Ceiling Mounted Air Conditioners

Mike Cappuccio, founder of N.E.T.R., Inc., talks about ceiling mounted air conditioners from Mitsubishi, including the MLZ and SLZ models, how they work, how they differ, and the different control options that are available.

Hi, my name is Mike Cappuccio. I’m the founder of N.E.T.R. in North Andover and today I’m here to talk to you a little bit about ceiling-mounted air conditioners. In the past in podcasts and videos that I’ve done a lot of, I describe a lot of wall-mounted air conditioners and ductless mini split wall-mounted air conditioners, and wall-mounted heat pumps.

Today we’re going to talk about something totally different, which is going to be ceiling-mounted air conditioners and heat pumps. And there are a few different varieties of them and they come in different sizes, different shapes and different BTUs, as we’ve spoken about in previous podcasts and videos. Again, we have different sizes for different applications and room sizes and so on, so I want to talk a little bit first about the MLZ unit.

The MLZ unit is from Mitsubishi electric and they call it their “easy fit” unit. In most homes today, new homes are built with the ceiling joists…they’re basically the 2×10 pieces of wood that go up and they’re what your sheet rock is attached to. And they’re usually, when your home is built…not usually, they ARE built 16 inches on center. So with an inch and a half or an inch and three quarter joist, that leaves about 14 and a half inches between each one.

Now, the way that these are installed is they recess up into the ceiling. So a hole needs to be cut into the ceiling. It’s usually cut about 33 inches long and it is 14 and a half wide. And then the actual unit goes right up into the hole. So you do need space above this to install it. These work really great in second floor applications of a home, in bedrooms where you have attic space above it, and you can get right to the top of it to do all your electrical connections, and your refrigerant lines. There is a built-in condensate pump in it too, so it does pump the water up and then the water will drain out.

Now, these can be installed on the first floor as well, of a home, but they’re definitely…you need to make sure that you have enough space from the height perspective. So what I mean is, do you have 10 inches from the ceiling up to the second floor? And then that actual bay where you’d be installing that would need to be empty. So there would be a little bit of…“exploratory surgery” I’m going to call it…to maybe cut a little hole, or sometimes people have recessed lighting where you can take a recessed light out, make sure there’s no pipes or anything like that in that bay, and then these can be installed in the first floor as well.

The disadvantage of this unit is it only has a one-way blow, so the air can only come out one way and the length of it would have to be installed the length of the way that the ceiling joists are running as well. So that’s The MLZ ceiling recessed air conditioner.

Now, from a control standpoint, that can be either used with a handheld remote control that you can point and click and have do it do its thing. Or you can put what’s called on that the MHK2 controller, too. That is a wall-mounted, wireless thermostat that gets mounted to the wall that you can do your programs into, because the actual handheld remote control really doesn’t have programming capabilities for five days; it has a 24-hour program. So, you can get a more advanced thermostat for that and you can put the Kumo Cloud application into that too, so you can use that from a control standpoint from your smartphone as well.

Okay, so the next ceiling-mounted air conditioner heat pump that I want to talk about is the SLZ. So that is a 2’x2’ unit. The MLZ, like I said, is about 14 inches long…I mean, 14 inches wide by about 30 inches long. The SLZ is basically 22 inches by 22 inches. That goes up into a square that would have to be made in the ceiling.

Now, a little confusing when you have ceiling joists that are 16 inches on center. Yes, there is some carpentry work there that needs to be done. Real good for new construction. New construction’s going on and you can frame these; great applications for it. [For] existing homes, some carpentry will need to be done. Some of the ceiling joists will need to be headed off to have this go up into the space.

These work very, very well in…I want to tell you…maybe like a big family room there. They’re phenomenal in that type of a space where you might have a tray ceiling and you have the ability to get above that tray. And you might have, say, a 20×20 or a 20×30 family room. These have four way blows. They suck in the middle of the return air and they have four spots on the actual unit on each side where they blow out. Very, very good for big rooms like that. Nice wide open spaces.

The ceiling recessed air conditioner too is good for office spaces, too, where you have 2×2 ceiling tiles in an office, or you might have a finished basement that has 2×2 ceiling tiles where you have space above it. You can install these because they go right into a hole just like that. They pop right in. They’re real nice for spaces like that.

Again, from a control standpoint, they use the handheld remote control. You can use the MHK2 wireless wall-mounted control that you can put onto the wall and do all your programming, etc., like that. And it can be used with the Kumo Cloud application on your smart device too. So these are just some other alternatives where you hear people say, “I just don’t want that on my wall. I don’t want a ductless wall-mounted air conditioner on my wall”, or “I don’t want a wall-mounted air conditioner. I want either duct work or I want something that goes up into the ceiling.” So check it out on the web. Take a look at the different types of options because there’s all kinds of options available now for these ceiling recessed air conditioners.