Serving Spokane, Eastern & Central Washington, and Northern Idaho

Heat Pumps: Why Are They Integral to Decarbonization and Why Are They Effective in Our Climate?

heat pump outdoor unit against brick wall

We’ve often been asked, “Why heat pumps?” or “What’s all the fuss about heat pumps?” It goes back to Northwest Renewable’s origin story. Back in the early 2010s I was building custom Passive Houses and working with my now-business partner, Master Electrician, and NABCEP Certified PV Installation Professional, Harlan Heise, as my electrical contractor.

Rooted in building science, Passive House demands better and more sustainable materials, and skilled craftsmanship in how the details and assemblies come together. To build high-performing custom homes that meet PHIUS (Passive House) standards, I approached each project with a few goals in mind.

First, the home had to be airtight. This makes it easier for the home to meet its needs for space conditioning utilizing ventilation air alone. Homes built to PHIUS standards use 90% less energy than a conventional building!

Next, each building also has to have low energy demand, so it has to have energy-efficient lighting, plugs, and appliances.

Finally, these buildings need super insulation. Passive Houses built to the PHIUS standard typically have 2-3 times the code minimum insulation levels for our region.

Building to PHIUS standards, in all of its exacting and intense precision, gave me deep pride in my craft and furthered my passion for the decarbonization of the built environment. I recognized that cold weather heat pumps and solar were integral to this transition and that there was a need for a company that could provide these services.

As an energy services contractor specializing in decarbonization, a lot of the work we do helps area homebuilders’ projects meet the WA state energy code. Hundreds of our projects each year are direct business-to-business with area builders. Builders will call us for advice and sometimes share their frustration with having to change their process and work with new technology and equipment because the code has been updated.

Change can be incredibly challenging, especially when you don’t see the benefits of the change for your business or your customers. We try to make it easy for these customers by simply being one more subcontractor the building team adds to their installation schedule.

So, why all the griping about heat pumps? Common complaints are that heat pumps don’t work in our cold winter climate, and they’re noisy, but the chief complaint is that they are being used to replace mechanical systems operated by natural gas. Again, moving away from a known process can be very challenging and change is never easy. However, humanity must collectively reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. Simply put, their supply is not limitless and we know that their burning is damaging our home planet. We need to be prepared to change how we use the resources that are available to us. We would rather be part of the solution than waste time denying and politicizing the need for change. We feel we owe that to our fellow human beings now and future generations.

Here is why we love our Mitsubishi heat pumps:

  1. Heating and Cooling in One Unit: Heat pumps can heat and cool your home, providing year-round comfort.
  2. Electricity-Powered: Mitsubishi heat pumps run on electricity, making them a more environmentally friendly option compared to systems that rely on fossil fuels like natural gas or oil.
  3. Solar Compatibility: If you have solar panels installed, you can utilize the electricity generated by your solar system to power your heat pump, reducing your reliance on the grid and lowering your energy bills.
  4. Quiet Operation: Mitsubishi mini-split heat pumps are known for their quiet operation, making them suitable for residential environments where noise levels matter.
  5. Federal Incentives: There may be federal incentives available to help offset the cost of installing a heat pump system, such as tax credits or rebates.
  6. Pristine Air Quality: Ductless mini-split systems often come with advanced filtration systems that can help improve indoor air quality, which is especially important during wildfire season or in areas with high pollution levels.
  7. Hyper-Efficient Technology: Mitsubishi heat pumps use hyper-efficient technology that consumes less energy than traditional electric resistance heating systems, even at subzero temperatures.
  8. Individual Room Control: Lastly, one of the key advantages of Mitsubishi is the ability to control the temperature in individual rooms or zones, allowing for personalized comfort and energy savings.

Mitsubishi heat pumps offer a versatile, energy-efficient, and customizable heating and cooling solution for residential and commercial spaces.

We’d love to help make your home a comfortable and energy-efficient oasis. Contact us today!