Fujitsu RLS3 and RLS3H Ductless Mini Split Heat Pump
The Fujitsu line of ductless mini split heat pumps are one of the most popular for HRM home owners.
There are two versions of the RLS3 line, the RLS3 and the RLS3H. The H model denotes the outdoor unit has a pan heating element and frost sensor in the bottom pan.
There are 9,000, 12,000 and 15,000 BTU sized units available, with the 12,000 BTU model being the most popular of the sizes we’ve been installing the past 12 months.
High Nominal Heating Value
Of all the 12,000 BTU heat pumps we’ve encountered, the Fujitsu RLS series has the highest nominal heating value at 16,000 BTU’s. Nominal heating is the max amount the amount of heat the indoor unit is capable of producing in optimal temperature operating ranges between 0°C and -8°C.
Most 12,000 BTU sized heat pumps have a nominal heating value somewhere between 13,600 and 14,4000 BTUs (see our detailed model comparison sheet for reference). The benefit of having a higher nominal heating value is the unit will heat a space more quickly and also maintain that temperature as the outdoor temperature drops.
Outdoor Temperature Operating Range
Having a heat pump that operates efficiently to a low outdoor temperature and continues to produce a a high percentage of the units nominal heating value means there’s a smaller chance you will need to rely on your backup heating source during a cold snap.
The Fujitsu RLS3 line operates down to -21°C for the RLS3 and -26°C for the RLS3H. At those temperatures the amount of heat still produced is adequate to maintain proper temperature in the area of your home the unit is installed in.
How does that operating temperature compare to competitive units? Well they aren’t the only ones to operate that low. Both LG and Mitsubishi have units that operate down to -25°C. Where the Fujitsu RLS3H specifically out performs is the amount of heat the unit still produces at that low outdoor temperature of -26°C.
Benefit of the Pan Heater in the RLS3H
The benefit of spending the extra money for the “h” model is sometimes mis understood. The pan heating element and frost sensor included in the RLS3H, which is not part of the RLS3, reduces the chance that ice will build up in the lower pan and cause break failure issues such as a cracked coil, broken fan blades or burn out fan motors.
We’ve installed more H models than non H models in the past 12 months. The increase in cost is somewhere in the $300-$400 range depending on the size of Fujitsu.
Is the Remote Easy to Use?
The Fujitsu remote, as with most heat pump remotes, has more features than the average home owner needs. The main features you need to access from your remote are:
- Mode for heat, cool, dry or fan
- Louver adjustment for both horizontal and vertical louvers
- Fan speed
Beyond that there is an energy savings mode, timer and other bonus features. However, if you review our best practices for heat pump operation, you’ll find that those added features really aren’t needed and in some cases cause more frustration with operation.
What’s the Warranty?
Both the RLS3 and RLS3H model comes with a 10 year parts and labour warranty. This warranty is a joint offering from both Fujitsu as well as Master Group, the distributor of Fujitsu heat pumps in eastern Canada.
This is a bumper to bumper warranty, covering the compressor and outdoor unit as well as the indoor unit. After the first year there is a service call fee for each service issue, however the parts and labour for the repair are covered.
What do they Cost?
The final big question is what do these units cost to install. The price can vary based on a few things:
- Available space on your electrical panel
- Available space on your electrical service
- Specific location the indoor and outdoor units are to be installed
We’ll give you the base pricing before HST for the average install of the three sizes.
- 9,000: $3,995
- 12,000: $4,245
- 15,000: $4,645
- 9,000: $4,480
- 12,000: $4,800
- 15,000: $5,139
Without a doubt the Fujitsu RLS models are one of the top units available in Canada right now. Fujitsu and Mitsubishi have been slugging it out for the best ductless heat pump in Canada for sometime, and I think for the time being these RLS3 models have taken that title.
If you’d like to learn more about the Fujitsu lineup of heat pumps please give us a call to book an appointment with one of our home energy specialists or submit the form to the right of this page.