Preparing for the next heat crisis

By Hawaii Renovation Posted in: Interior

The unbearable hot weather has passed and the cooler weather is here. Just a month ago, everyone was scrambling for relief, looking for an air conditioner or an air conditioning contractor. If you went to the hardware store to purchase a room air conditioner, you were really lucky to find one, much less a fan.

This is the time to get proactive and plan ahead. Sure, Hawaii has great weather year-round, but planning before the next heat crisis means you and your family will be cool and comfortable while others are scrambling.


The off-season actually gives you the best options. You easily can get estimates. Suppliers offer a good selection of inventory. If necessary, you even can wait for a backorder on exactly what you want. The quality and scheduling of installation will be good because there is less pressure when it comes to timing. You can take the time to select a good contractor rather than whoever is available. Additionally, you can get referrals from friends, or better yet, call the supplier of a reputable brand for dealer referrals.

Start by exploring the three basic types of systems: The traditional inexpensive room air conditioner (good), the ductless split system (better) and the zoned ducted central system (best). Since the zoned ducted system is the most expensive and has to be engineered into the design of the home, there’s focus on the first two types.

Thirty-fi ve years ago, the room air conditioner was the homeowner’s only option other than a ducted system. It still is a popular choice if you are looking to just inexpensively cool one or two rooms. Since it only cools just the room where it’s installed, it’s efficient — especially if it has the Energy Star designation for high efficiency, like many units available today. Plus, they are quieter than the old clunkers. For unit sizes 5,000 BTUH to 9,000 BTUH, you can install it yourself and just plug it into the standard wall outlet. No air conditioning contractor is needed. Unfortunately, they are noisier than other options and you may not like the way they look sticking out of a window.

The ductless-split system (DLS) came into the U.S. market next. This is an upgrade from the room air conditioner. As a two-component system, the noisier section goes outside, usually on the ground, and the quiet indoor unit is mounted on a wall inside. The installation is easy, but requires an air conditioning contractor and an electrician to provide the power. The installed cost is more than the room type, but still affordable. Today, ductless splits are offered with different indoor models: the high-wall, the cassette (mounted in the ceiling), the console (mounted on the floor against the baseboard) and the under-ceiling (for larger capacities). They also offer systems that can operate one, two, three or four indoor units with just one outdoor unit, referred to as a multiplex split system. This keeps your outdoors from being cluttered with multiple units. This is the most popular system for residences.

Last, find a reliable brand, backed by a trustworthy supplier who stands by its product with sales, service, replacement parts and training. You don’t want to wait for service or replacement parts during the hot season.

For more information, contact Carrier Hawaii at 677-6339, or CarrierHawaii.com. Carrier Hawaii is located at 2060 Lauwiliwili St.

CARRIER HAWAII
contact // 677-6339
address // 2060 Lauwiliwili St.
web // carrierhawaii.com