Heating and cooling can be a challenge in a multi-family home, which are commonly converted from single-family homes. As a result, there is only one thermostat to regulate the temperature throughout the two units. This leaves one tenant in control of the heat for the whole house. On top of that, a converted home does not have good air flow, which leads to uneven heating and cooling.
That’s why this Somerville, MA homeowner was ready to switch to an HVAC zoning system. When she called N.E.T.R., Inc., her two-family home had steam heat, there was a single thermostat for the entire house, and, in the summer, she used window air conditioners.
Both these heating and cooling methods are inefficient and end up costing more money in monthly energy bills than other systems. In this case, the homeowner’s energy bills eating into her investment and apartments were never a comfortable temperature. The hot and cold spots were especially troublesome for the third-floor bedrooms since the thermostat was on the second floor.
Fortunately, we corrected the uneven heating in this home and provided better air conditioning, too. Best of all, our solution costs less in energy bills each month.
Problem: A two-family home in Somerville, MA had low-efficient steam heating. There were hot and cold spots on the second and third floors and a single thermostat controlled both units.
Solution: We installed a Mitsubishi ductless heat pump with five ductless units for heating and cooling.
Zoned HVAC with Ductless Installation
We installed a Mitsubishi ductless heating and cooling system in the home. Ductless ACs allow us to create different zones, so our homeowner and her tenants can control the temperatures in their individual apartments. The new system is more efficient than the old one which helps our client spend less money each month to heat or cool the home.
This is all possible because of how the ductless air conditioners and heat pumps work. As the name suggests, there are no ductwork or vents. Instead, forced hot or cool air enters each room through the whisper-quiet wall units. Each ductless unit is mounted on the wall in a different room, or zone, in the home. The major difference between the ductless HVAC system and other methods is that each unit works independently from the others. Every zone has a thermostat for the ductless unit in that space and it is controlled individually from every other zone.
Now, the homeowner and her tenants can set their own temperatures. Each ductless wall AC turns on until it reaches the programmed temperature and then it turns off — even if the units in other zones are still working.
We installed five zones of ductless heating and cooling for this home in the first-floor kitchen area, living room, and master bedroom, and then in both upstairs bedrooms. This Mitsubishi ductless HVAC system gives the tenant and homeowner flexibility independent of each other. If someone prefers the bedroom a little cooler than the rest of the home, they can set the thermostat in that room to a different temperature than the others without messing up the temperature throughout the home.
Installing Mitsubishi Ductless Hyper-Heating
Installing ductless systems is much easier than putting in the ductwork required for other HVAC systems and it is less expensive than other solutions. This is due to how the treated air reaches the indoor units from the condenser. We installed a Mitsubishi Hyper-Heating heat pump outside the home, which works as a furnace and air conditioner. Depending on the thermostat, it delivers forced hot or cool air to the home through small, flexible piping. The piping is just a few inches in diameter and can bend easily.
By contrast, ductwork is metal and at least a foot wide, so it takes up a lot of space. Custom ductwork in older or converted homes can be expensive and hard to design without compromising the beauty of the home or leaving some places unevenly heated or cooled.
Mitsubishi ductless heating and cooling systems are much easier to install. We run that small, flexible piping through the walls, without having to tear anything open.
In the case of this home, that flexibility was very important for the third floor: a converted attic with a sloped ceiling. There was a crawl space and very little space at the edges of the room where the ceiling almost meets the floor.
Installing ductwork in these areas would have been very difficult and expensive to design. Even after all the time and money, she might not have gotten the heating or cooling she wanted. Fortunately, the unique space wasn’t a problem for us. We just ran the piping inside the walls between the studs and the crawl space gave us more area to use since the piping fit so easily inside it.
Saving Money with Ductless Air Conditioning
Installing a ductless HVAC system is a big investment. After all, it’s a new central heating and cooling system for an entire home. Fortunately, we found ways to bring that cost down for this homeowner, and thanks to its energy efficiency it will, in time, pay for itself in savings!
Mitsubishi ductless HVAC systems are some of the most energy-efficient options on the market today. They are Energy Star-certified, which means they meet government standards that show they use less energy than similar products.
In this case, the ductless zones will deliver heat using less energy than steam and use less energy in the summer than the old window air conditioners. Less energy consumption means lower energy bills each month.
This kind of upgrade also results in upfront savings as energy companies offer rebates to homeowners who install energy-efficient systems. We found this installation qualified for two rebates for our homeowner. One came from Mass Save, a collective of energy suppliers in Massachusetts, who offered a $500 rebate. The second rebate was significantly higher: The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center provided a $2,500 rebate for installing an efficient HVAC system that uses clean energy. In all, our homeowner got $3,000 back toward installing her ductless system.
A Mitsubishi ductless HVAC zoning system takes efficiency even further because each area has its own thermostat so that all the zones do not have to run simultaneously, as with a centralized system. Instead, the individual ductless wall AC units treat the areas of the home separately, so the units in naturally hotter rooms won’t run as frequently as the rooms that once stayed cool all winter.
Now, for the first time, this two-family home has even heating and cooling in both apartments. Each apartment has its own thermostat, the homeowner lowered the monthly energy bills and received a big cash rebate for the upgrade!
Do you want a better and more cost-effective and efficient option for heating and cooling your home? Contact us and we’ll design the perfect Mitsubishi ductless HVAC solution for you!