It may be a great air conditioner. However, if this brand is not certified for RV use in Canada and the US, then Escape or other RV companies cannot install it in their models. This was proven true with the Dickson Marine Cooktop. You may have to install it privately if you want one.
The reviews are in and it seems that there are a few problems to report with this brand of air conditioner. Most people that onw it are happy with it and would buy it again. There may be some confusion as to which RV brand uses a Houghton air conditioner as some forums only mention RecPro.
To learn more about this product, just continue to read our article. It explores the issue so you have the best information possible for your next air conditioner buying decision. Take a few minutes to see how this may be one of the best RV AC units possible.
It seems that Houghten is an Australian company that builds air conditioners for the harsh Australian climate. Not much is known about the company except that it distributes and sells its air conditioners through at least 2 American companies, RecPro and Advanced.
The word about them is that these are some of the best air conditioners you can buy but you may have to install them on your own. They do not draw a lot of power and use fewer amps than the standard Dometic air conditioner.
This brand of AC unit pulls about 10 amps compared to Dometic’s 16 and after 6 hours of continuous use, the batteries were still 97% charged. This is a game changer if it ever gets certified for North American RVs.
We say that as we have not found any official word on if they can be factory installed and ordered. This is something you have to check out on your own if you decide to go this route.
So far we have seen mostly positive reviews. As reported earlier, one owner is very pleased by his power savings. But that was just one test and he will reserve judgment until he uses it more full-time.
Other owners were worried about the short cycles and wondered if the air probe is too close to the cold air to register accurate temperatures. What impressed many owners was the quiet motor.
They loved the lack of sound and they said they get better sleep with it on and did not like turning the AC off because it was too noisy. Another owner is going to disconnect his factory-installed unit and privately install a Houghten model.
This is the impact that this company has made on the RV world so far. It is a limited amount of reviews but we have not come across any other types. There were only 1 or 2 people who said they would not buy a Houghten. They had their own reasons why.
The following specs are for the Houghton Belaire HB3500 Air conditioner costing $1,440.00 at Van Go’s and that is the website we grabbed the specs from:
Power supply 220-240V, 50Hz
Rated cooling capacity 3500W
Rated heating capacity 3500W
Rated current for cooling 5.6 A
Rated current for heating 5.2 A
Maximum air flow 150 I/s
Installed weight 38.3 kg
Outdoor unit dimensions 340 x 680 x 998 mm
Plenum unit dimensions 43 x 546 x 557 mm
Roof opening 360 x 360 mm
Operating temperature range up to 52 C or 134 degrees F. The installed weight would convert to about 85 pounds and the size would be- outdoor: 13 x 27 x 39 inches; the Plenum dimensions are: 2 x 22 x 22 inches. Then the roof opening would be approx. 14 x 14 inches give or take an mm or two.
If you want the specs for different models then it is suggested you contact either Advanced or RecPro and see what models they have on sale at this time.
It is going to be hard to find any list of common problems for this air conditioner. It is a recent import to the US market and it has not been here that long for anyone to make any comparisons and reports.
We can only report that this brand of AC unit will experience many of the common problems that other AC units experience. If you have no power, then check your electrical connections and sources. Also, the unit may have gotten unplugged accidentally.
If you have no air flow, then the filter or vents may be blocked. Or a circuit breaker tripped, or there is a problem with the thermostat setting, there is ice build-up and finally, the device may be low on coolant.
Another common problem would be a leak somewhere in the system. This takes more work to find and the search can be time-consuming. This may take a professional to find and includes removing the unit to see where the leak is.
Some people call the Houghten short cycling, every 4 minutes a problem, but according to Houghten, that is the normal time frame for a cycle.
There are lots of reasons for this situation no matter the brand of an air conditioner. The first place to check would be the outlet. If the AC unit is unplugged it will not turn on.
The second place to check would be your batteries. You will need to see that they are fully charged and working normally. If they are, then check for blown fuses or tripped circuit breakers.
The solutions for those sources are to plug the AC unit back in, recharge your batteries, and replace the fuse and reset the circuit breaker. If the fuse blows continuously after replacement or the circuit breaker trips again and again, then you have a short somewhere in the system.
That may require the assistance of a professional technician to solve the problem. Then, it could be that your room temperature is set too low and the room is too cool for the AC unit to turn on.
If all of these are good and there is no sign of trouble, check your wires and connections. They may be loose, broken, damaged, and keeping your air conditioner from turning on. Replace or tighten any problems you may find in this area.
We have checked the Belaire AC unit’s manual and found about 10 error codes you need to be concerned about. Here is a table with the error code and the fault explanation:
|E1||Room temperature sensor fault|
|E2||Indoor coil temperature sensor fault|
|E3||Outdoor coil temperature sensor fault|
|E4||No cooling effect|
|E5||Outdoor coil temperature too high|
|E8||Outdoor temperature sensor fault|
|E9||Wall pad room temperature sensor fault|
These are found on page 27 of the manual, which we will link to shortly. That is the same page that holds the troubleshooting guide. It is only one page long and if the information is not there or you get a different error code, then contact the nearest dealer for help.
If you are not getting cooling air out of the AC device, then make sure that the device is set to the snow icon. If you want to heat it, make sure it is set to the sun icon. This seems to be a straight forward design and AC unit so you should not experience too much trouble but that is said with our fingers crossed.
We will refer you to the RecPro company that sells this product in America. So far we have not found a Houghten AC website in America or our Australian searches.
Part of the problem is that there are major international corporations that have Houghten as a name and their websites are what appear in any search results.
It seems that this company has the American rights to sell this product so the best thing to do is contact it for technical help. The word is that RecPro has great customer service.
For RecPro, you can contact them at this link. We did find an address for the Australian company. It is on the last page of the manual we will link to shortly. It provides the address and an Australian phone number in case you want to speak directly to them about your technical problems.
If you find other RV dealers or component manufacturers for Houghten air conditioners, then it is best you contact the company that is supplying those units. We did come across one review website that listed about 10 component manufacturers that had air conditioners made by Houghten.
Whether they are real Houghtens or not remains to be seen. Only the RecPro version on that list mentions by Houghten on the AC unit.
This link takes you to the RecPro warranty page. It seems to be a general warranty that covers all of their products and not just Houghton air conditioners. We will quote some of it so you have an idea of what to expect when you buy this product through this company.
“What Is Not Covered Under Our Warranty -
1. Damages not reported within 30 days of delivery.
2. Damages or failures including any failure that results from neglect, accident, wind, rain, water pooling, weather, or other acts of God.
3. Improper installation and/or any damage/failure that is a result of improper installation or adjustment of the product/component. Professional installation is recommended.
4. Purchaser’s abuse, including but not limited to neglect; failure to operate, use or maintain the product in accordance with the instruction manual.”
“For all products under the coverage of a stated RecPro warranty (“coverage”, stated or unstated, does not guarantee coverage) the choice to repair, replace, or refund is at the sole and absolute discretion of RecPro. If an item is covered repair(s), refund(s), or replacement(s) of any sort will be handled in a reasonable, but undetermined, time-frame. Warranty parts will be replaced with new, or “like-new” in “good” condition used, parts. If a replacement cannot be provided to an item covered by warranty, remuneration may be provided. RecPro warranties cover RecPro products (outside of 30-day warranty-after-purchase timeframe) and there are no other warranties applicable.
Proof of Purchase MUST be provided to an authorized RecPro representative in order to be eligible for (possible) coverage. No remuneration, remedy, solution, compensation, product, or other forms of appreciable value exchange will be provided unless we receive written notice of a claimed defect or inconsistency.”
We will provide two links for manuals that you can browse or download. The first has several options for you to look at. It is found at this link. The second one is probably the best manual location that we have found.
It has manuals for almost every product imaginable and they are easy to read before downloading. There may be a cost involved with both locations and that is something you will find out when you click the download icon.
You will find the second manual at this link. it is probably the easiest option to use when you just want to find out specific information and not download the whole document.
What we have been able to find out is that the Houghten air conditioners are a very good product. RV owners are switching from the local American options and going with this model.
This device seems to have a very good reputation and the company has partnered with a top American RV components maker that provides good customer service.
In one poll on one RV discussion forum, 22 out of 23 RV owners would choose this brand over all the rest. That gives you a little indication of how good this AC unit can be. It is worth checking out.