Mini-Split Musings

Vacationing Without Our DHP

June 16, 2016

We finally treated ourselves recently to a hard-earned vacation in a very hot place, and as we eagerly climbed the steps to our new condo, dripping with sweat from 90-degree weather and 90 percent humidity (well, it felt like that), we knew that as soon as we opened the door to that unit, we’d be welcomed by a nice frigid blast of cold air from the air conditioner. But, not so! While the condo unit was lovely, the blast of air that met our sweaty faces was more like one from a furnace because the window-mounted air conditioner had been turned off to save electricity. And rightly so, as that is the correct thing to do with that type of cooling system in a place with incredibly expensive energy costs.

Through a system of running ceiling fans and the AC; and, later, taking advantage of the lovely, cool afternoon breezes, we were soon able to get to a comfortable temperature. However, window-mounted air conditioners are very noisy. Did you know that the average window mounted air conditioner emits sound at the equivalent decibel level of two people having a loud conversation in a small room? For light sleepers like us, falling asleep with any noise can be difficult. We required several hours of recovery sleep on the beach during the day!

Of course, we were grateful for any air conditioning anywhere (not to mention a vacation!), but we often thought wistfully of our lovely ductless heat pump mini-split back home that we knew was humming along so quietly and consistently, putting out cool, even temperatures ALL day long at half the energy cost for the comfort of our house sitters. No backup ceiling fans necessary. Good little DHP… we love you!

Mini-splits are showing up in many of the commercial establishments where we vacationed. We encountered two in a coffee shop, with the barista looking frantically for the remote to turn them on! Somehow, the last server had left it in a mysterious place the night before and it was lost! Boy, was it cooking in there! We noticed DHPsin restaurants, stores and art galleries. We love DHPs so much, we took pictures of them all…that started a few conversations!

So, it was encouraging to see the familiar Ductless Heat Pump outdoor and indoor units scattered around, in addition to a huge amount of solar panels on homes, thanks to a recent local government rebate program. The local residents are concerned both by rising energy costs, energy-efficiency and having clean energy available. It would be great to have the condo-owners follow suit and install DHPs with solar panels, too. Someday soon?!

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