When Franz Leung first bought this apartment in Beijing, China it had fan coil units that were connected to two 6 ton chillers. This was to be expected though because of how forced air systems have all but disappeared from Chinese dwellings in favor of these units. But, because Franz is the Unico rep for China, he had other plans for the apartment rather than live there. He wanted to create an environment where he could take consumers and show them an alternative to the HVAC systems they are used to. Franz explains, “In China, image is everything. Our attempt is to set the stage with prestige and luxury and hopefully they can relate to the fact that comfort is probably the best luxury.” Franz replaced the older units with the latest technologies in home comfort, which includes radiant floor heating, a fresh air recovery system, humidification and of course, The Unico System.
The apartment also provides consumers with the opportunity to see how easily the system can be hidden without sacrificing ceiling space that is so important with the cities’ many high rise apartments.
Franz replaced the fan coil units with two 3 ton Unico Green Series air handlers and two 1.5 ton Unico Green Series air handlers. A boiler is used to provide hot water for the Unico, the radiant system and the domestic hot water. While the two 3.5 ton Unico units would have likely been enough capacity for the 4000 sq ft apartment, Franz opted to also install two 1.5 ton Unico units for his guest wing, which consists of two bed rooms, two bathrooms and the living room. He did this to showcase the excellent zoning abilities of The Unico System. He did choose to keep the existing chillers as they provide the cold water for the Unico coils.
Radiant heat is getting more and more popular in China, because of the look of stone and tile floors and how cool it feels in the summer time. The problem is that radiant heat doesn't respond quickly to temperature fluctuations, leaving the conditioned space too hot or cold some of the time. With Unico for cooling and also supplemental heat, the temperatures are much more balanced, providing greater comfort.
The Unico System is also used in conjunction with a fresh air recovery system and humidifier. Air quality is very important to the consumers in China, however combining these types of systems to fan coil units can be quite complicated. The Unico System makes adding these options very easy, which consumers can see in the apartment.
In the past, Chinese consumers haven't put much thought into the quality of their heating and cooling needs which led developers to install low quality equipment to keep things as cheap as possible, whether the market was good or bad. As Franz states, “hopefully the Chinese consumers have come of age in terms of home comfort… A showroom like ours should allow them to make a better choice.”