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"chiller free" villas -- how can that be?

"chiller free" villas -- how can that be?

Old Jan 19th 2021, 10:09 pm
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Default "chiller free" villas -- how can that be?

Hi all,

Currently considering a move from Manchester to Dubai later this year. I've spent a fair bit of time digging into things on the internet (including ample use of this forum). One thing I can't get my head round is villas advertised as having "free chiller" e.g. https://famproperties.com/dubai-land...illa/the-aldea

If I've got it right, this is usually something advertised with apartments, when the AC is shared by a building and individual apartments cannot be metered so the landlords of the building pay. That being the case, I can't think of circumstances whereby it would make sense for the landlord to take on the costs of the AC for a villa, unless it is just being offered as a perk?

Can anyone shed any light on this? If it is the case that villas at The Villa are being offered with the cost of AC removed, that's a substantial saving, right?

Last edited by fdc; Jan 19th 2021 at 10:30 pm.
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Old Jan 20th 2021, 4:08 am
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Default Re: "chiller free" villas -- how can that be?

Probably a typo to suck you in.

sometimes, but rarely now, local landlords would offer free utilities and keep the utility supply in their name. Avoid this as you won’t be able to sponsor the family easily with that arrangement.

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Old Jan 20th 2021, 6:39 am
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Default Re: "chiller free" villas -- how can that be?

Originally Posted by fdc View Post
Hi all,

Currently considering a move from Manchester to Dubai later this year. I've spent a fair bit of time digging into things on the internet (including ample use of this forum). One thing I can't get my head round is villas advertised as having "free chiller" e.g. https://famproperties.com/dubai-land...illa/the-aldea

If I've got it right, this is usually something advertised with apartments, when the AC is shared by a building and individual apartments cannot be metered so the landlords of the building pay. That being the case, I can't think of circumstances whereby it would make sense for the landlord to take on the costs of the AC for a villa, unless it is just being offered as a perk?

Can anyone shed any light on this? If it is the case that villas at The Villa are being offered with the cost of AC removed, that's a substantial saving, right?
Why don't you email the agent - he'll let you know. Chiller free would possibly mean that the electricity supply to the chiller is wired to a separate meter not yours, the cost going to the landlord. In your other scenario it's possible to monitor individual usage in district cooling, it's not technically difficult and is usually the case.
Edit to say it's top arsehole FAM properties website you are quoting so it could be just to draw in enquiries
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Old Jan 20th 2021, 7:45 am
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Default Re: "chiller free" villas -- how can that be?

Free chiller just means you don't pay cooled water charges to a 3rd party. You'll still pay the electricity cost to DEWA. It doesn't mean you don't pay for AC. There will be an AC unit on the roof that supplies cool air throughout the villa, and you pay the electricity consumption only.
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Old Jan 20th 2021, 9:49 am
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Default Re: "chiller free" villas -- how can that be?

Thanks everyone.

Free chiller just means you don't pay cooled water charges to a 3rd party. You'll still pay the electricity cost to DEWA. It doesn't mean you don't pay for AC. There will be an AC unit on the roof that supplies cool air throughout the villa, and you pay the electricity consumption only.
Thanks for that. So what does that translate into in terms of monthly costs / savings? For example, I've budgeted approximately AED3k / month for utilities, for a 5 bedroom villa with pool (does that sound about right?). What proportion of that would be cooled water charges?

Also, what does Central AC mean in this context? Presumably not a centrally managed AC, shared by multiple villas?

Why don't you email the agent - he'll let you know.
I guess I assumed I wouldn't get an especially straight answer from the agent -- maybe that's unfair!

it's top arsehole FAM properties
What's the story with these?

Last edited by fdc; Jan 20th 2021 at 9:52 am.
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Old Jan 20th 2021, 10:11 am
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Default Re: "chiller free" villas -- how can that be?

Originally Posted by fdc View Post
Thanks everyone.


Thanks for that. So what does that translate into in terms of monthly costs / savings? For example, I've budgeted approximately AED3k / month for utilities, for a 5 bedroom villa with pool (does that sound about right?). What proportion of that would be cooled water charges?

Also, what does Central AC mean in this context? Presumably not a centrally managed AC, shared by multiple villas?
Without getting into how AC works- what he is saying is that the chilled water is being chilled somewhere else centrally, and then piped to your villa. Your AC unit then blows it out into your rooms - consider it like a district version of a split unit.
Not sure what the costs would be reduced by - but if you are considering a 5 bed villa with pool it's hardly that important. Work on the salary side of the equation!

FAM are a typical hard sell incompetent agency owned by a cult of personality type of guy
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Old Jan 20th 2021, 10:43 am
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Default Re: "chiller free" villas -- how can that be?

Originally Posted by weasel decentral View Post
Without getting into how AC works- what he is saying is that the chilled water is being chilled somewhere else centrally, and then piped to your villa. Your AC unit then blows it out into your rooms - consider it like a district version of a split unit.
Not sure what the costs would be reduced by - but if you are considering a 5 bed villa with pool it's hardly that important. Work on the salary side of the equation!

FAM are a typical hard sell incompetent agency owned by a cult of personality type of guy
Got it, thanks
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Old Jan 20th 2021, 11:12 am
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Default Re: "chiller free" villas -- how can that be?

https://www.bayut.com/mybayut/chille...cooling-dubai/

Not saying others are wrong... but the link from a real estate agent says something else.

Also.. pretty sure the The Villa project isn't a district cooling area. So the chiller is a split AC unit with stuff on your room. You pay all your cooling costs via your DEWA bill.
3k for DEWA (on average) is right. Could be 4k in summer and 2k in winter for a 5 bed. Pools expensive though, so maybe more.
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Old Jan 20th 2021, 11:18 am
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Default Re: "chiller free" villas -- how can that be?

Originally Posted by Millhouse View Post
https://www.bayut.com/mybayut/chille...cooling-dubai/

Not saying others are wrong... but the link from a real estate agent says something else.

Also.. pretty sure the The Villa project isn't a district cooling area. So the chiller is a split AC unit with stuff on your room. You pay all your cooling costs via your DEWA bill.
3k for DEWA (on average) is right. Could be 4k in summer and 2k in winter for a 5 bed. Pools expensive though, so maybe more.
That's what I was trying to say, no chilled water, just the unit on your roof whirring away.
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Old Jan 20th 2021, 12:04 pm
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Default Re: "chiller free" villas -- how can that be?

Originally Posted by Gavtek View Post
That's what I was trying to say, no chilled water, just the unit on your roof whirring away.
It's a really misleading term, don't you think?

also.. in flats "Chiller free" can often mean AC is inclusive, i.e. cold water is given for free (the expensive bit) and you just pay for the fan (a minor cost)

There is no real chiller free in a villa... you are either paying (a lot) for cold water, or (a bit less but still a lot) for electric to make cold air.
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Old Jan 20th 2021, 3:37 pm
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Default Re: "chiller free" villas -- how can that be?

I never paid separately for AC in my "chiller free" flats. Never understood why people would be willing to pay small fortunes for AC when the building next door or the next community would have free AC. In theory the fan consumed electricity that would be included in the dewa bill, but the differential in the dewa bill from winter to summer was rarely more than 100 AED.

Never heard of a villa that had free AC. You pay for it one way or another. The split AC units aren't half bad. They can cool down a room very quickly. I was surprised when I saw it in action in friends' villas. Turn off the upstairs AC during the day when everyone is out and just turn them on at night and within 20 minutes the room will be cool enough.
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Old Jan 21st 2021, 4:12 am
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Default Re: "chiller free" villas -- how can that be?

Originally Posted by Millhouse View Post
https://www.bayut.com/mybayut/chille...cooling-dubai/

Not saying others are wrong... but the link from a real estate agent says something else.

Also.. pretty sure the The Villa project isn't a district cooling area. So the chiller is a split AC unit with stuff on your room. You pay all your cooling costs via your DEWA bill.
3k for DEWA (on average) is right. Could be 4k in summer and 2k in winter for a 5 bed. Pools expensive though, so maybe more.
Yeah possibly, not a district cooling in the traditional sense more like separate cooling on a different meter then in this instance. Though why they would provide chilled water for villas in the first place is strange, as I'd expect that they'd use a VRF individual system per villa. So no chilled water at all - just refrigerant. Though thinking back separate split units in every room were very common rather than a full VRF system
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Old Jan 21st 2021, 4:43 am
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Default Re: "chiller free" villas -- how can that be?

Originally Posted by weasel decentral View Post
Yeah possibly, not a district cooling in the traditional sense more like separate cooling on a different meter then in this instance. Though why they would provide chilled water for villas in the first place is strange, as I'd expect that they'd use a VRF individual system per villa. So no chilled water at all - just refrigerant. Though thinking back separate split units in every room were very common rather than a full VRF system
I have "interesting" set up. I have two very large compressors and fans on the roof, but they seem to be common for the whole house. In my previous houses, I had a compressor dedicated to each room, i.e. basic split units but hidden in ceilings (and called centralised AC). You didn't really know that until a capacitator on the roof failed and only one room went out.

My current set up seems to be more centralised. Obviously when that big boy fails I'm going to be suffering, unlike the compartmentation of issues with multiple splits.

I've literally bored myself typing this, thank you for reminding me while I left my engineering career all those years ago!
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Old Jan 21st 2021, 5:20 am
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Default Re: "chiller free" villas -- how can that be?

I paid for AC in the last place, don't pay for it in this place ('chiller free').
DEWA bill is noticeably larger, granted the rent is higher so council tax is higher but doesn't account for the difference.
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