Hot Over the Air Unit
This is the unsettling noise I heard in my office the other day. I got up and checked the bathroom as the toilet has been known to run lately if I don’t jiggle the handle.
I couldn’t find the source of the water there.
I turned down the radio and finally traced the sound to the 1-room wall mounted heating and cooling unit we installed when we built The Belle Writer’s Studio.
About 20 months after the unit was installed and my 320-square foot office was finished, I’m not a fan of the unit.
When we built the studio, I knew I would need climate control to work comfortably. I didn’t want the noise of a window air unit as we have in Our Little House, nor did I want to block the beautiful view. Afterall, I spent extra money installing huge windows so I could see the beauty of the woods while I worked.
I also didn’t want a wood burning stove as we have in the house. I love the deep heat our stove provides, but it is quite labor intensive to chop, split and season enough wood for winters in the house, let alone having enough to heat the office.
As well, the office is sometimes where guests stay when they come to visit and most of our city friends and family don’t want to play pioneer stoking a fire to stay warm all night, if only for a weekend.
The owners of the local county newspaper here had one of these 1-room systems put in and our builder said they were happy with the unit. I called them and they seemed satisfied.
They installed the Mitsubishi unit, however, and we decided to go with the Fujitsu model. For some reason I don’t remember, our builder and the heating/cooling guy made the recommendation for this model and bonus, it was cheaper.
It seemed like a logical choice as the unit functions like a heat pump in the winter and central air unit in the summer. It’s efficient and doesn’t cost a lot to run.
For the first year, it worked pretty well. I then had some problems with it heating effectively last winter. It seems the filter needs cleaning about once a month, problem solved.
This summer, though, it quit cooling altogether. I pulled out the manual and tried all of the troubleshooting it suggested. Two days without air and $75 for the service call, I was told it was low on coolant. Our heating/cooling guy didn’t think it had a leak, but couldn’t explain why a unit that was only 18 months old would need coolant already.
Dale says these units don’t come charged and they probably didn’t charge it properly when it was installed because it was winter.
Whatever the reason, I let the owner of the company know I wasn’t too happy putting money into a unit less than 2 years old. He only charged me for the service call, not the coolant.
This week, the dripping began.
“If the unit is used for long periods under high humidity conditions, condensation may form on the surface of the indoor unit, and drip onto the floor or other objects underneath,” reads the manual.
Lovely. At least it is still cooling in this brutal heat.
If you live in a small space, how do you heat/cool?