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Case Studies

May 17, 2023 2:29:23 PM by Logan Donahue

Daikin Ductless Replaces Window AC units in Roxborough Rowhome

Problem: A Roxborough homeowner was tired of dragging window air conditioners out of storage every spring, then watching her electric bill skyrocket in the summer.

Solution: Installed a four-zone Daikin ductless heating and cooling system. Now she has energy-efficient cooling all summer at the touch of a button.

A couple years ago, our homeowner in Roxborough called us just as the springtime hit. She was dreading dragging window air conditioners out of storage, cleaning them, and hoisting them into windows. Our homeowner’s electric bill would almost double once they were running. Then she’d have trouble hearing the TV or talking on the phone. The ACs drowned them out. Not to mention the little comfort those air conditioners gave her on those hot, humid city days. After coming across ECI and reading about Daikin ductless heating and cooling systems in our blog,  she called ECI Comfort.

Daikin Ductless Vs. Window Air Conditioners

Window air conditioners have been a long-time solution when you have one room that’s always too hot. It is also a solution for homes that don't have ductwork and their fans don’t do the trick. The one thing window units had going for them was portability: As long as you had a place to put them, you’d plug them in and turn them on. They’re cheap enough that you could buy one for each room. Since every window AC has its own controls, each room could be a different temperature — great for people who, for instance, like their bedrooms chillier than a living room. But, there are those downsides: The noise. The huge electric bills. And the hassle of packing and unpacking them.

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Daikin ductless hits just about all these points but without those problems. A mini split uses one heat pump outside to provide cool air. An air handler is installed in each room you want to treat. Daikin ductless heating and cooling does the job better, quieter, and for less money. Mini splits are permanent installations, and the air handlers mount on the wall or in the ceiling. So, you don’t lose sunlight, and you don’t need to store them.

These systems also exceptionally quiet: Even at full blast, you’ll barely hear them unless it’s completely silent, and you’re standing right next to an air handler. And, each indoor unit has a thermostat so that you can set each room individually. They also use a fraction of the energy that central or window units require. So, you’ll save money in the long run.

There are ways to cut down the initial investment, which we’ll review in this case study.

Ductless Mini Split Installation in a Philly Row Home

Even with a Philly row home, our homeowner had no problem getting the ductless system she wanted for her home. Since these systems need so little room, installation was a breeze.

We grouped all four air handlers along one side of the house. This way, we could connect them all with one lineset. Since those indoor units do an amazing job of circulating the air, we tucked each one away in a high corner of the room, as out of sight as possible.

The only hitch was not running the lines through the walls. Since our homeowner’s attached on either side, there’s nothing but cinderblock there. That’s why homes like this didn’t have ductwork in the first place. The lines are narrow enough to group them in a line-hide that’s the same color as the wall. Next, we followed the contours of our homeowner’s back porch, so those lines blend with the shape of the house.

Our service technicians found a really nice way to hide the heat pump: the back of the house had a little cove that people used to use for their trash cans. It’s been decades since Philly sent trash trucks down the alleyways, so our homeowner kept her trash cans in the front of the house. So, we tucked the heat pump in there. Since it uses a side discharge, it doesn’t need the overhead clearance a conventional central air condenser requires.

Supplemental Heat in the Fall and Spring

Now, our homeowner is ready for summer — and fall and spring. The system also provides heating for when you just need a little bit of warmth. Row homes retain heat, so you don’t need your heater until winter hits. But, that doesn’t mean you don’t get chilly — and tempted to fire up the furnace before the steady cold temps kick in.

With all the wild temperature swings, our homeowner knows she’ll end up with a few random chilly days. Now, it’s no problem if she wants to turn on a little bit of heat. Since the heat pump uses a tiny amount of electricity to work, our homeowners uses the mini split for a little warmth until it’s cold enough to really need her gas heat. It makes almost no difference on her bill, so she can turn it on and off for a day or two as she needs it.

Our homeowner weighed the idea of investing in a model that could handle sub-zero temperatures. But, since her home stayed pretty warm with gas, she opted to focus on cooling with a little supplemental heat.

Saving Money With Rebates and Tax Credits

We mentioned that potentially high sticker price earlier — but that’s not what our homeowner ended up paying. Instead, she used offers through PECO, Daikin directly, and even the federal government to bring down that cost. First, we provided our homeowner with all the paperwork she needed to apply for rebates from the PECO Smart Energy program and the manufacturer. These knocked almost $1,000 off the price.

Then, our homeowner filled out IRS form 5695. She’ll get a credit for installing energy-efficient HVAC equipment in her home when she files that with her taxes. ECI Comfort also offers financing through Wells Fargo and Synchrony

She enjoyed summer with her home cooler, quieter, and less costly than ever before. Are you ready to upgrade your home with state-of-the-art heating and cooling? Fill out the form below for a free consultation and get started finding the perfect system for your home. 

Contact ECI Comfort

If you live in the Delaware Valley/Greater Philadelphia area and would like to find comfort within your home, visit our website or give us a call at 215 - 245 - 3200  to learn more.


This entry was posted in AC window units, Rebates, Rowhomes, Air Conditioning, Philadelphia, PA, Row & Townhome Style Homes, Throwback Thursday, Daikin, Roxborough, Philadelphia