Q&A on Extreme Climate Air Source Heat Pumps!


Our own David talks with us about why he chose Heat Pumps for his home

With this crazy cold weather, we have had a lot of inquires about the new extreme climate air source heat pump technologies out there. They’re pretty darn cool – some of the newer Air source heat pumps models are able to heat and cool with extreme efficiency – even in negative degree weather!

So how well do they work? Are they worth the investment?

Lucky for us – you can read an interview from one of our very own, David Swinehart. Not only is he an expert building scientist here at Buffalo Energy, he also installed his hyper heat system last year in his own home! Here is what he has to say about it all.

(Note: we are not being paid in any way to write about this or the Mitsubishi product!)

Q. What type of heating system do you have in your home? 

A. I have (2) two Mitsubishi, 18,000 BTU 20.2 SEER Ductless Hyper Heat Pump Systems in my house.  This consists of (2) two outside condenser units, (2) two inside head blower units, and a (2) two remote thermostats.”  One head heats and cools upstairs, and one services heat pumpdown stairs.

Q. What prompted you to change your heating system?

A.  I do not have access to natural gas where I live.  Also, my house has an old fuel oil furnace which was costing about $2,000 to $3,000 a year to run.  Both Propane and fuel oil are quite expensive and will more then likely continue to be.  For the past two years I’ve been using a 85% efficient  36,000 btu pellet burner which has it’s limitations.  With a new baby on the way, my wife wanted a more complete, whole house, heating and cooling solution.  Plain and simple, Energy Star Heat heat pumps were the way to go.

Q. How big is your home and what town is it located in?

A.  1500 sqft, Corfu NY

Q. Overall thoughts? Like? Dislike? Does it work?

A. Does it work? Yes, this systems works! Even when it got to -9 outside, we had ample heat.

Likes – we are blown away with how consistent and even the heat is from these systems.  We have never been more comfortable in our home, and for such a low monthly cost.  About $100 to $150 a month during the winter months.  The head units are quite and can be set to move and direct air in a number of different ways.  Also, we know have our home broken into 2 zones, that can be heated and cooled independently of each other.

Dislikes – These systems do cause the air to be dry.  Until I can afford to install a whole house ventilator with humidification, we will have to run small, single room humidifiers.

The condensers are mounted directly to my house with a bracketing system.  There is a slight vibration that is heard when the condensers are running.  This could be eliminated with “off the house” condenser placement.  

Q. What were the biggest challenges with putting in the heating system?

A.  Install is very simple, two technicians had both systems installed and operating in one day.You need a bit of an open floor plan if your going to install 2 or less larger units.  The smaller 9kbtu and 12kbtu heads are meant to service single rooms.  I have two 18kbtu heads where one head services upstairs, down a central hallway, and the other services the first floor.  In a home that does not have hyper insulated walls and windows, doors must be left open to allow rooms to receive heat.

Cost might be a challenge for some.  This system costs about $7,000 to $9,000 installed.  This is similar to typical, high end, high efficiency heating and cooling system.  

Q. Would you recommend this heating system for other home owners?

A.  Yes, without a doubt!

 heat pump 2

Berlin, NH – An Energy Efficiency Success Story!

In 2012, we spent a lot of time up in New Hampshire doing energy efficiency projects, using the last of the ARRA funding. It was a great success – with dozens of affordable multifamily buildings getting new energy efficiency upgrades!

Here is an article that describes the Berlin Housing Authority project that we worked on. As the official energy efficiency partner for this project, we were able to help the owners identify cost effective energy efficiency measures to save energy and increase comfort inside their buildings for years to come! 

“The implementation of the Energy Reduction Project not only made the residents happy, it gave a boost to the local economy by pumping one-half million dollars back into the community, since all local businesses were used to deploy the plan. In a small community like Berlin, businesses often work together well because of being familiar with other businesses’ needs and capabilities.”


Lastly, it has been amazing to work with Mary Jo Landry and her team who really understood the many benefits of doing an energy efficiency project. Directly from the article: “Without the vision and tenacity of our Board of Commissioners and Executive Director Mary Jo Landry, none of this would have been possible. “We do it for our residents, who may be your family or your neighbors or someone you know from a store you frequented. Many are still contributing members of our community. We owe it to them and our future generations to be responsible stewards for our seniors, our disadvantaged and our natural resources. This means providing a comfortable, positive, healthy place for them to live.”

Berlin Housing Authority