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  1. #1
    Elite Member KentT's Avatar
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    Default Cost effective heat/AC for a garage apartment

    We're in the planning stages (preliminary blueprint) of building a 2-car garage with a one bedroom apartment over it. We plan to use it as a "vacation cottage" for a few years until I retire and build the actual retirement home. Then, it's will be used only as a "guest suite."

    My question is what's the most cost-effective heat/AC system for approximately 700 sq feet? Location is in East Tennessee and the utility options are electric (less expensive than most areas) or propane -- no natural gas. It'll likely be used less than 10 weeks a year -- ever!

    Would one of the "motel-type" under-window heat-pump systems be a feasible alternative to a complete central heat/air system for this relatively small area?

    It'll look something like this -- though custom plans

  2. #2
    Super Member kenmac's Avatar
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    yanmar 3110D

    Default Re: Cost effective heat/AC for a garage apartment

    You can also buy a window unit that will do the same thing .& I think the window units cost less. You can buy them at home depot , lowe's, etc.

  3. #3
    Elite Member Sigarms's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cost effective heat/AC for a garage apartment

    Might want to look at a mini split ductless system.

    Sanyo, Samsung, Fujitsu, Mitsubishi (sp?), EMI are some brand names you might want to look at.

    FYI, the motel "type" units your refering to are known as P-tack units.

  4. #4
    Elite Member KentT's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cost effective heat/AC for a garage apartment

    Sigarms,

    Could you elaborate? I've never heard of a mini-split ductless system... [img]/forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif[/img]

    Thanks!

  5. #5
    Super Member kenmac's Avatar
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    yanmar 3110D

    Default Re: Cost effective heat/AC for a garage apartment

    Forgot about those, as I haven't installed any. When I price them for a cust ,they tell me they can get a window to do the same & they can install it their self so, I've not had any luck selling these units. I'am sure they would be good units though.

  6. #6
    Elite Member Sigarms's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cost effective heat/AC for a garage apartment

    Two units make one system. Indoor evaporator coil that can mount on a wall or ceiling, and your outdoor unit that holds the compressor. You run a lineset between these two units (which means you have to penetrate a wall with the lineset).
    Usually comes with a remote control to control the temperature from the evaporator.

    Nice thing with these units is that you don't need ductwork.

    Sizes are limited though in BTU's (up 42k btu's, but should be enough for the space your looking for.

    Nice thing with these units are that they are attractive, look "in place" (compared to window units) and once in place, they are there "for good".

    Probably won't be the most "cost effective" as they cost more than a window unit.

  7. #7
    Super Star Member EddieWalker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cost effective heat/AC for a garage apartment

    When I built my apartment living area on my container barn I went through the same thing. It was only just over 400 sq feet.

    My goal was to build a place to live temporarily for as little as possible.

    I decided on usuing window units from the box stores for A/C and portable ceramic heaters for heat during winter, then putting them away the rest of the year.

    Depending on size, window units are $200 to $250 for a big one. Heaters will start at $50 and go up to $150. You could easily do the entire house for under a grand. That was by far the cheapest way to do it that I was able to come up with.

    Eddie


  8. #8
    Epic Contributor Bird's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cost effective heat/AC for a garage apartment

    </font><font color="blue" class="small">( Would one of the "motel-type" under-window heat-pump systems be a feasible alternative to a complete central heat/air system for this relatively small area? )</font>

    That would certainly seem to me to be the best alternative. It's been over 40 years now, but before I got married I was living in a two bedroom, one bath, apartment with such a unit and liked it just fine. Of course, with it mounted in the living room, you had to leave the bedroom doors open to heat or cool the entire area.

    I recently installed a Whirlpool ACE124XR window unit (heat and cool) in my 21' x 25' shop building. It says it's for a 500-650 square foot room. I got it at Lowe's for $478 plus tax, but of course they certainly had larger ones, and the installation instructions include both "window" and "through wall" installations.

  9. #9
    Platinum Member
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    BX22

    Default Re: Cost effective heat/AC for a garage apartment

    I agree with a mini-split heat pump. You can even get a multi zone if needed. Much better thab a PTAC (motel type).

    paul

  10. #10
    Elite Member KentT's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cost effective heat/AC for a garage apartment

    Thanks folks. It looks like I have several alternatives to conventional central heat/AC that I can price and compare.

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