Initially, ductless products were being considered as niche products, but the consideration seems to have been dropped.
"Documents from DOE's own analysis says that for ductless products, standard technologies would yield 12 SEER as the maximum viable efficiency. â€˜Viable' is the operative word," explained Paul Doppel, brand manager, HVAC Division, Mitsubishi Electric.
"Just because you can do something, that doesn't make it viable. Most products we ship are less than 18,000 Btu in capacity, so we're competing against room air products and PTACs." Mitsubishi Electric applied to the DOE for a variance from the 13 SEER mandate last December, but that decision is "still in the works," said Doppel. The exception is being sought because room air and PTAC products will remain the same in their required efficiency.
"We had support from the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE)," said Doppel. "They felt that ductless products are different from unitary products, and that the ductless products at the 12-SEER level provided an excellent economy."
"Probably like everyone else, we do have kind of a mad dash to meet the Jan. 23, 2006, deadline," said Tom White, Carrier's product business manager, Duct-free Systems, North America Residential, who noted that until last April, Carrier and other manufacturers "were planning on having at least a 12-SEER system."
Publication date: 08/15/2005