Outdoor Split in Northeast?

Discussion in 'Geothermal Heat Pump Applications' started by LongshoreGeo, Dec 22, 2012.

  1. LongshoreGeo

    LongshoreGeo New Member

    I have a client that is considering installing a CM 2-ton outdoor split system to save space inside very small mechanical closet. This is a house on the water along the south shore of Long Island that was damaged in the storm, so we are pretty much starting from scratch. Does anyone have experience installing outdoor splits in this climate / setting? Any thoughts?
  2. waterpirate

    waterpirate Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    We are seeing a fair number of them installed here. Prolly done 10 jobs in the last year with them. so far no problems. I am not a fan of the built in pump setup, however we just installed our first CM indoor unit with included circ pump, and it was a dream.
  3. LongshoreGeo

    LongshoreGeo New Member

    Hi Eric, thanks for the reply. In your opinion what are the potential negatives / positives of an outdoor split vs a package unit? I am a little concerned with the outdoor unit sitting in a salt environment (this house is on the water). The plan would be to elevate the outdoor unit on a platform to avoid flood waters. Do you think having the unit in unconditioned space will effect efficiency at all? Did the outdoor units you installed have the built in circulator pump? If not, how did you handle circulator pump placement?
  4. engineer

    engineer Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    Package units are generally simpler and offer higher efficiency, but they don't offer the design flexibility of a split system, and in some applications, compressor noise and vibration are significant concerns. My last beachfront project had mechanical closet on second floor above the master suite, so I elected not to risk objectionable noise or vibration.

    That said, I would strive to avoid locating the compressor section outside on the beach. Doing so removes a major advantage of geo over air source - avoiding corrosion. While a cased water source unit would be less vulnerable than an air source outdoor section, I'd look for a semi-conditioned alternative such as shelving it in a garage or utility room. Freeze protection of the loop pump might be needed as well.

    As to efficiency, (without bothering to review extended specification tables) I would expect that the jump from package to split would cost about 10% of efficiency, depending on lineset length (although some or all of that might be gained back via more favorable duct layout and reduced blower wattage). Having the compressor section outdoors might sap another 10% of efficiency, owing to heat loss but that is conjecture.

    Above all, don't create a service or airflow nightmare.
  5. waterpirate

    waterpirate Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    We have two distinct reasons for installing the outdoor split here.

    1. Retro fit and there is just no place to put the unit inside, period.

    2. contractors that just do not know anybetter.

    3. for a while there, it was what the supply houses were pushing untill the new CM unit got up to speed.

    As Curt said, installing any equip outside where it see's salt water & air is a definate deterant. A lot of geo gets sold here on that fact alone. There is a waterfront development here that see's air to air compressor changeouts on a by yearly basis. That same development paints exteriors yearly, most have switched to natural cedar shakes, due to the blowing sand/blasting.

    The outdoor splits from CM have a built in pump module, I am not that big of a fan, but they work well enough.

    Hope this helps and Mery Christmas.
  6. AMI Contracting

    AMI Contracting A nice Van Morrison song Industry Professional Forum Leader

    Amongst the disadvantages for an outdoor split are service-ability in the winter. It is decidedly disadvantageous to your bill if I have to employ a snow shovel to get to the patient. It also takes longer to trouble shoot/repair in gloves.
    Salt water will impact equipment but not as badly as airsource equipment that literally pulls air to it.

    I do not offer outdoor splits because I don't like working outside in the winter. I've already been frost-bitten to restore someones heat and don't care to repeat the process.
  7. Mark Custis

    Mark Custis Not soon. Industry Professional Forum Leader

    I hate frost bite.

  8. LongshoreGeo

    LongshoreGeo New Member

    Thanks for all the feedback, this is good stuff. Merry Christmas
  9. LongshoreGeo

    LongshoreGeo New Member

    Hi guys, I just wanted to follow back with you on this project. Homeowner is currently working on paperwork/permits to raise the house to void further floods but we went ahead with the geo install now. Homeowner built a temporary extension on the utility room to accommodate a package unit. We went with a 3 ton CM Tranq 30 and a LP tank less DHW unit. Old system was LP forced hot air. Four months after Hurricane Sandy and our area is starting to rise up GREEN.
    bergen loops.jpg
  10. Palace GeoThermal

    Palace GeoThermal Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader


    Just curious how deep can they drill for the loops with the auger rig?
  11. LongshoreGeo

    LongshoreGeo New Member

    We drilled 100 ft loops with hollow stem augers and were pretty efficient with this machine. it's not unheard of to drill to 200+ with augers out here, but this typically requires larger rigs with more torque. We have beautiful sand and gravel on the south shore of Long Island.
  12. Palace GeoThermal

    Palace GeoThermal Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    Do you run the loop down inside the auger?
  13. LongshoreGeo

    LongshoreGeo New Member

    yes sir, we run an expendable plug in the bottom of the hollow stem augers which we push out when we get to depth.

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