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HVAC School - For Techs, By Techs

Jul 18, 2019

Eric really likes ceiling cassette air handlers, so much so that he put them in his own home. We discuss ceiling cassettes vs. highwall and other ductless-related topics.

A cassette air handler looks like a concentric fitting, and they are generally installed in acoustic or drop ceilings. Eric likes the comfort and easy installation. However, people who have low ceilings or dislike exposed equipment may not like ceiling cassettes as much as Eric does. Both cassettes and highwall ductless units work well in sunrooms or lanais, but Bryan has noticed that cassettes seem to provide fewer problems than highwall ductless systems in that market.

Eric has noticed substantial differences in the cleanliness of cassettes and highwall systems. He noticed that the cassettes don't get nearly as dirty as most highwalls, and highwall systems are difficult to clean. However, some of those cleanliness issues may have something to do with VOCs, pollutants, and climate.

Highwall ductless units require separate condensate pumps that require a lot of maintenance and a gravity drain. Ceiling cassettes have condensate pumps that may either run continuously or on-demand. Cassettes' condensate pumps are also easy to access for cleaning, and they are a lot quieter than the pumps on ductless units. The drain pan is also easy to pull down, though Eric has yet to need to clean his cassette's drain pan.

Although ceiling cassettes appear to have several advantages, price is not one of them; they are typically more expensive than highwall ductless units.

Eric and Bryan also discuss:

  • Blower wheel cleanliness issues in highwall systems
  • VOCs and air pollutants
  • Drain pitch and insulation
  • Gravity drains
  • Eric's cassette installation
  • New Carrier and Mitsubishi products

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