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10 Ways to Hide That Air Conditioner

Feeling boxed in designing around your mini-split air conditioner? Try one of these clever disguises and distractions Full Story
     Comment   on Sunday
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The best solutions I've seen look like a drapery pelmet that is open at the top and bottom for unobstructed venting. Do not run it all the way up to the ceiling, but leave a few inches for air flow. Make it easily removable for servicing.

These are just about the only AC solution I saw while in Australia for precisely the reason stated in the article: zone control without cooling the entire house. Maximum efficiency is achieved while also using a ceiling fan or space/stand fan that moves the cool air around the room being cooled.
July 20, 2014 at 7:57am     
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Another vote for Concealed Ducted Mini Split systems.

Fujitsu has a condenser unit that allows you to install more than the rated BTU and then if all indoor units are running at the same time, they are limited dynamically so they don't exceed the BTU limit of the outside condenser unit. It's good if you want more indoor units/zones.

With the ducted systems, you'll need short ducting runs, or you will need to build the unit into a ceiling or wall with almost no ductwork, like found in higher end hotels where the air is blown out a wall over by the door.
July 20, 2014 at 3:26pm     
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Andrew T Boyne Architect
I commented on this in a previous discussion about concealing split systems. To hide them we typically use floor mounted units and stripped the plastic cowling off to leave only the working parts. We then build them into the cabinetry. The unit draws air through the kick and blows air out the top of the cabinet through a grille. You need to maintain good air access, but if you do it correctly there is no effect on the warranty of the unit. Construction photo attached.
July 20, 2014 at 5:51pm     
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