If you have been to our home page, you may have read that we are “brand neutral”. That’s still true — we don’t accept payment to write about products. Now and then, though, we see an AC or heating product or category we deem to be worth writing about. Our blog today describes ways to get many “zones” of heating or cooling — from one piece of outdoor equipment. I first read about this technology in a monthly HVAC trade journal I subscribe to. After watching it get installed in a house in my neighborhood — that an architect was building for himself — I decided to look into it further.
We’ll focus on technology from manufacturer Fujitsu today. If there is enough interest, I will follow this up with another post on a different brand that lists similar features. For those of you who can’t have a new, more energy-efficient system installed, in the later post, we’ll list some alternative ways to get an additional zone — from your existing ductwork and AC heating equipment.
The problem: hot or cold spots
In the summer, is your upstairs always hotter than your downstairs? Or the reverse in the winter…are you always cold downstairs, no matter how you set the thermostat? Do you get into thermostat wars with others in your home or office?
Inverter technology features and benefits
- Fujitsu calls their system the Halcyon Hybrid Flex Inverter (HFI) System
- More ways to adjust comfort. Allows 2 to 8 indoor units to be connected to one outdoor unit
- Indoor units vary by size and style. Each unit creates its own “zone” of temperature control, allowing you to heat or cool individual rooms, hallways and open spaces
- You can set up to 8 different temperatures as needed — no more struggles over thermostat settings. Also, one group control can control all 8 zones
- Provides both heating and cooling for year round comfort in many climates. A button on the remote control allows you to switch from heating to cooling (or vice versa) automatically
More comfort and low utility bills
- Don’t pay to heat or cool rooms no one is in – you only have to heat or cool the rooms you are using
- Inverter technology regulates the compressor speed to optimum energy usage. This produces higher performance with less power consumption
- HFI has high efficiency ratings — up to 17 SEER on AC — lower monthly energy consumption and bills. Heat pumps have similar high efficiency HSPF and EER
One line fits a wide variety of situations
- Fujitsu’s HFI line comes in a variety of sizes and indoor unit styles — from 7,000 Btu to 24,000 Btu indoors; and 18,000, 24,000, 36,000 or 48,000 Btu outdoors
- Long piping lengths- up to 230 feet – increase installation options.
- Indoor models are available in three types:
Wall Mounted, which mount high on the wall
Slim Duct, which is concealed in the ceiling and has the look of central air
Compact Cassette, which fits into a drop ceiling with just the outer grille showing.
- Quiet operation – less likely to wake you up during the night
- Wall Mounted models include a wireless remote control
- Slim Duct and Compact Cassettes come with a wired remote control that is mounted to the wall
- HFI systems provide dehumidification, even when cooling isn’t needed.
- Additionally, you can set timers: 24-hour timer and sleep timer – for your convenience.
Two of the most important features in all heating and AC equipment are a- to get the proper equipment for your climate and structure, and b- to have it professionally installed. For example, heat pumps are often not well suited to be the primary heat source in extremely cold climates. To learn more about these products, contact your local heating and AC service company. If you don’t have one, use the tools on our website to pick one. You can also contact the manufacturer Fujistu here .
If you have experience you would like to share, either as an home or building owner or a company who has installed these units, send your comments and we’ll post them.