LAS VEGAS — Daikin North America LLC unveiled its Daikin Fit™ system at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas to an enthusiastic crowd of distributors and Daikin Comfort Pro™ professional contractors. And though none of them asked the age-old question, “What’s in a name?” it’s safe to assume that several of them were silently wondering.
“I’m excited about the name,” said Doug Windemann, senior vice president of sales. “I love the name.”
And the reason for all the hype is that the Daikin Fit does exactly what it says: It fits the comfort needs, budget barriers, and space constraints of homeowners who are looking to upgrade their HVAC systems without breaking the bank.
“By introducing Daikin Fit, we provide a differentiated solution to our Daikin Comfort Pros,” Kelly Hearnsberger, vice president, residential product marketing, said. “In a market saturated with ‘same old’ equipment, Daikin Fit is a mid-range efficiency, competitively priced system that includes all the benefits of inverter technology, combined with ducted furnace and coil combinations, and is a game changer for our Daikin sales network and for consumers.”
This smart HVAC system melds the features and performance of ductless-style condensing units with the ability to connect to traditional ducted systems, which benefits all members of the industry: distributors, contractors, and homeowners alike.
“When I think about distribution, we’re talking about units that are small and compact,” Hearnsberger said. “Still powerful in terms of efficiency, but they fit really well in our distribution cycle — in trucks and warehouses. So we’re trying to reduce that footprint, that burden on the distribution cycle.”
For Daikin Comfort Pro contractors, they no longer have to worry about providing solutions to homeowners just to be low-balled by the next contractor who walks through the door.
“It’s a great day when they come in behind you and say, ‘I’ve never seen that before; I don’t think I can offer that,’” Hearnsberger said. “That’s differentiation.”
“In my 16-year career with Daikin, I have rarely seen a crowd as optimistic as this about the outlook of a new solution being brought to market,” said Marc Bellanger, director of marketing. “Behind the product itself, we are also adding marketing programs and tools that help position and differentiate our Daikin Comfort Pro contractors from the pack.”
As lot sizes decrease and building envelopes grow in many urban areas, contractors can now offer homeowners an option that frees up their backyard spaces while enhancing their outdoor experience with a compact, quiet unit. The small, lightweight cabinet designs provide several installation and service benefits for zero lot-line homes and condominiums, as well as for rooftop terraces in dense urban settings that would typically require a crane. Daikin Fit is easily installed in replacement applications using existing ductwork and line sets. Requiring only 4 inches of clearance, the condenser unit can be transported with a dolly by a single HVAC technician.
Daikin’s inverter compressor requires less condenser coil surface area. That, in turn, allows for much smaller cabinet sizes with a side discharge fan design. The condensing unit is powered by a Daikin engineered and manufactured proprietary, variable-speed swing inverter compressor that gently ramps up and down, using only the energy needed to cool the space, thereby saving money during non-peak load periods.
Available in 1.5- to 5-ton capacities to meet most needs, the Daikin Fit system is compatible with Daikin’s line of communicating gas furnaces, with furnace efficiencies ranging from 80 to 97 percent AFUE and evaporator coils available in upflow, downflow, horizontal right, and horizontal left configurations, with standard electronic expansion valve (EEV).
“So let’s talk about homeowners,” Hearnsberger concluded. “I think most of us in here are homeowners, right? So what do we like? We like connected devices, we like smart stuff that’s easy to use. We like to set it and forget it. We like machines that enable indoor comfort and also outdoor comfort. And that’s exactly what your customers are going to get.”
While the announcement of the Daikin Fit was a much anticipated event, it doesn’t end there.
“We’ve been waiting for this type of opportunity to share this product with you folks for quite some time,” said Widenmann. “We’re excited about what it will do … On the heels of products like this become other things that will make our businesses more successful as we work together.”
Hearnsberger went on to explain that the Daikin Fit is just the first in a series of smart product launches that Daikin has planned.
“We have a long-term strategy that we’re deploying,” he said. “What we aim to do is, essentially, build air intelligence.”
Publication date: 10/15/2018