Mitsubishi Electric 2021 Product Updates (Podcast)

Mike Cappuccio talks about Mitsubishi’s upgrades to their H2i units—the dual coating barrier, improved remote control, and the improved SEER ratings on all their new products.

John Maher: Hi, I’m John. I’m here today with Mike, owner of N.E.T.R. Inc., a heating and cooling company in Massachusetts. And today we’re talking about the new Mitsubishi Electric product updates for 2021. Welcome, Mike.

Mike Cappuccio: Good morning, John. How are you? 

How did Mitsubishi Improved their H2i Plus Units?

John: Good. Thanks. So Mike, I know that Mitsubishi Electric has made a number of changes and product updates for 2021, some exciting things that they’re doing. Why don’t we talk about the first one, which is the new H2i plus unit?

Mike: Well, they’ve definitely made some changes this year. It’s a new year, it’s 2021, and one of the biggest changes that we’re seeing definitely is the new H2i plus that is going to become available in the single zone models. They’re going to be available in the 6,000, 9,000, 12,000, 15,000, and 18,000 BTU units.

Now, the biggest thing with the H2i plus is the 100% heating capacity is going to be down to -5 degrees. It used to be five degrees. So now we picked up another 10 degrees down to -5. So the capability of the heating is going to be very good now at -5 degrees. Again, you’re going to get 100% capacity at that point right now. And they also…

John: So that means, Mike, that when the temperature gets down to zero degrees or now -5 degrees, the unit will still be able to give you the full amount of heat from the unit. Is that what that means?

Mike: That is correct, John. We used to have that down to five degrees. Now it’s -5 degrees. So, a lot of the areas that do get real cold, now you’re going to get that full heating capacity out of that unit where maybe at -5 degrees with the prior models, you were probably about 75% less than the rated capacity at that point.

John: You can actually get heat out of the current units now at -5 degrees, but you’ll be at a reduced amount of heat that you can get.

Mike: Yes. I think it’s down to almost -20 right now that you’re still going to get the heating capacity out of it. So these units have come a long, long way with heat pumps. So the myth of a heat pump that does not heat is pretty much gone. I mean, that’s the myth right now.

John: Yeah. We almost never, at least here in the Boston area, we almost never see temperatures dropping down below that point. That’s awfully cold.

Mike: No, our average coldest temperature, I think, in the Boston area if you were to actually look at the weather charts, I think five degrees is very, very cold and our design temperatures in the Boston area are actually only 12 degrees. When you get a little bit North of Boston, you might be down to four degrees, but we really don’t get a lot of days below zero degrees in the Boston area.

John: Right. We might have one cold spell for a week or two or something like that, but that’s really it.

Mike: Yeah. And if you look at it, it’s at nighttime too, and that’s mostly when you see the temperature dip below zero. So sometimes it’s only for a certain amount of hours actually, not days. 

Remote Control Improvements with the New H2i Plus Units

John: So is that the main thing about the H2i plus, is that minus five degrees temperature?

Mike: Well, that’s definitely the big change on it, but also the indoor unit is a little bit different than some of the other units. They’ve changed the remote control on it now. And we always had the… I’m going to say it’s probably the difficulty of reading, what some of the symbols used to be. And now they’ve actually taken those symbols off of the remote control and actually put the wording on there for heat, cool, auto and fan, where before we used to have symbols that replicated a snowflake, a flame of some sort, it almost looked like a little race car in the middle with some arrows going around it for auto. It was very confusing for a lot of people. So they’ve finally taken that and moved it over to a text now.

And they’ve actually backlit the controllers too now, so when you press one of the buttons it actually lights up, so for nighttime use that was a big change. That’s been asked for a long time now. And that did get changed finally this year. So, that was big enhancement that we saw.

John: Right, because if you shut off the lights and you’re ready to go to bed and then you realize oh, I want to turn down the heat to a lower temperature or something like that and then you can’t see the remote, now you have to turn the lights back on. Kind of a pain. Those symbols were so confusing before because for people, the snowflake meant cooling. So you put the snowflake on in the summer and then the sun was heating and you use the sun in the winter, it just really confusing. A lot of people thought it was the opposite of what it was.

Mike: Correct. Yeah. You look at a snowflake and you think okay, that’s wintertime use.

John: Right.

Mike: Where really that’s air conditioning. It is confusing, definitely confusing at times of how to do that. And the older FH Handheld Remote, I mean, I don’t know if you’ve ever opened one of those up and you look at it, there’s got to be about 30 buttons on it. That is very confusing. When you slide the bottom off and you’re trying to make adjustments on it, it can get very confusing. So they’ve really tried to simplify that remote a little bit and backlit it for nighttime use as well. So, that was a big enhancement.

Dual Barrier Coating in H2i Units

John: Okay. And then I know another one of the enhancements that’s included in that unit is the dual barrier coating. Can you talk about that?

Mike: Yeah. The dual barrier coating is definitely a big thing for this year. We’re going to be seeing that on, I believe, all of the indoor units that we’re going to be selling moving forward.

So what they’re actually doing on the indoor units is they’re putting a coating on those to reduce the maintenance, especially on the blower wheel.

The blow wheels would get really dirty and after a period of time, dust would build up on them, dirt would build up on them. I know we’ve done some maintenance videos, John, where I can actually show that dirt and what it actually did look like. And some of it was really heavy and bad because of what was built up on those wheels.

So now they’re actually putting a coating on the coil, as well as the blow wheel, because we were also getting a lot of smells and things like that, that come out of units after they’ve run for two or three years. And so this coating is going to really help. I’m not saying that you’re not going to have to do maintenance on your units and wash and clean them, but this is going to reduce the amount of dirt that’s actually going to get caught on those.

John: Right. So it’s a coating that’s applied and then that helps to keep that dust and dirt from building up on the inside of the unit.

Mike: That is correct. 

Mitsubishi’s Change to their SEER Ratings

John: Okay. Another change that Mitsubishi Electric is making this year is increasing their SEER rating, their S-E-E-R, SEER rating. What is that? And what impact will that have?

Mike: So what’s happening now is all of these new models, all these new FS models are all going to be energy star rated. So the SEER rating has to be a certain rating. We’re trying to make rebates with all of these units so they’re trying to keep the efficiencies up. Some of these units are 30 SEER and over, which is very, very high for air conditioning units.

John: Yeah. And do you get your rebates based on what your SEER rating is? Is that how that works and why that’s important?

Mike: That is correct, the SEER rating, the EER rating and the HSPF ratings. Those are the ratings that they look at for the heating side. And a lot of these rebates are being based on the heating side as much as the cooling side, just as well.

Mitsubishi’s New Indoor and Outdoor One-to-One Units

John: Next step for Mitsubishi Electric with their new units is a new indoor and outdoor one-to-one, what it is that?

Mike: That, John, is the new outdoor units. Now they’ve become much more compatible. So the SUZ is going to be called the SUZ Universal Outdoor Unit. And we’re looking at these now where we’ve got the SUZ in a 30,000 BTU unit and a 36,000 BTU unit in hyper heat, which we had already had but sometimes we did not have the capability of hooking them up to one indoor unit.

Now we have the ability to hook that up to one indoor unit. So we can hook that up to a ceiling cassette, a ceiling ducted unit but the big thing is the MLZ unit, which goes between the bar joists. And it almost looks like a wall unit that tucks up into the bar joists so you don’t see any units on the wall. It goes right up into the ceiling. We can now use that up to 24,000 BTU’s and then the bigger unit, the 30 and the 36,000, the big, big enhancement with that now is we can use our SVZ air handler, which is almost like a unitary style air handler that you would have in a condominium or a home that is a heat pump or an air conditioner.

Now for a change out scenario where you’re going to change out a three ton air conditioner, you can change this out to a three ton heat pump with hyper heat, and you’ll have the ability to do heating in that area as well as cooling for efficiency. So you could actually use this for heating and cooling on a change out. You can use this new construction now. It’s almost like a unitary style unit. Not almost, it is a unitary style unit that you can use with the air handler with the SVZ now. So that was a big, big enhancement to finally get that into the 30 and 36,000 BTU units with the Hyper Heat one-on-one. That was a big change which was really nice this year. I was glad to see that.

John: So now you’re able to use that same outdoor unit and have multiple different configurations of indoor units that you can use with that system?

Mike: Yeah. Before, it was somewhat limited to what you could use it for, for the indoor units, but now it’s pretty much the full lineup. You can use any indoor unit with an outdoor unit and put it on a one-on-one. You could do a lot of it prior, but a lot of it didn’t have the hyper heating capabilities. And now you have the hyper heating capabilities, not in the plus, but you have it in the regular Hyper Heat down to five degrees with full heating.

John: Okay. So, before you could, maybe, do air conditioning but not the hyper heating?

Mike: Yeah. You could get the heat pump. You could heat with it, but you were probably getting about 75% or 60% of the capacity at maybe five degrees. Now you’re going to be able to get full capacity at five degrees with these one-on-one units.

John: Okay.

Mike: Great for the replacement market. Very good for the replacement market.

John: Yeah.

Mike: I’m looking forward to that

John: You’re right. So any other changes or things that you’re excited about, or just a general thoughts on Mitsubishi lineup for 2021?

Mike: I mean, they’ve come a long way and we’re going to keep seeing products being changed. We have seen some slides in the dealer conference I just attended where some other things are going to be coming out towards the end of September, beginning of next year but I really don’t want to get into that until it’s released at that point, because we’ve all had challenges with COVID getting product and things like that. But we’re being told that these products are going to start shipping and we’re going to be having them available for the spring season. So I’m looking forward to a lot of changes this year and efficiencies and better heating capacities and things like that.

John: Yeah. Great. All right. Well that’s really great information, Mike. Thanks again for speaking with me today.

Mike: Great John. Have a good day. Thank you.

John: And for more information, you can visit the N.E.T.R. website at netrinc.com or call (781) 933-N-E-T-R, that’s (781) 933-6387.