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The Death and Re-Birth of the Ducted System

It was not long ago that we were all proclaiming the death of the ducted system, which wasn’t crazy since the American ducted companies (i.e. Lennox, Carrier, Trane, York, Rheem, etc.) had failed to evolve fast enough to keep up with the flexability, efficiency and reliability of ductless mini split systems (i.e., Daikin, Mitsubishi, Fujitsu, etc.).

Once we got a taste of the future of HVAC, it was hard to think we could ever go back, but then the American companies took a step forward. Carrier was the first with the Greenspeed heat pump, however, it was more of a reverse engineered version of a Japanese heat pump and had (and still has) some serious flaws that has limited me from being able to sell it outside of new construction. Oh, did I mention I had one of the first Greenspeeds installed in my home? So when I say it has some flaws I know firsthand.

For a while that’s all we had. It was grim; I would go out to a house with basically “ducted” as the only option and those people were stuck in that past because no one had come out with a good ducted option in the Inverter world. Since I am going to pick on Daikin in a minute, I will say that they did have at that time a ducted system (Skyair), which IS awesome, but what we are looking for is a direct replacement of the systems that we have been installing for years: The All Electric Heat Pump System with Electric Back Up and Wall Mount Thermostat.

In this industry, something taking a year is like forever, so waiting was driving me crazy. But then it happened, the flood gates opened.

The newest is the our Barron 5-Stage Inverter, made for us by Coleman. Give it a listen in this walk-thru I did:

This system has so much value packed in, it could make me cry. What I like most about it is the flexibility. Most inverter systems are tied to a controls package that is designed by the manufacturer. For example, Carrier = Infinity, Lennox = icomfort, Coleman = Echelon, etc. But this system is ran on basic wiring and all algorithms are done at the outside board, SO I can use the controls I want to use. Most importantly, I don't have to wait for a manufacture to update their controls in order to get something new on the wall. I can instead follow the market, which is update INSANELY faster than the manufacturers update their controls.
Love what you are hearing, but want something more exotic and kick-ass?

Enter the Dragon.

Mitsu Hyper Heat Full Retro


Mitsubishi Hyper Heat* P Series Ducted System with Back Up Heat. The most kick butt SINGLE ZONE (important for later) ducted heating system in existence. It has total capacity to 5 degree outdoor temperature with automatic back up/emergency heat using the MHK1 Wifi Control*, which is basically a Honeywell Redlink Focus Pro 6000. But man oh man, there is nothing like it. The real kicker? It is basically the same price as the Carrier, Lennox, Trane Modulating Systems. So, lets recap: More Efficient, Higher Reliability, Japanese Original Tech, Super Low Ambient Output, Quiet (no inverter whine) and Same Price. Sold. *this system can also use a standard thermostat like the Honeywell Prestige or even the Nest, BUT even the Mitsu Field guys don’t know exactly what the cost to benefit ratio is for going away from the MHK1 and using the “5 wire adaptor”. I installed one and it seems to be working great, but I will try to update this article if that changes….no promises.

*Hyper Heat: Is proprietary design by Mitsubishi where compressor is allowed to rotate beyond normal design and self cooled by dripping a little bit of liquid gas onto compressor as it spins.

NOTE: The Daikin Skyair FTQ System is similar, but looses points due to the fact that it can only be installed in the upflow or horizontal configuration and is still using the light commercial non-wifi NAV Control.

Okay, so lets see, we have gone over the system that packs in the value, the one that is leading the charge….and now the game changer.

This is the Daikin DZK Zoning System and Daikin Skyair FBQ High Static System. NOTE: The Airzone system technically can be integrated into the Mitsubishi of the same type, but they are behind in that they do not have manuals or instructions or basically anything, so that by definition would be a jimmy rig and I am not ready to go there with them.

4-Zone DZK/FBQ Daikin Walkthru


This is the system I chose for my house and does things from a zoning standpoint that I have not seen from any of the standard zoning control options. But why it is the game changer is that it provides a list of advantages that are not available from any other system all in one package:

Inverter,Modulating, Ducted, Total Capacity to 20ish degrees, 2-6 Zone, Auto Change Over by Zone, Fully programmable, touchscreeen, BTU’s per zone based on weighted percentage, Continuous Fan (global or local), Control all zones from every zone, Fresh air integration, Custom Filtration (static allowing)

The other thing I LOVE is the auto change over. No matter what time of year it is, my son wants his room to 65 by bedtime. That means that around 8pm, my system shuts down heating and works his room in cooling for a bit, then goes back to heating the rest of the house. Try pulling that off with a ductless 5 head system

In summary, no better value in modulating ducted than mitsu, no better controls and all-arounds than Daikin.

Keep feeding your consumer side and email me questions.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the info. I am a little confused about the efficiency of the Mitsubishi Hyper Heat you mentioned. According to the specs belo, it's a 15.3 SEER and 11 HSPF system which looks to be less efficient than the 20SEER/13HSPF Greenspeed or the Rheem RP20 for example. I would appreciate your thoughts on this. Thanks again.

Dakota Brown said...

So now that you've had the system for a while how do you like it?

Wes Diskin said...

Dakota, go to the contact me page and give me a ring, I will give you my thoughts!