June 2020
A Free Tool for Better System Sizing

When contractors size ductless heating and cooling systems, the common rule of thumb is to calculate BTUs per square foot. However, evidence is emerging that for newer, more efficient and sophisticated HVAC technologies, this approach does not yield adequate sizing results.

In response to the need for accurate, easy-to-use sizing tools for Northwest climates, the NW Ductless Heat Pump Project, along with BetterBuiltNW, is offering free access to the HVAC Sizing Tool . Contractors can find step-by-step instructions for the software on the Project’s YouTube channel. The NW Ductless Heat Pump Project is developing guidance on using this tool specifically to size cold-climate systems and displacement system sizing. 
Pumping Up the Market

The global heat pump market continues to grow as consumers look for compact and efficient heating and cooling technologies, with the residential sector leading the way. Learn how the NW Ductless Heat Pump Project and Northwest utilities are working together to increase ductless heat pump adoption.

Tips for Healthy Homes

With more people at home during the day due to COVID-19, the topic of indoor air quality in homes is more relevant now than ever. Check out these tips for building healthy homes from BetterBuiltNW and HVAC School to learn about opportunities to improve indoor air quality that you can include in conversations with future customers. 
Digital Marketing for Ductless Heat Pumps During the Pandemic
During the pandemic, consumers are spending more time online than usual. New data suggest that right now is a good time to reach consumers via email and social media to market your business. 

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A New Testing Procedure

Variable capacity heat pumps, also called inverter-driven heat pumps, are becoming more popular in the United States. Consumers use this group of heat pumps, which includes ductless systems, every day for heating, cooling, and domestic hot water production. Currently, consumers and their contractors can look to the heating seasonal performance factor (HSPF) to compare models for energy efficiency. While HSPF is a useful rating system, it does not accurately evaluate heat pumps that operate at variable capacities.

A group of energy efficiency experts from across the United States and Canada have been working with researchers at Purdue University’s Herrick Laboratory to create a new, voluntary test procedure for these inverter-driven heat pumps to replace HSPF. The group is designing this new method to better highlight the benefits of variable capacity heat pumps and their controls. Learn more about how this new test can lead to better and more accurate product information for variable capacity heat pumps.

Maximizing Mini-Splits

The NW Ductless Heat Pump Project is funding research to identify ductless heat pump installation methods that maximize energy savings while maintaining occupant comfort. Learn more about the Project’s research on advanced installation practices. 

Training Opportunities from PTCS

The NW Ductless Heat Pump Project shares the following message from the Bonneville Power Administration:

Please join us! Performance Tested Comfort Systems (PTCS) and Prescriptive Duct Sealing are two Northwest regional air source heat pump programs that improve homeowner comfort, increase energy savings, and provide incentives. A robust offering of contractor trainings for sealing ducts and installing heat pumps provides contractors with valuable education and a certification to perform quality work.

In April, the program began providing live virtual PTCS Certification Trainings, Train-the-Trainer events, and Continuing Education because in-person trainings were no longer feasible due to COVID-19. While BPA does not provide incentives directly to homeowners, BPA’s customer utilities do. So, please contact your local utility for more information. The program is supported by the PTCS and Prescriptive Online Site Registry to help technicians and utilities enter and search for installed jobs and locate program forms, specifications, and support materials.

For more information and helpful tips, please subscribe to the quarterly PTCS Newsletter . To join our programs, contact the PTCS Team at 800-941-3867 or ResHVAC@bpa.gov .
The NW Ductless Heat Pump Project is an initiative of the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA). NEEA is an alliance of more than 140 Northwest utilities and energy efficiency organizations working to accelerate the innovation and adoption of energy-efficient products, services and practices in the Northwest.