BEAVER DAM, WI — In many motels, you will see that the primary method of heating and cooling is the packaged terminal air conditioner (PTAC). But the PTAC is not the only choice for lodging establishments.

For the Campus Inn Motor Lodge in Beaver Dam, ductless is the new method for climate control. But the Campus Inn did not switch from PTAC to ductless. The Inn went from one central hvac system to ductless heating and cooling.

The community of Beaver Dam is known for its small-town appeal and old-fashioned setting. The same goes for the Campus Inn Motor Lodge. And although this setting is appealing to visitors, the old way of heating and cooling was a different story.

The owner of the lodge made it a priority to provide better individual room air control for its guests. This was even more important because of the rapidly changing climate in the Beaver Dam region. With the old system, the motel had problems in the spring when it wanted to change from heating to air conditioning (and the reverse in the fall) and could not accomplish this in one day.

When the time came to replace the old central hvac system at the Campus Inn Motor Lodge, the owners decided to install a ductless system.


Pat Kohlbeck, owner of the Campus Inn, approached Gordy Oosterhouse, contractor for Air Care in Beaver Dam, about the problems the motel was having. Lee Wertepny, sales manager for Design Aire, Kimberly, WI, was also involved in this project. According to Oosterhouse, Kohlbeck knew what she wanted before seeking help.

“Pat had very specific ideas that she wanted to implement,” said Oosterhouse. “She had done a lot of research on this project before approaching us.”

Kohlbeck saw the ductless technology at a local hospital and decided that the units would be a perfect solution for the challenges at her motel. The specific units Kohlbeck saw at the hospital were Sanyo’s 14KGS11 units.

Air Care agreed to help Kohlbeck, and a one-month deadline was set to complete the retrofit.

Thirty-six of the guest rooms at the motel were designated to be hooked up with ductless systems. Air Care, working with Kohlbeck, designed the system using 36 Sanyo 14KGS11 Gas Heater Air Conditioner Units. Air Care’s plans called for all units to be installed on an outside wall in the back of the building.

Kohlbeck wanted the pipes to run into the interior rooms by the pool so that they would not be visible from the front of the building.

“Pat was very pleased because this was all accomplished very easily without major carpentry, repainting, or wallpapering,” said Oosterhouse.

According to Air Care, the installation not only went smoothly, it finished one week ahead of schedule.

After the retrofit, Air Care provided instructions for each of the rooms to explain the operation of the system to motel guests.

Air Care installed 36 Sanyo 14KGS11 Gas Heater Air Conditioner Units on an outside wall in the rear of the building.


The ductless installation took place over two years ago, and the establishment still enjoys the benefits of its investment. But more individualized climate control is not the only benefit, says Oosterhouse. He asserts that the Sanyo gas heater air conditioner provides a better performance and is more cost-efficient than traditional electric heat pump systems.

He also says that the unit maintains a consistent heating performance level, regardless of how much the ambient temperature goes down outside. With a constant flow of heat for the refrigerant to absorb through the special heat exchanger, the system is not affected by low ambient temperatures, and the defrost cycle is eliminated, he states.

Sanyo says that its 14KGS11 runs at about half the wattage of a conventional heat pump, which means it is less costly to operate.

Oosterhouse also says that the ductless units are more aesthetically appealing. The units do not take up as much space as a PTAC. Also, the Sanyo ductless units operate quietly.

According to Oosterhouse, there were no major challenges to the installation. He says that ductless is a great opportunity for contractors because it allows them to offer an efficient alternative to customers while providing a healthy profit to the company.

Publication date: 04/22/2002