Air-to-air heat pumps are getting more popular as a primary heat source in colder climates. Here’s how to get the most from your system.
[Editor's Note: This guest post comes to us courtesy of Peter Talmage, P.E., an energy and design consultant and an instructor in the Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency program at Greenfield Community College.]
I have heated my various homes with wood since 1975. It was always a love/hate relationship. The wood fuel was “free” off my land, but burning it was a very dirty business in many ways.
This Fujitsu 3/4-ton model 9RLS is in its third season as the primary heater for our 1,500 ft2 home in Northfield, Massachusetts. The interior unit is 18" off the floor, and certain creatures like that very much.Photo Credit: Peter Talmage
Mini-splits in cold climates? Yes we can!
Three years ago, I installed a ¾-ton Fujitsu model air-source mini-split heat pump to heat my historic 1790 cape home here in Northfield, Massachusetts. It has been a great success.
During the winter of 2010–2011, the heater for my 1,500 ft2 home consumed 1,757 kWh from October 2010 to June 2011. For the warmer winter of 2011–2012, the usage was only 1,247 kWh from September 2011 to April 2012.
So far this winter, from October 2012, to March 23, 2013, the usage has been 1,501 kWh. I have a 5.4 kW PV array that supplies about 200% of my electrical consumption, including that of the heat pump, so the heating system is very “green.” I have since installed mini-splits in two other houses.
Below are my suggestions for successful house-heating with a mini-split—even in a cold, Northern New England climate like mine.