Efficiency Maine reports that more than 5,000 ductless heat pumps have been installed in Maine since 2012. Buildings throughout the state are becoming more energy-efficient as awareness and encouragement of ductless technology continues to spread. The 181-year-old Blaine House, the mansion where Maine’s presiding governor lives, is one of them.
Our heat pump was installed in the sleeping quarters of the Blaine House in fall 2013 to provide adequate heating for the governor throughout last year’s exceptionally harsh winter season. The rest of the Blaine House, however, still relied on an oil boiler system for heating and 26 window air-conditioning units for cooling. The mansion guzzled 5,074 gallons of oil last year alone, which led to a costly $16,775 utility bill and sparked the governor’s search for a new and better HVAC system for the house.
Augusta Fuel Company (AFC), Augusta, Maine, was tapped for the HVAC makeover. AFC’s Marty Roy has a wealth of experience with our technology and immediately knew our systems would be the best fit for the job. “I knew I could save a ton of electrical work using Mitsubishi [Electric], and provide the Blaine House with a better product,” Roy said. Governor LePage was also “sold on them,” having witnessed the benefits firsthand last winter.
With everyone on board, the team installed 22 units in June 2014 to replace all the window air-conditioning units. The indoor units were painted to blend into the interior décor and the outdoor units were camouflaged behind shrubbery to maintain the Blaine House’s quaint exterior appearance. The ductless design, installation flexibility and minimal demolition allowed the project team to preserve the historic architecture. Perhaps the biggest feat? At least 75 percent of the mansion’s heating is expected to come from our systems, which will optimize the building’s efficiency and comfort while decreasing its energy costs and environmental impact.
The Blaine House makeover is one step in Maine’s plans to install energy-efficient HVAC systems in all of Augusta’s state-owned facilities, which will displace 1.1 million gallons of oil a year. To learn more about the installation, click here.