|Exceptional Air Quality + Comfort
Since receiving their new heating and cooling systems, residents have been vocal about their positive experiences. “Residents say the air seems to be cleaner. With our baseboard heat, it was just radiant heat — you didn’t get any circulation or filtration,” said Karen Jackson, executive director, Ontonagon Village Housing.
From a maintenance standpoint, Ontonagon Village Housing also avoided worry about the pilot lights and carbon monoxide associated with natural gas. “Think of the air quality benefits of not having to combust natural gas or any other deliverable fuel. They don’t have that here.” said McNeally. The Deluxe Wall-mounted Indoor Units also feature Dual Barrier Coating to enhance indoor air quality. Applied to the internal parts of the indoor unit, the coating prevents dust, particles and grease build-up on the system, enhancing overall performance.
Beyond the filtration benefits, the residents were delighted when the systems stood up to Michigan’s harsh winter season. “In spring of 2021, there was a polar vortex that made national news because power plants in Texas were freezing,” explained McNeally. “The units here at Ontonagon Village experienceed 25° F below zero temperatures and not a single tenant had any issue or even needed to turn on their electric resistance as backup.”
“We’ve had below zero weather up here — it handles it,” said Carlene, a resident at Ontonagon Village Housing. “I’ve lived so much better since we’ve had this new unit.”
The Cost Benefits Of Decarbonization
Ontonagon Village Housing also reaped the benefits of a more efficient heating and cooling system. “Dollar-value-wise, the total energy costs have gone from $95,000 a year to $65,000 for the whole facility,” explained McNeally. The Housing Commission can also rest assured knowing residents have an effective heating and cooling solution for all seasons. Also, the town no longer has to worry about the addition of a pipeline.
“One of the benefits of this project was helping this community avoid the financial and environmental costs of bringing in expensive gas lines to the property,” said DeMaster. In climates like the upper peninsula of Michigan, carbon emissions are a real problem as many developers specify fossil-fuel-burning systems to combat cold temperatures without considering planet-friendly alternatives.
With UPPCO serving a rural service territory (just over 50,000 customers across 4,400 square miles) and 40 percent of their customer base identified as low income, helping developers understand the efficiency, cost and performance benefits of heat pump systems is a goal for the utility — along with reducing the number of power plants.
“I now have 60 tenants here in Ontonagon Village telling me and anyone else in earshot how wonderful the heat pumps are,” expressed McNeally. “This project gives us a powerful opportunity to showcase what heat pumps can do, and what UPPCO can do for tenants and customers.”
For more information about Mitsubishi Electric, and to hear directly from the Ontonagon Village project team in a series of videos, visit MitsubishiComfort.com.
Click HERE for access to high-res photography and videos of the project.