

But I can say this, Bryce and I were able to install both units in less than a day and without much trouble. It's definitely DIY-able!

Many HVAC companies produce a mini-split, ductless air-conditioning system, but what sets the DIY Mr. Cool units apart is the fact that the lines come pre-charged with coolant from the factory. 

Normally, after installing a cooling system, you have to call an HVAC contractor to come out and charge the system. Not only is that an inconvenient pain in the butt, it also adds additional expense, especially during and Arizona summer when contractors are crazy busy and charge a premium. 

With our 18k BTU Mini-Split ductless systems, we were able to connect the coolant lines ourselves. 

When we installed the systems back in July, our property wasn't connected to the power grid yet. So, that means we didn't have electricity and weren't able to power them up.

Great news! We finally got electricity this week and you better believe we're hooking these babies up ASAP. 

Even though it's almost October, daily high temperatures here in the Phoenix area are still over 100 degrees. We'll have plenty of chances to enjoy the air conditioning before it's time to switch over to heat. 

Tech Junkie friends, you'll be thrilled to know that these Mr. Cool mini-split systems are wi-fi enabled! Yep, I'll be able to turn on and adjust the air conditioning/heat of my workshop while laying in bed. 

All my shop dreams are coming true! Don't worry, I'll be sharing more information once I've been able to fully set-up my systems and become familiar with their function. 

The whole point of naming my house build series "Building Modern on a Budget" was to share as much financial information about the DIY home building process. No one likes to talk about finances, but I know how hard it is to find good information about construction costs. At the end of every episode, I give a running total of what we've spent so far. Here's where we were at this point:

As I mentioned before, the Mr. Cool units were donated, so I owe a big thanks to Mr. Cool! If you want to know what else we've accomplished on our build to this point, check out the Pneumatic Addict YouTube channel and make sure you subscribe! 

If you like that, you'll love these ideas:


Let's be friends! Follow along so you don't miss a thing!

No comments

Powered by Blogger.