Ductless Heat Pump Products and Options (Podcast)

In today’s podcast, Jared Grier, owner of Cape Cod Heat Pumps, talks about the many options available with heat pump products. He explains why the right contractor is even more important than the brand you select. Then, he talks about colors, zones, surge protectors, and other options.

John Maher: Hi, I’m John Maher. I’m here today with Jared Grier, owner of Cape Cod Heat Pumps, an HVAC contractor in Marstons Mills, Massachusetts on Cape Cod, specializing in ductless heating and cooling technology and focused on detail, quality, and professionalism. Today we’re talking about ductless heat pump products and options. Welcome, Jared.

Jared: Great to be here today.

Brand Name Products Vs. Quality Service

John: Yeah, so Jared, how important is the brand name of your heat pump system? I know there’s several brands that are out there, and some may be more popular than others, but as people are trying to do some research and looking into what they maybe want in their home, how important is that brand name?

Jared: Yeah, that’s a great question, and quite frankly, we get asked that all the time. While it’s important, it’s not the most important consideration when you’re making these decisions. What I really encourage customers to do is really do more research on your contractor than on your equipment. And again, while your equipment is very important, the contractor is the most important thing.

Oftentimes we might consider one product better than another product, and I’m just talking about any products. Right. But quite frankly, if that product was not serviced well, was never installed correctly, it’s not going to last long. Right. You could take something that others might consider a lesser product, right, and put it in correctly and it’s going to last a lifetime. It’s the exact same stuff with this equipment, right? The proper practices and procedures that we do here allows our customers to know and ensure that their system’s going to last them a long time, and that’s going to matter more than quite frankly, the brand.

The other part that’s also very important is maintenance and service, right? A lot of people can put this equipment in and will claim they can put this equipment in, but can a lot of people really properly maintain and service that after the fact? Most contractors, they’re used to old style condensers where you’ve got a contactor, fan motor, capacitor and a compressor. You have four components. It’s not hard to figure out which one’s not working. With this equipment, you’ve got boards, you’ve got sensors, you’ve got pressure sensors. All of these things are all communicating to each other. We’re taking AC inverting that to DC. In doing all this, you really need somebody that’s going to be an expert in this equipment, understands this equipment, understands how it functions so that they can properly troubleshoot it if and when the need occurs.

That said, we do prefer the LG product. We’ve been using it for over two years now. We hear really nothing but great things from our customers who inevitably are the ones that are the end users that are really going to give us the real honest feedback of this equipment. The big part too that we really like about the LG product is its versatility. We’ve got a lot of various different options, but also Mass Save program. Mass Save has certain requirements that these manufacturers need to hit to be eligible to be a revivable product, to be a heat loan product.

And Mitsubishi for example, about 50% of their products do not meet these requirements. Whereas on the flip side, with LG, nearly 90% if not more meets the bill. So that just allows us to be able to offer products and offer solutions that companies that maybe are using an alternative product can’t.

LG Heat Pump Options and Models

John: Okay. So then within that LG product lineup, what are some of the products and models that are available to the consumer?

Jared: This stuff is developing at lightning speed. Twenty years ago when I got into this industry, I could count on one hand how many mini splits I put in, and it’s fewer mini splits than I probably put in in one day now. So it’s quite frankly, this equipment is really developed quite a bit from what we were used to then.

We’ve got your standard wall units, like most people are used to seeing. We’ve got the units that sit on the floor that’ll look like little radiators. We have ones that’ll, if you’ve got a commercial space, it’ll fit in a two-by-two ceiling grid. We often put those in homes too but got to frame things out to do it. But we also have ducted options. So if you don’t want to see things on the wall, we do have options to put in either what we call slim ducted units or we can do full static systems.

Say we’re pulling out an old oil furnace or gas furnace, we can just stick one of these in, do some alterations to the duct work, and now you’ve got a brand new heating and cooling system, which you maybe didn’t have before. So this equipment’s very versatile. It comes in all different shapes, sizes, capacities. So if you’ve got a smaller room, we have something that’s going to be more appropriate for that room. If you’ve got a larger sunroom or living room, great room, we can put in something larger to meet the needs of that space as well.

Single Zone Vs. Multi Zone

John: And I know in terms of outdoor units, there’s different options like a single zone versus multi zone. Can you talk about that a little bit?

Jared: Yep. So the single zone units, that’s all I was putting in 20 years ago, the five of them that I put in. But those are really great for bonus rooms, three season rooms that maybe you want to convert into a four season room. So those are often where you just want one space either heated or cooled or doesn’t heat or cool well, this can be your additional unit for that.

And then we get into the multi-zone. So whether it be you just want to do two units or you want to do up to eight indoor units, we can do that off of one outdoor unit. So instead of having to pepper a bunch of outdoor units around your house, we can quite frankly do most homes with just one outdoor unit.

Styles and Colors of LG Heat Pumps

John: Okay. Talk a little bit more about different styles and color options within that LG lineup.

Jared: Yeah. So again, most common are the standard wall units. Those wall units, they do come in, LG calls them the Art Cool Mirror. LG ultimately became really popular and famous in the mini split world for their Art Cool gallery, which is, it looks like a little picture frame. You can actually put your own picture in it if you wanted. So it’s small, it’s sleek. In some instances it can fit the bill really well. Kind of fit into the house a little bit more, not be something so prominent on the wall.

And then, as I said, we’ve got the little floor mount unit. So say you’ve got an older farmhouse and maybe you’ve got some radiators that we’re pulling out. This is a great product that can take that space on the floor and still keep that look of a old farmhouse and, but with that new heat pump technology.

John: Are there different color options that are available or are they all white?

Jared: Pretty much. They’re all white. As I said, they do have a Art Cool, which is a black option. So if you do have a space that something, a little darker color will be a little better. Maybe the room itself is colored a little darker. So we do have that option as well.

Surge Protectors and Voltage Monitoring

John: Okay. And what sort of options and accessories are available on these units, and do you have to have certain units to have those options available to you?

Jared: Yes, we offer a lot of various different solutions for accessories. Our most common is surge protectors. The analogy we like to make for customers there is when you buy a new computer, you buy a new TV, right, there’s a lot of electronics in those products, more than there ever has been. So it’s really important to protect those electronics, and the best way to do that is with some sort of surge protection. The same thing with this equipment. We’ve got a ton of boards that’s driving the intelligence of these systems, driving the ability for that compressor to ramp up and ramp down.

So we’re going to really want to do something to protect that, and a surge protector is going to be the best way to do that. You take that and couple with the grid that we have here on Cape, which is pretty fragile and old, and then it’ll be a very nice day and you can possibly lose power. When power is restored, that’s when we can get those power surges. So those are really important.

The other thing we also have is… we’ve got one of those that is both a surge protector, but it’s also a voltage monitor. So in cases of brownout conditions or high voltage where it’s not just an immediate high voltage, we have a solution there to protect your equipment.

John: So it helps even out the amount of voltage in the house so that you don’t get those spikes?

Jared: No, it doesn’t.

John: So how does that work?

Jared: Yeah, so it’s good that you asked that. So it doesn’t change the voltage, it’s just monitoring it.

John: Okay.

Jared: What it’s seeing is if we get a situation where this equipment mostly runs off 240 volts, but say we only had 200 volts going to the house, well if you understand the principles of electricity as voltage go down, that means amperage goes up. When amperage goes up, things heat up, they burn out and they can harm themselves.

So what that voltage monitor will actually do is shut that equipment off. Right. It’s just going to shut off power and it’s going to continue to monitor that voltage until it gets back into acceptable level and then it’s going to turn that unit back on. And with the feature with these auto restart, your system’s just automatically going to go back to heating or cooling at the temperature you had it previously.

Furthermore, on the low voltage brownout conditions, it’s going to do that on high voltage. Right. We all see transformers on the street. Right. Those transformers are taking the high voltage that’s up at the top of your power lines and bringing it down to what’s going to go into our homes. Well, the closer you are to that transformer, the higher power you’re going to have.

So we’ve had some customers where you look outside the front of their house and there’s a transformer, and I’m reading voltage at that outdoor unit. I might have 250 plus volts. Well, just as inversely, it’s bad for us to have low voltage, it’s also bad for us to have high voltage. So what this will also do in those scenarios is shut that unit down and again, monitor it and then turn it back on when it’s restored.

Other Heat Pump Options and Accessories

John: Okay. What other accessories and options are available?

Jared: Yeah. So for the full static systems, we’ve got UV lights, which can help prevent mold and mildew growth on those indoor coils, which is obviously just good for your indoor air quality. For the ductless options, we have things called eye waves. Those eye waves are ionizing devices. What that does is all the particles in the air, it allows them to kind of attach to each other and lets our filter be more effective in catching those small little things.

So we’ve got a lot of various different options for our customers. Depending on what the install is going to be or the proposal is going to be for that customer, we do cater what we offer those customers.

Contact Cape Cod Heat Pumps Today

John: Yeah. So you’ll be able to work with the customer and decide what options they want and then make those available to them?

Jared: Absolutely.

John: Yeah. Okay. All right, well that’s really great information, Jared. Thanks again for speaking with me today.

Jared: All right, thanks John.

John: And for more information, you can visit the Cape Cod Heat Pumps website at ccheatpumps.com or call (508)-833-HVAC. That’s (508)-833-4822.