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Case Studies

Mar 27, 2024 11:41:46 AM by Lauren Mangano

Long-Time Customer in Ambler Replaces Unico High-Velocity and Heat Pump System

PROBLEM: Our long-time customer was ready to replace his high-velocity air conditioning system that we installed 20 years ago. The AC still worked, but it did not provide the efficiency, zoning, and quiet comfort that he was looking for.

SOLUTION: ECI installed a zoned high-velocity system with an inverter Bosch heat pump. The new system will provide both heating and cooling to three different zones throughout the home, ensuring even temperature control and energy savings. The quieter heat pump will not only enhance comfort but also contribute to significant oil savings for our customer.


Unico high velocity and bosch inverter heat pump installation in Ambler, PATwo Decades of Comfort With Unico High-Velocity AC

About 20 years ago, our customer in Ambler, Pa. was in search of a way to keep his house cool. His 1940's stone home exuded history and charm but provided a challenge when it came to traditional HVAC systems. We knew that a high-velocity air conditioning system would be the perfect cooling solution alongside the oil boiler and radiator system that he used for heat.

Fast forward to 2024, and Bob was ready to replace his high-velocity system. The AC still worked, but it did not provide the efficiency, zoning, and quiet comfort that he was looking for. The original single-zone air conditioning system, which controlled the entire house with one thermostat, was no longer meeting our customer's evolving home needs. Variations in heating load across different areas of the home became apparent, especially with the addition not sharing the same stone construction as the original house, leading to distinct heating and cooling dynamics.

Bob was also experiencing hot and cold spots throughout the house and noticed that the single-zone system was causing them to waste energy by cooling rooms that were unoccupied. He was also interested in increased energy efficiency and wanted to take advantage of newer technology. 

Upgrading With a Zoned Unico High-Velocity System

Zoning for temperature control and energy savings

Zoning refers to the practice of dividing a home into multiple areas, each with its independent temperature control. This allows occupants to customize the climate in specific regions of the house based on individual preferences or usage patterns. For Bob, it made sense to take advantage of zoning and stop wasting energy in unused rooms. With the Unico High-Velocity system, we were able to separate the first floor, second floor, and master bedroom addition from one another. 

Two-stage compressor for efficiency

Moreover, Bob's original air conditioning system from 20 years ago was single-stage, meaning the compressor operated at one fixed speed -- typically at high capacity. When the indoor temperature rises above the thermostat setting, a single-stage system kicks in at full capacity to cool the space.

This time around, he opted for a two-stage system, which means that the compressor can operate at two different speeds -- high and low. During mild weather conditions or when the cooling demand isn't as high, the compressor runs at a lower capacity (low speed). When the temperature rises significantly or during peak cooling demand, the system switches to high speed for more intense cooling. Two-stage systems offer more precise temperature control and can operate more efficiently as they adjust their output based on the actual cooling needs. They also tend to be quieter and provide better humidity control compared to single-stage systems.

More benefits of Unico high-velocity

The Unico High-Velocity System offers many benefits that set it apart in the realm of HVAC systems. Its compact design allows for easy installation in both new constructions and existing homes without extensive renovation. The system's high-velocity airflow ensures rapid and even distribution of conditioned air throughout the space, eliminating hot and cold spots for unparalleled comfort. Its ability to remove up to 30% more humidity from the air compared to conventional systems not only enhances comfort but also promotes better indoor air quality by reducing mold and allergen growth. It will also be easier to change the filter in the new air handler, making it less complicated for our technicians during Bob's annual air conditioning tune-ups.Why Unico High Velocity is Ideal for Older Homes

Check out Part 1 of the installation where we show you the new zoned high-velocity system, efficient heat pump, and more:

Enhanced Comfort With a Bosch Inverter Heat Pump

Fully-modulating inverter for quiet comfort

Similar to the two-stage air handler, inverter technology allows the compressor in the heat pump to operate at variable speeds rather than just being either on or off. By modulating its operation, the heat pump can maintain more precise temperature control and operate more efficiently than traditional fixed-speed systems.

"Fully modulating" refers to the ability of the heat pump to modulate not just the compressor but also other components such as the fan and the expansion valve. This comprehensive modulation enables the system to fine-tune its performance even further, matching the exact heating or cooling requirements of our customer's home at any given moment.

Both of these aspects make this one of the quietest and most compact air-to-air systems
with outdoor sound levels as low as 56 dBA. "It's night and day," Bob said when comparing the new heat pump to his old air conditioner. "You don't even know it's there." And, it gets even better with a 10-year Residential Limited Warranty!

Using less oil with a heat pump

Not only will the heat pump work with the high-velocity system to provide cooling, but it can also reverse its function to provide heat. Utilizing electric heat has significantly reduced Bob's reliance on oil for heating. "Our energy usage in total definitely shows the efficiency of the system," he told us.  By transitioning to a heat pump system, he can significantly reduce his carbon footprint and contribute to a cleaner, more sustainable future.

Not only will our homeowner "go green", but he will also "save green"! Unlike traditional boilers that burn fossil fuels to generate heat, heat pumps transfer heat from the outdoor air to warm indoor spaces. This process requires significantly less energy, allowing homeowners to reduce energy consumption which results in lower utility bills. Furthermore, heat pumps typically require less maintenance than boilers, adding to Bob's long-term savings.

Of course, if Bob needs extra heat on the coldest days, he can still turn to his oil boiler and radiators for that extra kick of warmth.

Indoor Air Quality and Smart Home Additions

Air scrubber for increased indoor air quality

Another important addition was the Air Scrubber Plus with Ozone. The air scrubber attaches right to the ductwork and works to kill viruses, reduce allergies, reduce odors, and keep surfaces clean. By eliminating both airborne and surface contaminants, our homeowner and his family will enjoy increased indoor air quality and stay healthy year-round. Bob explained the noticeable difference after having the air scrubber installed: "If you ever look on a sunny day and you look across the room and you see floaty, dusty things in the air, that just doesn't exist in the house anymore. We see and sense that the air quality is really improved."

Nest smart thermostats

The Nest smart thermostat is the perfect addition to Bob's home comfort with its intuitive controls, remote access, and energy-saving capabilities. Its adaptive learning system creates personalized schedules, optimizing energy usage and saving costs. Nest's integration with other smart home devices also ensures seamless automation and coordination, further enhancing convenience and control. Each thermostat was linked to the new zones and were tied to the boiler's zoning system too, allowing for maximum heating and cooling control throughout the house.

Final Thoughts

We are grateful that Bob has chosen us as his trusted HVAC contractor for the last 20 years. With his new and improved high-velocity system, he can remain comfortable and save money for years to come. We can only hope he chooses us for his next upgrade in another two decades😉 We'll leave you with his thoughts on the project:

"The other comment I would just like to highlight is the level of responsiveness of ECI, the level of professionalism of every service tech that's ever walked in here, the attention to cleanliness and just making sure that everything was buttoned up. From when you first came here 20 years ago...there's people in here from ECI in booties today. And it's just really great to see that that level of care and standards that the company keeps. "

Check out Part 2 as we chat with the homeowner about his experience with the new system and his honest review:

If you're looking to upgrade your home comfort system, click below or give us a call today!

ECI Comfort specializes in installing Unico High-Velocity heating and air conditioning. To learn more or schedule your free consultation, click below!

Schedule Your Free High Velocity Consultation


This entry was posted in Stone Home, Heat Pump, Montgomery County, Indoor Air Quality, Zoning, Unico High Velocity, Aerus Air Scrubber, High-Efficiency, Google Nest, Smart Thermostat, Ambler, PA