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APPLIANCES : Controlling the Heat by Remote

October 27, 1990|RON GASBARRO

In hot weather you want to flop on the couch and not move. Mitsubishi Electric has an air conditioner with a remote control that lets you cool down without getting up.

Part of the Mr. Slim series of wall-mounted and ductless cooling units, the wireless remote lets you change the temperature and air direction as easily as flipping a TV channel.

The remote controller, called the "I Feel Control" feature, uses a microprocessor and LCD readout to indicate the mode you are in.

For example, if you just came in from work and want to quickly cool a room, put the fan speed on high. If you want the room at 70 degrees, you can program it and the unit will remember the setting from day to day.

You can also tell the system to kick on before you come home, and the room will be cool when you get there.

"The air conditioner itself has a heat pump system that can also be used for warming a room in the winter," says Richard Trethewey, the plumber on "This Old House" on PBS and an air-conditioning contractor in Boston. "Instead of burning gas or oil, the Mitsubishi draws heat energy from the surrounding air."

The Mr. Slim is priced steeply--from $2,500 to $3,000 installed for 9,000 to 14,500 BTUs, and you need a professional air-conditioning contractor to do the work. Energy efficiency ratings for the line are excellent, ranging from 9.0 to 10.6.

Panasonic's new L-shaped air conditioners look unusual. But their special shape makes them quieter, and they use less window space.

The compressor and other main components hang outside and below the window. Its cross-flow fan directs cool air inside while the roar of the motor stays outside.

"Compared to standard air conditioners, the front panels of these L-shaped models are about 6 inches high, eliminating blocked views and blocked sunlight," says Ian Brydon, national marketing manager of Panasonic's home appliance division. Standard units of comparable BTUs (6,000 to 8,000) are about 11 inches high.

Ideal for an upstairs room or a bedroom, the L-shaped Panasonics cost $475 to $600, depending on the model. The energy efficiency rating is 9.1.

Distributed by AP Newsfeatures.

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