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Friedrich Pulls Back on DIY Minisplit Launch

The manufacturer of the ductless minisplit heat pump says it wants to limit sales to New York and south Florida for now while it reviews a 'broader launch' later

Posted on May 14 2014 by Scott Gibson

Just as the air-conditioning season arrives, Friedrich says it is limiting sales of an air-source heat pumpHeat pump that relies on outside air as the heat source and heat sink; not as effective in cold climates as ground-source heat pumps. designed for installation by do-it-yourselfers to only two states while it studies a broader launch later.

The announcement comes just a month after the company launched the Breeze, and said it would be a "game changer" in the industry. At the time, the company's advertising agency said it would be available nationally.

But in an e-mail sent out on May 8, Eco advertising president Perla Sarabia Johnson wrote, "At Friedrich's request, please delete the Breeze room air conditioner press release as well as images, and please do not run Breeze information in the future."

The Breeze is a ductless minisplit heat pump available in two sizes and delivered in a kit designed for installation by homeowners. Heat pumps are usually installed by professionals.

Asked to explain the unusual request, Johnson said by e-mail: "Friedrich has intentionally rolled out the product with limited production for sale only in New York and South Florida. While Friedrich wanted broader exposure this summer season, the company has decided to pull back to avoid creating demand that Friedrich cannot deliver on. Friedrich is currently reviewing its broad launch date with its retailers and production team."

Johnson said there were no production or design issues with the heat pump, but it wasn't clear what prompted the about-face and Friedrich did not return phone calls. Johnson didn't respond to a question about how many units had been sold prior to the announcement.

As of May 14, the Breeze was still listed at the company's website.

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