Posts tagged ‘energy savings’

December 3, 2014, 1:49 pm

Project Profile: Westgate Apartments, Champaign, Illinois

Westgate apartment complex, Champaign, Illinois, is a residential community of 23 two-story buildings with 380 one- and two-bedroom apartments. Developer Todd Atkins, The Atkins Group, Urbana, Illinois, acquired the property in 1997 with the knowledge that the original 1970s through-the-wall PTAC units would eventually need replacing. In 2014, after ever-increasing energy costs, resident noise complaints and maintenance staff spending up to one-third of their time repairing the outdated units, Atkins decided it was time to upgrade.

Atkins turned to ActOnEnergy® All-Electric Homes Program (AEH) offered by Ameren Illinois, a local utility company that offers energy services. AEH focuses on reducing electric consumption by replacing inefficient and outdated systems with air-source heat pumps or ductless technology. Due to Westgate’s high-use electric resistance heating, the program offered to cover 90 percent of the retrofit costs. Atkins contacted Troy Lanz, president of Champaign’s Lanz Heating & Cooling, Inc. to find an HVAC system that qualified for the program upgrades. Lanz recommended our MXZ multi-zone heat pump system for the job.

With little room for ductwork, our ductless, two-pipe systems offered the perfect solution to maximize the space. The systems’ flexible design also offered a quick and easy installation that resulted in minimal impact on Westgate residents, requiring only one day to install each apartment unit. The best result? The zone control feature allowed Westgate to save one-third on energy costs for vacant units just two months after the project’s completion.

Click here to learn more about the transformation of the Westgate apartment complex. 

November 20, 2014, 11:03 am

ProudGreenHome Interviews One of Our Own!

ProudGreenHome, a news outlet seeking to “inspire homes that honor the human experience,” recently interviewed Kevin Miskewicz, our senior manager, commercial marketing, on what it calls “the crossroads of quality HVAC and energy efficiency” – ductless technology.

In the interview, Kevin talks about the new Hyper-Heating INVERTER™ (H2i®) MSZ-FH heat pump systems, the most recent additions to our ductless offering. He details their energy efficiency, SEER rating, zone control capabilities, lifespan, unobtrusive sound and aesthetics – all in under one minute.

Check out the video below to learn more about this groundbreaking technology.

Greenbuild video

September 3, 2014, 9:46 am

ENERGY STAR @ Home Tool Allows Homeowners to Discover Hidden Savings

September 3_ENERGY STAR @ Home

The EPA’s ENERGY STAR® program wants to help homeowners and businesses save money and protect the environment by making smarter energy choices. To help homeowners along, ENERGY STAR has come up with an interactive tool called ENERGY STAR @ home. The tool allows users to navigate a virtual home and click on various rooms to receive tips on how to be mindful about their personal energy usage. The tips include ideas such as checking leaking ducts and weather stripping doors to maximize your home’s energy efficiency. These tips can help homeowners save money on electric bills while maximizing energy efficiency to protect the environment.

Click here to check out the tool and see how to make your home more energy efficient.

Written by MitsubishiHVAC
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August 19, 2014, 9:59 am

The Most & Least Energy Expensive States

August 19_Most and Least Expensive States For Energy Costs ImageEver wonder the energy cost differentials between state lines? Differences in energy prices can have a big impact on monthly costs for homes and businesses. ECOBUILDING Pulse recently released an interactive heat map of the U.S., which shows where each state falls in terms of total energy costs. The map ranks the states based on the monthly energy consumption averages and the electricity, natural gas and fuel costs recorded in the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s 2012 Electric Sales, Revenue, and Average Price and WalletHub’s Most and Least Energy Expensive States reports.

Colorado, Washington state and Montana currently lead the nation in lowest total energy costs. New England states are some of the most expensive and Hawaii has some of the highest energy costs in the country, landing in the lists of top five states with the highest electricity and natural gas prices.

You may be surprised by the drastic differences in energy costs from state to state. The report shows that electricity costs four times more in some states than others, and natural gas costs nearly six times more in Hawaii (the most energy expensive state) than in Colorado (the state with the lowest energy costs).

To find out how your state matches up, click here.

Written by MitsubishiHVAC
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July 16, 2014, 10:02 am

Study Shows Advanced Controls = Energy Savings

July 16_Advanced Controls and Energy Savings Field Study ImageBack in October, we told you about ASHRAE’s co-sponsored Advanced Rooftop Unit (RTU) Campaign, which encouraged commercial building owners and managers to replace packaged RTUs with energy-efficient systems or retrofit them with advanced controls. A year-long field study conducted by the Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) proved commercial buildings could cut their electricity use by an average of 57 percent with advanced energy efficiency controls.

The PNNL team retrofitted a total of 66 RTUs at eight commercial buildings in Washington state, Ohio, California and Pennsylvania with advanced controls. One-minute interval data was collected from the units over a 12-month period. They compared the results to the buildings’ energy consumption pre-retrofit (without advanced controls) and found that:

  • Advanced RTUs resulted in an average of $1,489 energy savings per year.

  • Advanced RTUs reduced energy consumption by 22 to 90 percent, depending on the size of the unit.

  • Energy savings increased with size of unit.

  • Large units (e.g., greater than 15 tons) and units with long runtime (e.g., 24/7 operations) had the shortest payback periods.

  • Upfront costs of installing or retrofitting systems with advanced controls could be recovered in an average of three years.

Based on the results, PNNL concludes that approximately 285 trillion Btus of energy could be saved if just 50 percent of the packaged RTUs in the U.S. were retrofitted with advanced controls. That’s equivalent to removing more than 70 coal-powered power plants or more than 10 nuclear power plants.

Click here for the complete field study results. For a summary of the findings, read the “Improving Operating Efficiency of Packaged Air Conditioners & Heat Pumps” article in the March 2014 issue of ASHRAE Journal.

June 24, 2014, 12:52 pm

The Path to Acceptance: History of VRF Zoning Regulations in the U.S.

Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) zoning technology is the fastest growing HVAC technology in the industry today. Mitsubishi Electric introduced the technology to the U.S. more than 10 years ago and has spent the last decade building the category nationwide.

VRF zoning now fills an enormous gap in the country’s cooling and heating needs, but in the early 2000s there was little awareness of this technology. We realized then that the success of VRF zoning technology in the U.S. required a paradigm shift in how the industry and end users thought about cooling and heating solutions.

To initiate this shift we focused on two approaches: to build training and market education at the grass-roots level and to simultaneously spearhead government regulations.

We knew that certification was critical to industry acceptance and, by extension, to end users. We became active members of the HVAC and energy communities, chairing ASHRAE committees, participating in DOE discussions, meeting with members of Congress and becoming active in AHRI. We are proud to have pioneered the introduction of this technology to the U.S. and the subsequent regulatory acceptance.

We have achieved many milestones already and today have an entire department dedicated to advocating for the unique performance capabilities of VRF zoning in the U.S. To see how far we’ve come, here are some of the regulatory milestones that have paved the way to official industry recognition of VRF zoning technology:

June 24_History of VRF Zoning Regulations in the U.S. Image

Written by MitsubishiHVAC
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June 12, 2014, 1:59 pm

A Look Back: Hospice Savannah

June 12_Hospice Savannah Case Study Image
Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) zoning technology is the most rapidly growing HVAC technology in the industry, due in part to its energy-saving potential, quiet operation and customized comfort options. We introduced VRF zoning technology to the U.S. a little more than 10 years ago. Today, we’re taking a look back to our first VRF zoning project in the U.S.

In 2002, Hospice Savannah launched a multi-million dollar renovation program that would refurbish the original building and double the facility’s square footage. Savannah-based engineer Charles VandenBulck, Smith & VandenBulck, had originally called for a residential gas system with a traditional chiller fan coil for the facility. However, prior to presenting his design to his client, VandenBulck learned we had made VRF zoning technology available in the U.S.

At the time, VRF zoning was already a popular heating and cooling solution in Asia and Europe. VandenBulck visited our factory in Japan to learn more about the technology and he realized that he had found the ideal solution for the hospice — zone control with simultaneous cooling and heating. “It was just what I was looking for and didn’t know existed,” he said.

VandenBulck’s design for Hospice Savannah became America’s very first VRF zoning installation.

“VRF is simply ingenious engineering and an amazing technology,” said VandenBulck. “Instead of eight patients deciding on a single temperature for eight rooms, each had the pleasure of controlling their own comfort zone. Each had better indoor air quality. All bathrooms and hallways had odors removed instantly. And overall, there is a great sound of silence.”

We’ve grown quite a bit in the 10-plus years since VandenBulck decided to become one of the earliest adopters of this technology. Today, thousands of engineers across the country have realized the unique benefits of VRF zoning.

Click here to learn more about the renovation of Hospice Savannah.

Written by MitsubishiHVAC
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May 28, 2014, 10:14 am

Project Profile: Franklin Energy, Port Washington, Wisconsin

Franklin Energy Services, LLC (Franklin Energy) has consulted with utilities and local governments across the U.S. to create energy efficiency programs for leading commercial, industrial, agricultural and residential customers since 1994. So it was especially flattering that Franklin Energy selected our Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) zoning system for its new headquarters.

Here’s the back story. In 2011, the company moved to an historic structure on the shores of Lake Michigan in Port Washington, Wisconsin to accommodate company growth. The building was an old processing plant in Port Washington’s historic district, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Franklin Energy had three goals for the renovation:

  • Preserve the historic integrity of the building.

  • Continue the company’s long-standing tradition of making its headquarters a showcase of the firm’s dedication to energy efficiency.

  • Create a community atmosphere that emphasized occupant comfort.

Randy Mueller, Mueller Heating & Cooling, Saukville, Wisconsin, and Auer Steel & Heating Supply, a Milwaukee-based distributor, recommended our VRF zoning system for the job.

The historic building posed numerous energy challenges, including solar gain due to the building’s orientation and large glass windows. Our VRF zoning system helped Franklin Energy achieve electric energy usage of 12.2 kWh/ft2/yr and gas energy usage of 21.9 ft3/ft2/yr – 32 percent and 48 percent lower, respectively, than the Commercial Building Energy Consumption Survey (CBECS) average. The energy savings together with overall building comfort was a win-win for Franklin Energy.

“This Mitsubishi Electric VRF zoning system has been a lifesaver for individual comfort and for helping us save on energy costs,” said Paul Schueller, chief executive officer of Franklin Energy. “Because of the Mitsubishi Electric INVERTER® technology and individual room controls, the perimeter offices in this old building have been very comfortable in all seasons.”

Click here to learn more about the transformation of Franklin Energy’s headquarters.

Written by MitsubishiHVAC
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April 23, 2014, 1:58 pm

Project Testimonial: Strawberry Mansion

Check out Jeff Harper, project engineer, Carter Mechanical, Paoli, Pa., discussing how our VRF zoning systems helped minimize the demolition impact and accommodate the space constraints presented by the historic Strawberry Mansion.

Click here for more testimonials from Jeff and Melissa Trotter, vice president of the Committee of 1926 that oversees the preservation of Strawberry Mansion. Click here to read the full case study on Strawberry Mansion’s transformation.

Written by MitsubishiHVAC
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April 10, 2014, 1:06 pm

Project Profile: Community Connections, Washington, D.C.

April 10_Community Connections ImageCommunity Connections is the largest not-for-profit mental health agency in Washington, D.C., and provides innovative health care and residential services to men, women and children in need. The organization continually strives to improve the lives of the city’s most vulnerable citizens. As part of this commitment, Community Connections installed our systems to help increase comfort and reduce operational costs in one of its apartment facilities.

The Community Connections building used gas-fired furnaces original to the 1950s building and window air-conditioning units for heating and cooling. The system was outdated, inadequate and inefficient. The organization was spending more money on utility bills than it should.

Using our ductless M-Series systems, Community Connections now provides its residents with a consistently comfortable and healthy environment, and the organization is benefiting from the system’s efficiencies as well. The M-Series helped achieve more than a 40 percent reduction in energy use, which led to lower utility bills for Community Connections. More importantly, it allows the organization to better allocate funds to carry out its mission.

Click here to read an article about the project in ACH&R News. To learn more about our ductless systems, visit

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