Dowdell House

Dowdell House

“Overall, we’ve been pretty satisfied, and the aesthetics are very nice. The system is just so reliable; it made it through a real hot summer in Houston without skipping a beat."

Project Location: League City, Texas
Completion Date: January 2017

CHALLENGE
Keeping a Texas home cool and comfortable throughout the year—and doing so efficiently

SOLUTION
Zoned Comfort Solutions® from Mitsubishi Electric

RESULT
Personalized comfort, low utility bills and some very envious neighbors

 

Cpl. Jonathan Dowdell served in the U.S. Marine Corps for eight years. After being severely injured by an explosion while on deployment in Afghanistan, he returned home, receiving a Purple Heart for his courage in combat. “It’s been several years now, and I’ve recouped well. I’m very active. Our new house has been instrumental in that; it was designed so everything is very accessible.” That house is an 1,800-square-foot, single-story home in League City, Texas. Operation FINALLY HOME (OFH), a national nonprofit organization that assists wounded veterans and their families, built the house mortgage free for Jon and Rebecca Dowdell, their daughter and their two dogs. Mitsubishi Electric has an ongoing partnership with OFH, and was honored to donate Zoned Comfort Solutions® to the Dowdells’ home.

Gamaliel Paz, project manager, Harbour Classic Builders, League City, had worked on two OFH projects before, and was excited to build a house for the Dowdells. He said, “Working with OFH is always the highlight of my year. Our work is a drop in the bucket compared with what these folks have done for our country. So even though these houses might not be as big as some of the houses we build, I bring a big house mentality. I ask myself, ‘What can I install here that I’ve installed in my $2 or $3 million houses?’ I want all the bells and whistles for these families – the best windows, best flooring, best a/c system.”

Zoned technology was therefore a great fit for cooling and heating. Paz said, “You get no ducts in the attic with ductless, which leaves a lot of room. And then being able to control each zone – that’s a good benefit. You also don’t have a huge condenser outside. So there are a lot of pluses.”

Jon was also interested in zoned technology. “I was very familiar with it, having seen it overseas—specifically the Mitsubishi Electric brand—in different places I’d deployed, including where it’s unbearably hot. So I knew these systems work well and keep everything at a great temperature. For me, though, the single most important thing an a/c system can be is energy-efficient. Living here in Houston, air conditioning runs near year-round. It’s in the mid-70s today—in the winter – and summers that are brutal go well into the triple digits. So an efficient a/c system is important for us, and we were excited to learn that this technology would be very efficient.”

Dennis Dailey is a veteran, himself, so was honored to serve as the project’s HVAC contractor. At the time, he was the owner of Addicks Air & Heat, Inc., Katy, Texas, which has since been acquired by Fresh Air, L.P., Richmond, Texas. Dailey knew zoned technology was a smart choice: “Everybody wants something low-maintenance. That’s why we turn to Mitsubishi Electric. We’re a Diamond Contractor®, and I believe Mitsubishi Electric is the best system on the planet. And this is not just something I believe, it’s something I’ve seen. I invested my own money in one of these systems and installed it in my house. It’s been in 2.5 years. The first year, we cut our cooling bill by 60 percent – and it’s not like I had a bad system before. I had a top-of-the-line conventional system with zoning. Mitsubishi Electric is just that good.”

He continued, “What I’ve found is that if we compare the cost of a conventional system to Mitsubishi Electric, factoring in all the things Mitsubishi Electric units have built-in—filtration, zoning—the bottom line is that Mitsubishi Electric is less expensive. They’re also great to work with. Our distributor is Johnson Supply. The training they offer has really helped us, and their tech support is great. So we love putting these ductless systems in. We’ve been putting them in for 30 years.”

For Paz, this project was his first time working with zoned technology. “It was a positive experience—first-rate and very informing. I’d definitely recommend Mitsubishi Electric for future homeowners. I think about how, over the years, I’ve had homeowners ask for a/c in spaces where ducts were not viable. Now I have an option for that.”

Paz was also impressed by the installation. “It was pretty seamless. It’s definitely not your standard a/c installation. It was clean, fast and budget-conscious.”

Since installation, the system has met Jon’s desire to reduce energy usage. He said, “This system has been a big stride forward in energy efficiency compared to the systems in previous places we’ve lived. Our energy bills have gone way down, lifting a huge burden for us.

This was true even in the brutal summer we just had. We kept the system running and it really kept up. I was surprised how durable the units are.”

He continued, “I believe this technology will be how things are done in the future – this cost-efficient way of cooling a home and the personalization it allows, like being able to have different temperatures from one room to the next. Like our guest room – if we’re not going to have someone there for several days, we can keep the a/c unit closed off to make our energy bills even lower. So the personalization is huge.”

Rebecca has also appreciated the ability to personalize comfort throughout her home. “One of my favorite things is that you can have each of your different rooms on a different temperature. Our daughter is 12, and at night we keep her room cooler because that’s what she likes, but then during the day we let the room warm up so we’re not paying to cool the space while she’s at school. Making this setting, and really just working with the system, is easy. It’s user-friendly. There are not a lot of difficult commands that you have to learn; you just turn it on, and it’s on.”

Jon said, “Overall, we’ve been pretty satisfied, and the aesthetics are very nice. The system is just so reliable; it made it through a real hot summer in Houston without skipping a beat. So we’ve been happy! And we’re the envy of our neighbors with the efficiency. They’ve seen our system, and now they ask about it all the time.”

Being the envy of the neighbors is always a plus, but for Mitsubishi Electric, this project is really about the Dowdells. It is exciting and humbling to have participated in this OFH project to provide the Dowdells with a much-deserved home, and one that can offer years and years of comfort.

 

 

Project Team

  • Builder: Harbour Classic Builders, League City, Texas
  • HVAC Contractor: Addicks Air & Heat, Inc., Katy, Texas. (since acquired by Fresh Air, L.P., Richmond, Texas)
  • Distributor: Johnson Supply, Houston, Texas

Mitsubishi Electric Equipment Installed

  • (1) MXZ M-Series Outdoor Unit
  • (1) MSZ Wall-mounted Indoor Unit
  • (4) PLA 4-Way Ceiling-recessed Cassette Indoor Units
  • (4) MHK1 Wireless Wall-mounted Thermostats