Mike Cappuccio talks about heating and air conditioning in apartments and condos, how ductless HVAC systems can be good for both apartment owners and tenants, and how working with condo associations can sometimes mean installing ductless systems in multiple units at once.
Hi, my name’s Mike Cappuccio and I’m here today to talk to you about, “If I own a condo, can I install a Mitsubishi ductless heating and air conditioning system in my condominium?” Well, a lot of times my answer to that question is “possibly”, but there are some things that are going to need to be done prior to getting the installation set up and getting it approved. We do this a lot. This is probably one of our biggest installations that we do every single day in a condo or apartment building.
First, we need to come out, we need to do some exploratory work. We need to look at, “Okay, what floor are you on? Are there clear and clean access areas to run pipes to possibly a roof, or to a court yard, or to a deck to place an outdoor unit?” Because our systems have two components; they have an outdoor unit, which is made up of a condenser that would need to be placed outside. Then we have multiple indoor units that would need to be placed inside of the condominium. Sometimes it’s one, sometimes it’s up to three or four, depending on how we zone out the condo. We really need to look at, “can this get approved?”, “do the other owners of the building accept this?”, “can this get done?”
I’ve been to multiple board meetings myself, sat in front of condominium boards, brought submittals, showed them how big the units are, how quiet they are, what it’s going to do, and I’ve left those board meetings with other owners saying to me, “Wow, what a great idea. We never even thought of this to put this into our units.” And I ended up doing, like, four or five units versus one when I leave these, because most people buy into it when they see what’s going to be done.
But we need to check the access, we need to check the accessibility to how and where we’re going to put things. We need to come out, we need to look at your electrical panel, make sure that the electrical services is going to be okay to power up everything that we’re going to need to do. Because when you’re done with this, you’re going to have all of this on your power panel running from your unit.
The next question I get a lot of times is, “Hey, if I own an apartment building, and I’m the landlord, is this something worth doing in my building?” A lot of times I’ve got to come in, and I got to look at this, not so much from the air conditioning side; I look at this a lot from the heating side.
I go out, I look at a lot of places like this and they might have four, five, six, sometimes 50 units and it’s being controlled by one central boiler, and the apartment owner of the complex is paying for the heat sometimes, because they can’t get the meters — can’t get the heat metered off of the individual units, so they don’t charge for heat. When you pull up to the condominium building or the apartment building, and I’ve got the owner with me and he’s looking at a five-story building, and he’s looking up at the fifth floor and the windows are wide open in the winter time, he’s looking at me like, “My God, the window’s open. Why is that?” Well, because all the heat’s rising up there and he’s not paying for the heat.
We go in and we can zone out and take five, six, seven condominiums, put in seven, eight systems in there and hook those up to each additional electrical panel that’s in each apartment. And we can take those costs and roll those heating and air conditioning costs into the apartment owners at that point, getting the heating cost off of the apartment owner, limiting his bills that he’s paying every month to do that and put that on the tenant. The tenants become a lot more cautious with that, of how they’re going to heat their home, how they’re going to cool their home, but they’re also a lot more comfortable when we’re done with that. So we’ve got to really look at how that’s done and how we’re putting that together.