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Saving Energy, Improving Comfort with New HVAC Technology
You’ve heard us talk about the benefits of “mini-splits” before, so that’s nothing new. Panasonic has introduced a new Exterios mini-split with some new technology to deliver what they claim is the highest energy efficiency in the industry (almost double traditional units!).
The key is inverter technology, which is able to change the power supply frequency, and constantly adjust the compressor rotation speed to maintain the desired room temperature. This reduces electric consumption, and allows quicker cooling upon startup. It also reduces indoor noise while enabling more precise temperature control. Non-inverter air-conditioners run at a fixed speed and merely cycle power on and off, waiting for temperature limits or timing to kick off a new cycle. Consequently, the room gets too cold, then too warm, over and over. But inverter-controlled units provide constant but varying power, always keeping temperatures in a comfortable range.
Electronically Controlled Refrigerant Valve
Another energy saving feature in Exterios is an electronically controlled valve that controls the flow of refrigerant, varying it as needed (from 90 to 480 steps) while the unit is powered on.
Room Occupant Detection
We all have been in a room that feels fine, until it is packed with lots of people (like at a conference or a party), and then the temperature quickly becomes uncomfortable. The new Exterios can detect whether there are people in the room, and how active they are. It then adjusts the fan speed and temperature automatically and aims the air flow toward the occupants.
Exterios comes in two sizes: 9,000 BTU (SEER 28.5) and 12,000 BTU (SEER 25.5).