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Long-term serviceability: Fujitsu vs Mitsu?

fourforhome | Posted in General Questions on

A friend of mine is choosing between the  AOUG12LZAS1/ASUG12LZAS or the MUZ-GL12NA***/MSZ-GL12NA*** in climate zone 4C for an ADU.
He wants to go with the Fujitsu (better capacity at 17° and higher COPs in general) but was told the Mitsubishi had much better parts availability 20 years down the road whereas the Fujitsu parts become hard to source after just several years.
How are Fujitsus for servicing 15, 20, or 25 years down the road?

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Replies

  1. arcticenergy | | #1

    1. Replacing small parts often cost nearly as much as replacing the entire indoor unit, or outdoor unit. If an indoor unit or outdoor unit has been retired or made redundant, there is almost always a replacement unit that is available that would still be compatible with the outdoor unit, or indoor unit.

    2. In 15 or 20 years, one could anticipate that the entire system would have paid for itself, in which case it may be prudent to consider replacing the system with -- at that point in time -- a significantly more efficient replacement.

    There is subtle difference between the top tier options.

  2. monkeyman9 | | #2

    Arcticenergy already hit on this, but after they are out of warranty it seems to make more sense to replace the whole unit. I can tell you on my own systems, a year out of warranty the Mitsubishi 15K head got a pinhole in the coil. I couldn't find a new head anywhere. Ended up just replacing it with Fujitsu since the Fujitsu units are cheaper and have performed better for me. I will say that the Mitsubishi's do seem to be built a little bit better when I'm working on them for what it's worth. That doesn't mean they're more reliable though.

    Sure seems like when the warranty ends is about when it's hard to get parts for either. Fujitsu does seem to change model numbers more often which probably affects part availability.

    In my own house I now have three Fujitsu units. They are cheap enough that if a coil or fan motor wipes out the board out of warranty. I might as well just replace the whole unit. For myself, I can't bring myself to pay more for Mitsubishi units anymore.

    I could be wrong here, but the Fujitsu units seem to be more energy efficient in heating as well. They include the pan heater and Mitsubishi does not. I've been told that is because Mitsubishi can claim better energy ratings since it's not included.

    My two cents and a cup of coffee.

  3. Casimir38 | | #3

    In my case parts warranty is 2 years, compressor 5. If a fan motor or electronic board would fail between 2 and 12 years I would clearly change the parts rather than the entire system, possibly doing this myself. I can't understand why parts like motors would change so often... perhaps just to avoid the spreading of generic parts (like for batteries or car parts...). Also, for electronic boards in indoor units there is really no reason to have a different part for every single split unit model. A generic board with just a different firmware could well do the job for a wide range of units... I know that the software is something costly to develop and you have to pay for that somehow, but couldn't we find a compromise and avoid having to store such a huge number of different spare parts... ?
    The electronic board for my 10 years old Mitsubishi MSZ-FH35VE seems still available... 100€.
    Can somebody check a random part for a 10 years old Fujitsu model ?

  4. fourforhome | | #4

    Hmmm. Are these like Range Rovers? It's best to buy a spare because they don't hold up well?
    What kind of life expectancy can we get out of ANY minisplit? Are there some brands that have good support for 20 years?
    Is it worth buying a control board at the beginning - just in case?

    1. monkeyman9 | | #6

      There are certain splits where the control boards go quick. Been there done that. More than one particular model line had expansion valve coils that went and fried boards before they changed the design and swapped them with the boards. Some fan motors will fry the board when they go to. Pain in the but. Seems like a fuse would solve it.

      I have yet to see any brands with conformall coated boards or encased boards. You'd be susprised. The board face s exposed right to the vents for hornet nests, geckos etc to short them sadly.

  5. nickdefabrizio | | #5

    My Fujitsu units are 10 years old and still humming. I chose these units in part because the main distribution center for Fujitsu is in Northern New Jersey so I thought parts would be easier to get.

    Coastal enviornments are rough on mini splits. On Long Beach Island, NJ where my dad has a house many like the Mitsubishi units as they say they are a little better at avoiding rust. My dad just had installed some Mitsubishi units so we will see how long they last. A previously installed LG unit he had rotted out in less than 8 years (although at one point I was able to replace a motherboard on one (did it myself-not hard to get the part online); while the "cheap" Gree unit he had installed 7 or 8 years ago is still humming.

    These are just ancidotal reports. I suspect much has to do with install quality, how protected they are from elements, maintenance etc. My Fujitsu units are under an 8 foot high deck so they rarely get wet. And always install with a surge protector or you can experience the joys of a fried motherboard like we did on the LG unit I mentioned above that was taken down by a line surge (lightning maybe?)

  6. user-5946022 | | #7

    I'm not too sure serviceability or parts really matter, because these units are so complicated that it is impossible to find a competent repair person to work on them. I know Mitsu has diamond dealers, etc but that is really just marketing. Many have no clue so it is just the luck of the draw if there is someone nearby who can service them and if they are competent.

  7. utah_matt | | #8

    I work at a salt plant which destroys everything we install. We have been getting 7-8 years out of our Fujitsu mini splits. I was impressed enough with them that I installed Fujitsu in my home.

  8. gusfhb | | #9

    I have 3 Mitsubishi hyper heat units installed just under 14 years ago. No repairs on the units. Only used for AC, but a data point nonetheless.

  9. walta100 | | #10

    Let’s be real after 15 years anything more than the most minor repair would be foolish. By then the risk of the unit failing repeatedly with large bills is just too great and the latest technology will undoubtably be better.

    Walta

  10. Mitsuman | | #11

    Get a Mitsubishi, protect it with ICM493. We repair all brands when time allows. Fujitsu much more susceptible to electrical damage, that’s personal experience. And coil issues more common. Fujitsu compressors not as robust. Mitsubishi 12yr warranty parts and compressor when registered by diamond dealer (Fujitsu has this also). Not all diamond dealers are great find someone passionate and committed to the technology. It certainly is NOT better to replace than repair that’s crazy (IF) you have competent technician). Too much money to throw away. Don’t buy backup boards. They’re warrantied for 12yrs and even if you have Joe plumber install the system who’s going to diagnose it and tell you it’s the board? Which board? What if you replace the board and that new one promptly fries ifself? You can’t guess and start replacing parts. How do you know indoor unit isn’t the issue? Are you training to be a service tech for the system? Just buy the best quality you can, protect it with device that disconnects it from bad voltage (+/- 10%) and surges, etc. and have it installed by a professional with experience and recommendations. Then you’ll get your 15-20yrs out of it.

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