Mini-Split Musings

Utility Bills Lowered with Ductless

March 29, 2017

Relief from Heating Bills

At the beginning of March, we launched a big project in Kent updating 18 duplex units with Fujitsu ductless WiFi-enabled single-zone units. Soon, some lucky tenants will be getting much needed relief on their monthly utility bills. Prior to this update, each of the 1,050 square foot units was heated by electric baseboard heat. Those of us who have experienced this type of heat know how uncomfortable, expensive and inefficient it is. For these tenants, heating bills sometimes exceeded $200 a month per unit! Because many tenants struggled with paying their monthly heating bills, the management decided that updating the heating system was the right thing to do.

Remote Access

The management company did have one requirement: They wanted to be able to remotely monitor and control the new systems; while allowing the tenants remote control capabilities. Enter the new Fujitsu WiFi-enabled RLS3Y indoor units. 

Wall-mounted Fujitsu RLS3 indoor unit
WiFi Screen Display

Many systems from other manufacturers allow for add-ons to their systems, such as components that will allow for interface with mobile devices, but Fujitsu’s single zone units have WiFi capability built right in. This technology also allows for remote access by the contractor to complete diagnostics and determine what type of repair may be needed. The advantage of this is it eliminates the need for tenant or homeowner to stay home from work to let in a technician to do the initial assessment...this can now be done remotely. For the contractor, this is a real time- and labor-saver. And, it's more convenient for the resident.

Air Conditioning, too

At first, the management company was skeptical about the system’s ability to heat the whole house, including back bedrooms. But after the first  Ductless unit was installed and working, it was obvious that the units would meet the heating requirements. And, while I’ve focused on heating the units, another big advantage to tenants is that the ductless units also provide Air Conditioning. I don’t know about you, but there are a few days in August and September, and random other days, that switching easily to AC with a remote control is a big bonus.

Good for All

The best part? The tenants who struggled to pay their utility bills will now enjoy a 40 to 50 percent reduction in their monthly bills. And, the management company expects to increase their property value; they are now able to offer Air Conditioning, helping them to be more competitive in the rental industry. Clearly, there are benefits to both groups.

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