Hot Over the Air Unit Part Two

Last July, I wrote about the 1-room heating and air unit we installed in The Belle Writer’s Studio and the problems with it dripping water.

I finally solved that in August. Turns out the hose on the outside of the unit was clogged. I took it off, blew it out with Dale’s air compressor and we were back in business.

After having to get it charged earlier in the summer, I didn’t want to spend another $75 for a service call then and sure didn’t want to do it this winter either.

Just as the unit passed the two-year mark and ran out of warranty in December, the unit started making a very loud buzzing noise.

The buzzing wasn’t very loud at first but grew to a loud whir as the winter wore on. There were some days I thought I just might shoot the thing off of the wall.

I called our service company. The owner, who recommended this model instead of the Mitsubishi unit, came out and determined the blower motor was bad.

Yesterday, he came with his entire crew with the new motor so they could all learn how to do one together.

You see, in this rural part of Arkansas, there are a lot of small cabins and homes and he’s installed a fair number of these heating/air units.

He said he even installed one for his dad, who asked him the other day if a light buzzing sound was what mine was doing. He told his dad that the buzzing his was making was no where near what mine was sounding like. “Not yet,” I told him. Mine started out as just a little whir too.

“Yours is the first one we’ve ever had with a problem like this,” he said to me.

Well, of course it is. Just my luck.

After a few calls to the service rep and my downloading a PDF diagram for them, they finally got ‘er done.

Another $125 bill ($75 for the service call and $50 for the motor).

I wouldn’t recommend this make and model (Fujitsu, Halcyon Inverter) to anyone with a small space to heat/cool. It does make me wish we had gone with the Mitsubishi model that the local weekly newspaper publisher put in his office. They’ve had it for nearly four years and are completely satisfied.

At least this one is so quiet now that I don’t even realize it’s on, just in time for a winter storm predicted for this morning.

What do you use to heat/cool your small space?

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14 Responses

  1. I’m glad you’ve got it working again at least. Working with that buzzing noise would make me nuts!

  2. Alexandra says:

    I hate the way modern machines offer built-in obsolescence as part of the package at purchase!

  3. Sheryl says:

    We have a regular heat pump (small unit) to heat our 850 sft cabin. We’ve had issues with it working well, and after a huge water heater leak a couple of years ago, replaced the unit. The biggest challenge to living rurally is finding someone to come out and work on various items we have. Our biggest challenge was getting our Bosch hot water on demand unit repaired. It wasn’t the repair that was demanding, it was (again) finding someone who wasn’t daunted by the task.

    • Kerri says:

      Thanks for the input, Sheryl. We have trouble finding people to install and maintain certain things, like the woodburning stove, but our heat and air guy is pretty good. He’s been really good with us over this, only charging us his cost on the motor and a flat service call (rather than an hourly deal).

  4. It makes me mad that so many appliances and other products are just disposable crap, nowadays. My parents bought a Frigidaire refrigerator when they moved into their house in 1960. When they moved out of that house twenty five years later, it was still going and had never required a service call. These days it seems that manufacturers just expect us to pay for crap that will only last about a week beyond its warranty expiration date. And- to top it off, they want us to pay for an EXTENDED warranty, which basically means that the consumer must pay extra because the manufacturer is selling us crap that they are admitting will need repair after the warranty runs out. Why do I have to pay EXTRA because they sell me crap that will most likely require repairs? Why don’t they just make quality products that will last a reasonable amount of time before breaking down?

    • kerri says:

      I understand what you’re saying, Kathleen. I have a Maytag washer and dryer that are 26 years old this year and are still going strong. They’ve outlasted 2 refrigerators in 7 years here at the little house!

  5. Oh, no! That darn thing has been non-stop trouble. Frustrating for sure.

    Our space isn’t small like yours, but we use our baseboard heat (active zones only) minimally. Heat mostly in the evenings with wood. So, I also have a nice electric space heater that I use to keep my office comfy.

    It’s fine until I have to go to the bathroom or kitchen and get hit with a blast of cold air … since the rest of the house isn’t as warm as my office during the day.

    • kerri says:

      Oh, my, Roxanne. I just pictured you heading into a blast of cold air outside the office! These 1-room heaters are good, I hear, if you get the right one and don’t have more than one room to heat. I do use an oil space heater next to my desk as my feet still get cold under my desk.
      Boy, is it quiet now. I had forgotten what it WASN’T supposed to sound like!

  6. Olivia says:

    Our space isn’t nearly as small as yours but it’s a smaller house. We have a furnace that is really only used to heat the basement to 10C (about 50F) to keep the walls from (further) cracking. Upstairs we have a wood cookstove – an Austrian model – that we bought over 30 years ago. It’s very efficient as it cooks our food and also has a water jacket that keeps hot water and helps to humidify the air. The only drawback is that, like most cookstoves, it has a small firebox and requires a lot of reloading. Still – it heats the whole house.

    To help in both heating and cooling we just use fans – ceiling fans and tower fans. I have never had air conditioning in my life – but then, we are only 10 minutes from the ocean 🙂

    • kerri says:

      As you know, we heat Our Little House with a wood stove, which wouldn’t have been practical here for many reasons. The other night, when we had to let the fire go out because it got way too warm in the house, but then had to wait up for a new one to get going because we knew it would be cold by morning, I was wishing we had a central heating/cooling unit! 😉

  7. Susan says:

    Wish I had a smaller place to heat. I was checking out Rowdy Kittens plans and like the Sardine they are planning to use.