Comparing new and old air conditioning

Two of the largest home improvement stores include Home Depot and Lowe’s. Both of these home improvement stores offer a wide selection of appliances like refrigerators, washers, dryers, and air conditioners. I reviewed a few ductless mini split air conditioners when trying to choose the right equipment for my remodel. Both Lowe’s and Home Depot offer the same shipping and return policies. Both stores will ship the item to a local store at no cost. Both Lowe’s and the Home Depot website will allow you to search through local store directories. This feature enables the consumer to narrow the search to find something geographically local. This is a helpful feature when searching for items like ceiling fans, screwdrivers, or painting supplies. One particular store maybe out of a product, but a second store close by may have several in stock. Both of the home improvement stores offer the same free shipping policy if the order is more than a specific amount. I thought there were more reviews on the Lowes website, and the customer reports were very helpful in making my choice. If Home Depot would have placed more emphasis on customer reports, my choice might have been easier to make. I had to perform from external research before making a final decision.

I needed to focus on finding a small ductless mini split air conditioner. I didn’t want to spend more than $1,000, which was limiting my overall choices. I only found a few units at either store, under that amount. Most of the 18,000 BTU ductless mini split air conditioners were around $1,000 to $1,200. The Amvent Elite 18,000 BTU ductless mini split air conditioner from Home Depot was listed around $1,100. There was a second mini split air conditioner in the same price range. Both ductless air conditioners were around the same size, shape, and weight. Both of the ductless air conditioners were the same color and practically the same finish. I was very happy with the total square foot coverage of 800 feet. The new room is only around 650 square feet, so I knew we would have plenty of coverage with either of the choices. One of the biggest differences between these ductless mini split air conditioners was the type of air filter. The Amvent Elite ductless air conditioner has a reusable air filter and the Amvent Ramsond series has a washable air filter. Both of the mini split systems feature automatic shut-off functions, overload protection, and a sleep timer. Both ductless air conditioners are 220 volts and will likely require a dedicated breaker. I was very impressed with the warranty on the Amsend model, which was three years replacement parts and another five years on the compressor. The Seer rating on the Amsend model was also much higher, at over 20. It seemed like Home depot clearly had two good choices in our price range. Since the Amsend model was on sale, both models were practically the same price. 

I found two similar ductless air conditioners at the Lowes website. It’s hard to match brand for brand, because each store carries a few distinct brand names. I found a 12000 BTU mr. Cool Oasis ductless air conditioner and I also found an energy star ductless air 18000 BTU machine. The 18000 BTU model from Lowe’s did not offer the same features as the one listed on the Home Depot website. The warranty was also smaller at only a single year. The 18000 BTU unit from Lowe’s did not have Wi-Fi capability, and the maximum coverage area was only 750 square feet. The comparable unit from Lowe’s was only listed as a 13 seer machine, with a price tag of $300 more. After some careful reading, I quickly realized the $1,300 unit from Lowe’s included a heater. The outstanding price was nice for a heating and cooling machine, but my wife and I live in a warm tropical environment. Heating capabilities isn’t something we have to consider in our purchase. 

After a lot of careful contemplation, my wife and I decided to go with the Amvent Series 18000 BTU ductless mini split air conditioner from Home Depot. The price was right, and the unit included a do-it-yourself installation kit. My wife and I decided to order the mini split air conditioner online and have it shipped directly to a local Home Depot in our city. I didn’t want to take any chances that the item would be damaged during shipment. The UPS drivers around here don’t handle packages very carefully. Inside the box for the mini split ductless air conditioner, I found the evaporator unit, outdoor condenser, digital remote control, all of the copper wires necessary to complete the installation. I am a handy person and I have performed a lot of home repairs. My wife and I even completed most of our remodel. Still, I thought the ductless mini split air conditioner was difficult to install. I didn’t purchase the wall mounting bracket kit for our ductless mini split air conditioner, which was a huge mistake. I had to drive all the way back to the store to find something compatible, and I didn’t get to perform any research. Luckily, the local Home Depot had just the parts that I needed. 

I have to say that for a person with minimal knowledge, a lot of research is required to complete the process. I have extensive knowledge in home repairs, but I still had read through the manual several times. I also watched a few installation videos as well. I spent three days trying to figure out the installation process, and my time could have been spent on other projects. If I was going to install anything bigger than this, I would definitely contact a certified and licensed HVAC contractor. The HVAC contractor could have completed the process in half a day, and I still could have saved money by purchasing the items online. The mini split air conditioner was a great purchase for my home and it works well. It’s quiet and efficient, and it cools better than a window unit. Still, it was a beast to install without the help of a professional.

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