Looking To Corner The Market
Unlike other air handlers for ductless systems, EMI’s new design allows contractors to install the unit in the corner of any room.
According to Scott Toukatly, director of engineering for EMI, the design is unlike any other air handler available on the market. “No one else has introduced a system like this,” he says. “Everyone has done the walls, ceilings, even floor-mounted units.”
EMI has all of these designs, but can now offer consumers another alternative. The company asserts that this new choice is more conducive for residential settings. EMI is well known for its commercial products, but the company is now set to cross over into the residential market.
THE BEST USE OF SPACEThe idea behind the corner-mounted system is to utilize room space that is oftentimes ignored.
Toukatly says that some consumers have a problem with installing ductless systems because of the space the air handlers can take up. “People don’t want to give up wall space,” he says.
So EMI decided to take a look at what they could do to create an air handler to solve this problem. The solution was to install the system in the corner of a room, where space is often left empty.
Toukatly says that the system is easy to install. By mounting the air handler in the corner, tubing and wiring can be accessed from either the left or right of the unit. The wiring can even be run through the top of the system if desired. In these cases, EMI offers a trim kit and a piece of sheet metal that angles off the top of the unit to hide the tubing.
EMI has also made sure that the system can be installed in various corners. Toukatly explains that not every corner of a room is 90 degrees, so the company tested the unit to make sure that it could be installed at different angles and in different applications, including retrofit and new construction.
The air handler also went through a number of tests to make sure installing the system in a corner would not disrupt occupants of the room or cause other problems for consumers.
“The air handler can hug the walls without blowing things off the wall,” says Toukatly. He explains that the air pattern is at an angle so that drapes, knickknacks, or pictures on the wall will not be blown over. The direction of the air was also tested to make sure that the air patterns did not create sweating on the walls. At the same time, he said, the unit does not blow all of the air towards the center of the room so that it does not blow right on individuals.
SYSTEM BENEFITSSome other highlights of the CNR include an infrared control package. Toukatly says that all of the buttons on a remote control for the air handler can also be found on the unit itself. The air handler can also be used with a regular wall thermostat.
Toukatly says that the system has an internally mounted condensate pump that can be installed in the cabinetry at the factory. He explains that the unit has a dual blower system, but is just as quiet as single blower units. Finally, Toukatly says that the air handler can be used in a heat pump system.
EMI is hoping that all of these benefits, including the new design, will help in introducing the company’s ductless product to the residential market.
A NEW STRATEGYFor the most part, EMI’s product offerings have been geared towards the light commercial market. But the company is set to bring the benefits of its products to homeowners across the country.
Sam Vivirito, national sales manager for EMI’s ductless products, says that the next year will be about creating awareness of the CNR unit. He also says that the company is beginning to advertise the unit to both contractors and homeowners.
But the new air handler is not the only product that EMI is taking to the residential arena. The company will be introducing a new residential water-heated fancoil unit, as well as a new 50-gallon heat pump water heater.
Vivirito says that the heat pump water heater went into limited production last year and that the Department of Energy (DOE) is firmly behind the new product.
With these new products, Vivirito explains that EMI is attempting to reach consumers and explain how its products, including its ductless products, are different from those of other manufacturers.
For example, EMI ductless systems can be used in tandem with multiple types of air handlers. Vivirito says that the company offers 75 different combinations of condensing units and air handlers. Its ductless systems can also cool four separate zones.
Vivirito says that another selling point of its ductless units is that they are made entirely in the United States.
As for the CNR unit, Vivirito is expecting success with the system. He says that contractors getting a sneak peak at the air handler have given the unit very positive reviews.
Publication date: 06/17/2002