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High Efficiency Air Conditioning Units

 
Molly
(@Molly)
Advanced Member

We are considering changing out all of our wall air conditioning units to something more energy efficient. Does anyone have a reccommendation for a company on STT that will sell and install them.

Thanks

Molly

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Topic starter Posted : July 8, 2010 5:05 pm
Molly
(@Molly)
Advanced Member

We are looking for the ductless units that would go on an interior wall with the cooling unit outside.

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Topic starter Posted : July 8, 2010 5:09 pm
Future Islander
(@Future_Islander)
Advanced Member

Molly:

They're called "Split" Units.

We installed a Mitsubishi Split Unit at Point Pleasant...to replace our (still working) older (5 years old) Amana "inefficient" wall unit.

We have not seen any savings in electricity. Looks like we paid $3,300. for nothing.......but it seems to "push" more cool air.

F.I.

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Posted : July 8, 2010 5:45 pm
Bombi
(@Bombi)
Trusted Member

Go Green 514-8804 sells Daikin, supposedly THE most energy efficient. If the new AC is energy star you qualify for a VI energy office rebate

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Posted : July 8, 2010 6:28 pm
Molly
(@Molly)
Advanced Member

Boy that's not what I wanted to hear. Last months WAPA bill was a whopping $760. We've insulated the ceilings, tinted the windows and are planning on changing the stove over to electric. Our plan was to change out the air conditioners as well. I'll have to dig deeper to see what the highest efficiency units are out there. We wanted to put up some solar panels but our condo association outlawed them a few years back. Our long term tennants are great but the weekly renters have no concept of conservation.

Another thought but I have no Idea how to go about finding where to purchase them but over in Europe some of the hotels have key card units to open your door and then you also need to insert it into a wall slot to turn on the power to your room.

Anyone else have a better outcome changing you AC units?

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Topic starter Posted : July 8, 2010 6:30 pm
Molly
(@Molly)
Advanced Member

Go Green 514-8804 sells Daikin, supposedly THE most energy efficient. If the new AC is energy star you qualify for a VI energy office rebate

Thanks Bombi

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Topic starter Posted : July 8, 2010 6:31 pm
Future Islander
(@Future_Islander)
Advanced Member

Molly:

Clarification......the $3,300. cost was to remove our old unit, install the new one and patch up the hole from the old unit + the cost of the new unit.

Since we are in the rental pool at Point Pleasant we get really high bills in July & August ($600. - $700.), since guests seem to run the A/C day & night (with the drapes & sliding glass doors wide open). Our unit is only about 800 square feet.

F.I.

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Posted : July 8, 2010 6:46 pm
STXBob
(@STXBob)
Trusted Member

It's hard to get short-term renters to go easy on the A/C (and the water). Some ideas:
- Tell them at check-in that electricity is extremely expensive here, and to please turn off the A/C when they’re not in their rooms. They will ignore this, and will need a reminder, and may still ignore it, but at least you tried. Just be as pleasant as possible. “How’s everything going? Good. Hey, I was hoping you could do me a favor. I noticed that the electrical usage is pretty high lately, and I was wondering if you wouldn’t mind turning off the A/C when you go out.”
- Tell them there is a $50 per day surcharge for running the A/C when they’re not in the room. Pink Fancy Hotel on STX does this (or they used to).
- Install switches on the entry doors. When the door opens, the A/C turns off.
- Turn off the A/C for them when they’re out, at the breaker. “A power surge must have tripped it. It’s pretty touchy.”
- Charge extra for high energy use.
- Give a rebate for low energy use.

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Posted : July 8, 2010 9:45 pm
Future Islander
(@Future_Islander)
Advanced Member

Bob:

You have some good ideas......only they won't work (or cause big problems).

Threats of surcharges for energy use will wind up on TripAdvisor and we won't get many new or return visitors renting our units.

The interrupter switches on doors just don't hold up very well.....then you have "expensive" maintenance charges to repair/replace.

We have signs posted in our unit (as many other owners do) to reduce electric use, but people usually ignore them....I guess they feel that since they're paying for the villa they should be able to use as much electricity & water as they want.

We did install a 6 hour timer switch on the A/C......hopefully we'll see a reduction (however small) on our electric bills this summer.

F.I.

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Posted : July 8, 2010 10:33 pm
DUN
 DUN
(@DUN)
Trusted Member

Sad truth is we haven't invented any alien technology or any other that leapfrogs what we have had(unless you consider computers/electronics) for many years that will be saving us much energy.
First, let me say that this is NOT my area of expertize, I offer my opinion based on my experience living & working around these items & seeing them (or not) evolve.

Battery technology has changed little since the 1800's, while agm & gels have less maintenance, they are NOT a huge leap in efficiency
Likewise, electric motors haven't made any substantial leaps either.
Sure there's Lithium, Ni-cads, NICKEL-METAL HYDRIDE, ETC, but generally, were not talking huge capacity with these types.

Electric cars likely will be the first needed high efficiency/high demand in motor & battery needs, but electric cars is what was used before gasoline engines were so popular in the first place, so you can see, this technology is either being suppressed, has not made any major leaps or both.
To my knowledge, the difference between high efficiency motors & standard are around 8-13%.

Since the airgap between the rotor & stator can & does increase the efficiency, they need better bearings, machining & balancing, thus they are more prone to failure from a locked rotor.
You can't get more out of something then what you put into it.

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Posted : July 9, 2010 1:17 am
LItoVI
(@LItoVI)
Advanced Member

I was at a resort in Jamaica recently that had an AC system that required your room key to work. You had to insert your key into the unit to turn on the AC, and as soon as the key was removed the system would shut down. Of course if there are 2 keys there's a way around it, but a lot of people have to take both keys with them during the day. Maybe something like that could help?

Bob:

You have some good ideas......only they won't work (or cause big problems).

Threats of surcharges for energy use will wind up on TripAdvisor and we won't get many new or return visitors renting our units.

The interrupter switches on doors just don't hold up very well.....then you have "expensive" maintenance charges to repair/replace.

We have signs posted in our unit (as many other owners do) to reduce electric use, but people usually ignore them....I guess they feel that since they're paying for the villa they should be able to use as much electricity & water as they want.

We did install a 6 hour timer switch on the A/C......hopefully we'll see a reduction (however small) on our electric bills this summer.

F.I.

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Posted : July 9, 2010 4:10 am
Bombi
(@Bombi)
Trusted Member

http://www.luxproducts.com/thermostats/win100.htm

This is a plug in programmable thermostat for window AC units. They work well but can be overided by an occupant simply by unplugging but they may be effective in some applications.

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Posted : July 9, 2010 12:18 pm
Molly
(@Molly)
Advanced Member

Lito VI,

Those key card things are exactly what I think that we need. Now I need to find out what it will take to install them. Too bad we didn't do that when we originally renovated. We have refridgerators in all of our units so we'll have to figure out how to bypass them. If we do this and see a substantial savings I'll pass along the info.

Thanks again,

Molly

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Topic starter Posted : July 9, 2010 3:12 pm
STXBob
(@STXBob)
Trusted Member

You could use a key just for the A/C, and not for the entire room's electricity, and it doesn't have to be the room key. You could put the A/C key and the room key on the same key ring, and solder, glue or weld the ring so they can't be easily separated.

The property layout will dictate how easily the guest can circumvent this by leaving the A/C running when he's out. The guest might leave the entry door locked from the inside, and exit via the slider. Or he might not lock the entry door when he leaves, especially if he's hanging out at the pool just outside the room all day.

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Posted : July 9, 2010 3:40 pm
Future Islander
(@Future_Islander)
Advanced Member

Unfortunately the guests want a cool villa when they get back from the beach/pool/sightseeing.

If you go "overboard" with ways to impede their comfort you'll pay for it with negative reviews on travel advice sites.

Also, the card slots are used extensively in Europe & Asia. An old credit card or piece of cardboard defeats the system.

Molly: I think what you need to do for your decision is to determine the efficiency of your current A/C unit vs a new one. If the projected cost savings provides a break even mark in three years, then that would be your determining factor to select a new A/C unit. Otherwise, like us, except for the increased air flow and "quietness" of the new A/C unit, you'll be spending money needlessly. If we had to do it over, knowing what we know now, we would have kept our old unit.

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Posted : July 9, 2010 4:26 pm
Marty on STT
(@Marty_on_STT)
Trusted Member

Joe Tannous jtann7777@yahoo.com has started bring in the latest and greatest for AC...installed a few of them at Bolongo and they have seen practically 50% savings in electricity...these units will be all the rage in the coming years.

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Posted : July 9, 2010 5:48 pm
Juanita
(@Juanita)
Expert

We simply charge for electricity and water. We don't do too many really short term rentals, but even for a one month, we never include the utilities. We have, on a few rare occasions had people stay for a week, or less. We still read the meters when they move in and read them when they move out. Everyone knows they will be charged for exactly how much they use. It's not like a surcharge if you use too much, or anything that gives a negative vibe, just rent plus utilities. People who don't abuse the utilities really appreciate the fact they aren't paying a higher rental rate to subsidize those who do abuse. Like I said, though, we aren't in the vacation rental business, so it's different.

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Posted : July 9, 2010 6:22 pm
Molly
(@Molly)
Advanced Member

That's a great idea Juanita but won't help us. We have 4 units tied to one meter with multiple occupants at the same time.

Marty thanks for the lead, I'll give him a call and see if I can get a quote and an idea of cost saving based on the units that I have.

Future Islander, thanks for all of the feedback but I'm not giving up hope just yet to see if I can find something more efficient without spending an arm and a leg.

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Topic starter Posted : July 9, 2010 6:36 pm
STXBob
(@STXBob)
Trusted Member

Molly: Maybe social engineering is your best strategy. Try to talk your guests nicely into shutting off the A/C when they go out. There must be a way. Who's got some script suggestions?

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Posted : July 9, 2010 9:16 pm
Molly
(@Molly)
Advanced Member

Unfortunately I am not on island to greet guests directly. With the property that I manage in the midwest I do feel that really helps. Gives a personal touch to things and makes people feel more accountable when you are on a friendly basis.

We did put up some of those silly plaques around our place in strategic spots. "Sharing a shower is more enjoyable", "If it's yellow..."

I'd be curious what other clever signs that others have put up in their rental units without being as tacky as mine.

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Topic starter Posted : July 9, 2010 9:43 pm
brian2614
(@brian2614)
Active Member

Possible sign idea:

"Did you know that the electricity on St. Croix is generated by burning jet fuel in large jet engines? Please help us save the environment whenever possible."

-optional-

(Also, the crude oil profits -for the jet fuel- benefit the anti-American dictator, Hugo Chavez, in Venezuela.)

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Posted : July 9, 2010 10:30 pm
cresentpoint
(@cresentpoint)
Advanced Member

Molly,

If you are interested at all in a duct system, I have installed the Unico small duct air conditioning system in my rental apartments. I'm extrememly happy with them. It is a central air conditioning unit but it uses very small ducts with high pressure. We have had them for several months now and my most expensive WAPA bill was $375. It is air conditioning an 1600 square foot apartment which faces south. You can look at the system at unicosystem.com. As a disclaimer I am a distributor for the system in the Virgin Islands. If you are interested, I can show you the system at my rental property. This is also the system that was installed in the renovation of the Old Danish School on St. Croix. I can be reached at 340-714-3331 or by cell at 918-734-9985.

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Posted : July 10, 2010 6:35 pm
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