Air conditioners....what brand?

beeza

Silver
Nov 2, 2006
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My LG split AC unit has finally given up the ghost.

It looks like my proximity to the ocean has taken it's toll on the outside compressor. When the technician opened it up to have a look I was amazed to see that it actually still works. It is nothing but a pile of rust.

So I am in the market for a replacement. I inquired in Plaza Lama, thinking that LG is still the brand to go for. An 18000BTU sells at RS$30,000 plus RS$1500 for installation at my home in Cabarete. If they install it, they offer a two year guarantee.

My questions are, what other brands are recommended here? How does Plaza Lama's price compare with others? Is it worth paying the premium for a brand like LG?
 
Nov 25, 2008
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Trane is a good option, your problem is the ocean salt, check in the WWW to see if theirs a spray coat paint that can give you a couple extra years on the compressor, also try moving it to another location if its in direct contact from the ocean wind
 

Robert

Stay Frosty!
Jan 2, 1999
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dr1.com
We use Mitsubishi splits (Mr. Slims) in the office, great AC units.
Make sure you size it correctly, local companies have a habit of over sizing.

Sizing: Air conditioner sizing worksheet

For AC units we use MPG here in Santo Domingo. They are a "real" AC company. This is not the crap you buy in Plaza Lama etc. They know their business and do great work, 5 year guarantee, so they are not the cheapest.

Website: Aire acondicionado Mitsubishi, instalacion, mantenimiento, repuestos, republica dominicana
Email: gerencia@mpg-aire.com
Owner: Miguel Paiewonsky (speaks English)

If your worried about corrosion, get the compressor coated with "Thermoguard" a local company called "Reefer Services" offers this service.

Reefer Services
Tel: (809) 539 6122

Thermoguard
 

amparocorp

Bronze
Aug 11, 2002
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has anybody seen those new "picture frame" split units in the DR? instead of an ugly long box on the wall blowing cool air you have a framed picture,(your choice of photo or artwork) that opens up at an angle when in use. i know LG makes one but it is only 12000 btu, i am looking for the same design but a little more powerful......the 12000 can be had on the internet for 650$ US in the states..
 
Feb 7, 2007
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Also, check the kw consumption .... with the power bill going up, you should also consider power efficiency. LGs are known for being "power lean".
 

Danny W

Bronze
Mar 1, 2003
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I am about to buy 3 units for my house in Sosua. The wiring is in, but I would like to work with a specialist or a store with real expertise. Any recommendations?
 

beeza

Silver
Nov 2, 2006
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237
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I'll let you know Danny.

Took the plunge and went for TGM, an American brand which I bought in Refripartes in POP. The 18,000BTU complete system cost me 25,000pesos and I bought a separate 12,000BTU condenser for my corroded LG one. This one had a plastic case, ideal for the coast. This was the outdoor unit only and cost 13,000pesos. They offer 12 months guarantee.

I'm having them installed by a technician called Peter who works for Freddy Multiservice in Sosua. Let's hope he does a good job so I can recommend him.
 

J D Sauser

Silver
Nov 20, 2004
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www.hispanosuizainvest.com
We use Mitsubishi splits (Mr. Slims) in the office, great AC units.
Mitsubishi is one of the best brands (if not recognized as THE best) for SPLIT AC units. They are expensive too. I can not give an opinion about their resistance to salty air but I can tell you that we had many installed on the Mediterranean coast and never had any rust away. However, this is the DR, everything seems to be different.

Many if the "cheap-o" bands peddled around here are effectively using the same internal parts. If you see something, check with a local AC store (the ones who fix them) to see if they know it and may feel comfortable servicing it someday.

Also, plan ahead to protect your investment with a steel cage with a serious look on it... these pups are quite desirable items and tend to grow legs over night.

... J-D.
 

Danny W

Bronze
Mar 1, 2003
999
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I'll let you know Danny.

Took the plunge and went for TGM, an American brand which I bought in Refripartes in POP. The 18,000BTU complete system cost me 25,000pesos and I bought a separate 12,000BTU condenser for my corroded LG one. This one had a plastic case, ideal for the coast. This was the outdoor unit only and cost 13,000pesos. They offer 12 months guarantee.

I'm having them installed by a technician called Peter who works for Freddy Multiservice in Sosua. Let's hope he does a good job so I can recommend him.
I had never heard of Refripartes, but apparently they are a large company. Do they have reasonable prices and a large selection? It appears that they do. - D
 

b.batista

New member
Feb 21, 2008
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I had never heard of Refripartes, but apparently they are a large company. Do they have reasonable prices and a large selection? It appears that they do. - D
They are excellent and they have good prices and very good installation service.
 
Feb 7, 2007
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I prefer consumption (EER) over prices. In the long run you're better off buying more expensive efficient unit than cheap inefficient unit.
 

Danny W

Bronze
Mar 1, 2003
999
12
0
I'll let you know Danny.

Took the plunge and went for TGM, an American brand which I bought in Refripartes in POP. The 18,000BTU complete system cost me 25,000pesos and I bought a separate 12,000BTU condenser for my corroded LG one. This one had a plastic case, ideal for the coast. This was the outdoor unit only and cost 13,000pesos. They offer 12 months guarantee.

I'm having them installed by a technician called Peter who works for Freddy Multiservice in Sosua. Let's hope he does a good job so I can recommend him.
I looked for information on TGM air conditioners, but almost nothing was available. Who are they? - D
 

beeza

Silver
Nov 2, 2006
3,138
237
63
The kit is installed and I must say I'm very pleased with the result.

The 18,000BTU unit cools my bedroom very quickly and quietly. I reckon it will cost less to run than my old 12,000 unit. It's a bit like comparing some cars with bigger engines can actually be more economical than than the same model with the smaller engine.

As I mentioned before, the 12,000BTU condenser unit has a plastic case. Well worth the extra 2,000 pesos if you live near the sea. No more rusty cases. My five year old LG unit just crumbled apart when we removed it! I also mounted these new units on brackets on the wall. My old unit rusted from the ground up and then became a home for rats. I did wonder what the squeaking was when I first turned it on this summer!

So I can recommend Refripartes in POP for the kit and Peter from Freddy Multiservice for the installation. Even though he didn't show up on the day of the appointment, but you get used to that living in this country, don't you! To book an installation call in at the shop and see Freddy or phone on 809 571 1451.
 

Danny W

Bronze
Mar 1, 2003
999
12
0
Yes, I saw that, but besides that, TGM seems to have no persence on the web or at US retail...nothing. Their brochure doesn't even list their address or contact info. How can a company with so many products be so invisible?

But you do seem pleased, and that's what counts. 3 questions:
1. Is the unit quiet?
2. Does it have a function where it turns off completely when it reaches the desired temp? (in my window units they call it the economy setting)
3. Some people say that when a unit is slightly oversized that it does not run long enough to properly dehumidify the area. Is that a non issue for you.

Thanks for all your helpful info.
-D
 

Robert

Stay Frosty!
Jan 2, 1999
20,575
326
83
dr1.com
The 18,000BTU unit cools my bedroom very quickly and quietly. I reckon it will cost less to run than my old 12,000 unit. It's a bit like comparing some cars with bigger engines can actually be more economical than than the same model with the smaller engine.
Most well trained or experienced HVAC engineers will undersize by as much as 15% as they are more efficient and more effective at removing moisture (humidity) from the air. Oversized installs (very common here) keep the compressor cycling on and off too many times, so the recycled air does not have time to contact the cold coil. The more moisture you can remove from the air, the better you will feel and the more efficient the AC unit. Ideally the compressor should be on for 15-20 mins, this is a good cycling time.

We had a so called "very experienced" local HVAC engineer come to our office and tell us we needed a 3 ton (36,000 BTU's) unit. This was without taking any measurements or asking how many people use the office, type of insulation, window surface area etc etc. When I challenged him, he told me that he has done hundreds of installs and this is the size that's needed. I told him to get the F%@! out of the office, to the embarrassment of the architect that recommended him.

We ended up installing a 15,000 BTU unit and it works very well, very efficient and low power consumption.

Consumer reports have a good sizing calculator.

Air conditioner sizing worksheet
 

Danny W

Bronze
Mar 1, 2003
999
12
0
Most well trained or experienced HVAC engineers will undersize by as much as 15% as they are more efficient and more effective at removing moisture (humidity) from the air. Oversized installs (very common here) keep the compressor cycling on and off too many times, so the recycled air does not have time to contact the cold coil. The more moisture you can remove from the air, the better you will feel and the more efficient the AC unit. Ideally the compressor should be on for 15-20 mins, this is a good cycling time.

We had a so called "very experienced" local HVAC engineer come to our office and tell us we needed a 3 ton (36,000 BTU's) unit. This was without taking any measurements or asking how many people use the office, type of insulation, window surface area etc etc. When I challenged him, he told me that he has done hundreds of installs and this is the size that's needed. I told him to get the F%@! out of the office, to the embarrassment of the architect that recommended him.

We ended up installing a 15,000 BTU unit and it works very well, very efficient and low power consumption.

Consumer reports have a good sizing calculator.

Air conditioner sizing worksheet
In my case I will be buying 3 splits. According to sizing charts, I should be buying 7,000 and 14,000 btu untis. Unfortunately, the smallest splits made by TGM and Mitsubishi are 9,000 btu and they jump from 12,000 to 18,000 (if I remember correctly). So I think I have no choice but to oversize. Correct?