Our condo owners in Schaumburg, IL, were in desperate need of an HVAC upgrade. Their natural gas heater was all wrong for their suburban condo. They needed a ductless air conditioning and heating system.
They called Compass Heating & Air after reading our excellent customer reviews for homes and condos in the Fox River Valley and Chicagoland. In particular, we have plenty of experience in homes and condos like theirs in Hoffman Estates, Elgin, and Arlington Heights.
It was easy to see why our homeowners weren’t happy. When we fired up the heater, it was really loud. That’s especially frustrating since it’s a four-story condo. There’s no escaping the sound.
And, the unit was not energy-efficient. It used a lot more gas to do the job than other heaters. In fact, the company that made it discontinued this model.
A mini-split system would cover the entire condo. We could get rid of that big clunky unit. In its place would be a small heat pump and a few panels on the walls.
This is quieter and less expensive to run than what they had. And, the entire place would finally stay at the temperature the owners wanted, no matter what the season.
Problem: A condominium resident in Schaumburg, IL wanted to get rid of their natural gas heater. They had a unit for heating and cooling installed in a closet. It was very loud, it took up a lot of space, and it didn’t heat or cool the condo properly.
Solution: Installed a hyper-heat multi-zone ductless heat and air conditioning system, or mini-split. It’s quieter, offers better heating and cooling, and costs less to run. Our homeowners can also now use the closet where they used to have their old heater.
A big problem our condo owners had was space. Their gas heater took up an entire closet! Not so much with their new ductless heat and air conditioning setup. Now, they get that square footage back.
Each part of the mini-split is pretty small. First, there’s the heat pump. It provides the heating or cooled air. It sits outside the house, kind of like the condenser for central air.
Here, we installed it out on their patio. It’s only a few feet tall and less than a foot thick. So, they still have plenty of room outside.
That opened up a whole bunch of space inside the condo. Next, we have the panels or air handlers.
These distribute the air throughout the place. And, they stay out of sight and out of mind. They’re made to mount high up on a wall. That keeps them out of sight.
We only needed two for this condo. The first one is in the living room. The other is in the bedroom. We lined them up with the tops of windows to make them even less noticeable.
Connecting the pump to the panels is easy, too. We use flexible plastic tubing. The air flows smoothly through it. It runs through the walls, so it doesn’t take up any extra space.
And, it connects to the back of each panel. This way, you never actually see it.
This setup creates zoned HVAC. That means you can control the climate in each room separately.
Every panel has a thermostat on it. That’s different from having one thermostat for a central system. That’s a big difference when it comes to comfort and cost.
A ductless air conditioning and heat system has a bunch of great benefits:
Let’s continue talking about customization. Uneven heating is a common problem. That’s when the upstairs rooms, usually, are colder in the winter and hotter in the summer than the rest of the house. It happens because a central thermostat on the first floor doesn’t take into account the rest of the house.
This place is a small condo, so there’s not as much difference in temperature. However, there was no return duct in the master bedroom. That meant the bedroom wasn’t getting the same kind of air circulation as the living room and kitchen.
The panels take care of this problem. Since each one has a thermostat, our condo owners can adjust the bedroom however they want it. Problem solved.
Next, the noise. This really got under their skin with the old heater: It was way too loud!
Now, the heat pump doesn’t make nearly as much sound as the old heater. And, you don’t hear air rushing through the panels the way you would with a heater or air conditioner.
The air handlers are whisper-quiet. Literally. Even when at full blast, they’re only at 24 decibels or the sound of leaves rustling.
But, there’s more. The new system uses way less energy than the old gas one.
Outside, the heat pump doesn’t burn fossil fuels to work. Instead, it just harnesses a thermodynamic heat transfer process that occurs naturally. That sounds like a mouthful, and sure, it’s a little complicated.
But, the long and short of it is that, in the winter, the pump attracts whatever heat there is outside. Then it amplifies it and sends it into the dwelling.
In the summer, it attracts the heat inside the place and sends it outside. There’s more to it than that, of course. But, the bottom line is that it’s a cyclical process, and the pump only needs a small bit of electricity to get it going.
Next, the air handlers have two speeds: regular and power-saver. That means they don’t just fire up when the temperature changes. Instead, they stay on a sort of cruise control.
That way, they don’t need a whole lot of energy to play catch-up when it’s suddenly too hot or cold. Instead, they work in the background to keep it steady.
Of course, overhauling an HVAC system, even for a small condo, is a significant investment. But, with a mini-split, it’s more than worth the cost. A system like this comes with upfront savings and lower energy bills.
First off, we talked a lot in that last section about how the mini-split uses less energy than other setups. Well, the less energy, like gas or electricity, that you use, the less you pay for. It’s pretty simple.
WIthin the first month of using their new system, our condo owner had a sizeable drop in their gas bill. And, their electric bill stayed almost the same. In the summer, they can look forward to the same. That’s even though they’ll be running the ac.
The system we installed is Energy Star-certified. It meets government standards showing it uses less energy than other units. And, that means even more savings.Out in Chicagoland and the Fox River Valley, ComEd offers rebates to consumers who install Energy Star appliances. We made sure our Schaumburg customers applied for them.
The new system fits the bill. They got a $900 rebate! That put a huge dent in the cost to buy and install it.
Between the upfront savings and the lower energy bills, pretty soon the new setup will pay for itself. In the meantime, the condo is warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. And, there’s more closet space.
Do you want to create more space in your condo and save money on your energy bills? Contact us, and we’ll design a system that’s perfect for your home!