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Old 09-28-2014, 12:49 PM   #1
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Installation Locations for A/C Units

Curious to hear from others on their preferred locations to install reverse cycle A/C / Heater systems. We have experienced installations in the rooms where the systems cool / heat and installation in the lazerette for the compressors. Both worked equally fine and I actually liked the Lazerette installation a little better for noise reduction but wonder what level of efficiency may be lost with the longer ducting runs. Access to the units for maintenance was about equal.
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Old 09-28-2014, 02:01 PM   #2
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My preference is a chiller system with the chiller unit mounted in the machinery space. Air handlers with thermostats in each living space, appropriately sized for the area. Air handlers can be plumbed with pex and all runs are insulated. Each air handler has it own pump that is mounted close to the chiller and only runs when the air handler requires water (glycol mix actually). These setups are efficient and highly adaptable. The air handler side can be repaired by anyone with rudamentary plumbing skills. The chiller unit is almost as simple, its only job is to cool the glycol mixture and keep it at around 40 degrees in the cool cycle and keep it hot in the heat cycle.
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Old 09-28-2014, 03:12 PM   #3
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Our two 16K units are self-contained, without individual sound shield. Each is mounted within the space it's intended to service (one for the saloon/dining/galley area, one for the staterooms/head and with an extension to the galley). The saloon unit is behind a bulkhead behind a couch. The lower unit is underneath the master berth.

There are two noise components, one being the compressor, the other being the air handler. Both are acceptable for us, but I understand the newer units (e.g., Vector Turbo) are more efficient, and quieter even without the sound shield.

I would guess the optional sound shield would dampen (or contain?) compressor noise... but it may also slightly complicate access for service.

We run the fans approx. 24/7 and I notice that noise more than the compressors, (which only come on depending on demand). OTOH, we also run three more counter-top fans approx. 24/7 too... so we've got lots of fan noise almost all the time.

Our units are in serviceable locations. Not sure I could identify a useful alternate location for compressors in a split system...

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Old 09-29-2014, 06:50 PM   #4
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Mine is under a seat in the saloon. It doesn't make a lot of noise.

If possible, have it installed with the pan above the waterline. That way the condensate can drain out by gravity.
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Old 09-29-2014, 07:00 PM   #5
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In my experience...the newer units have such quiet compressors...90 percent of the noise is from bad ducting work.

If not long enough with a baffle or a few turns and enough square inches of outlet...just airflow noise can be the problem.

Again the newer units are not only quieter..some are made so a sound shield can be used.

For me the big thing is...a stand alone A/C can be removed in just a few minutes and taken to any decent A/C shop for work at reasonable rates.

Everyone I know that has had A/C or refrigeration work done on their boat has paid 2X the cost of a new stand alone unit just in travel and troubleshooting charges on the old unit then the cost and install of the new unit. While I know there are better techs out there...try getting one when you need it...I'll just take my stand alone unit to the local A/C guy.
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Old 09-29-2014, 07:07 PM   #6
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What do you mean stand alone units ? The portable standup ones that vent out a window?
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Old 09-29-2014, 07:08 PM   #7
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Or just learn how to fix it. It aint rocket science.
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Old 09-29-2014, 07:09 PM   #8
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Self contained under the couch. Simple, clean, quiet and most efficient. That's mine.
19000 BTU King Air draws 14 Amps 120 vac. Can't beat it.
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Old 09-29-2014, 07:09 PM   #9
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No ...marine units that aren't split systems...
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Old 09-29-2014, 07:11 PM   #10
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Self contained are about the size of a large microwave. Everything is in that space except the water pump which is mounted in the engine room. ducting is short if you place it under a couch, return air too.
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