Heat pumps are a key strategy for eliminating fossil fuel use, being promoted by everyone from savvy HVAC contractors to national environmental groups to city and state agencies, but split system heat pumps are costly. Wouldn’t a small packaged solution be a hit in the market? Multifamily per-room heat loss is becoming so small, whether through deep energy retrofits or high-performance new construction, that a small packaged heat pump might really be JUST what’s needed for widespread adoption.
Imagine: no refrigerant piping, no refrigerant pipe insulation or chases, no licensed refrigeration tech, no outdoor pad, no outdoor electrical disconnect, not even an outdoor unit of any sort! How about costs in the $1000-2000 range instead of $5000-10,000 or more. Taitem’s recent study of existing and emerging technology reveals that we’re not quite there yet.
Where are we? What’s out there? Do current packaged terminal heat pumps come close? And if not, could they with some design modifications? What else is available or being developed? Watch our January R&T below for a lively discussion of getting downright small with heat pumps.
Ian founded Taitem in 1989. He is the co-author of the books Green Building Illustrated (2014) and Energy Audits and Improvements for Commercial Buildings (2016), both published by Wiley. He has been a visiting lecturer at Cornell University, Tompkins Cortland Community College, and Syracuse University. He holds an undergraduate degree from McGill University, and an M.S. from Columbia University, both in mechanical engineering. Ian is a licensed engineer in the states of New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania. In his spare time, Ian enjoys to spend time with family and friends, write poetry, and play soccer and basketball.
Senior Energy Analyst
With ten years of experience in building science and energy efficiency, Evan has a deep understanding of building systems, strong communication skills, and a commitment to quality. Evan recognizes the importance of getting the details right, and to support this, he splits his time between the office and being out in the field.