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Electrification was the big theme on the residential side of the Mitsubishi Electric Trane HVAC U.S. booth at the AHR Expo.

The company, a joint partnership between Mitsubishi Electric Corp. and Trane Technologies Inc. known as METUS, featured in its display at the Las Vegas Convention Center an array of new products designed to meet increasing demand for all-electric home HVAC systems.

Some products included technician-friendlier features for easier installation and service, and the new METUS intelli-Heat Dual Fuel System, an add-on to a traditional gas furnace, is designed to address consumer hesitancy about moving away from natural gas heating.

The METUS intelli-Heat Dual Fuel System.

INSIDE LOOK: The METUS intelli-Heat Dual Fuel System, an add-on to a traditional gas furnace, can provide 100% heating when the outdoor temperature is as low as 5°F. (Staff photo)

The intelli-Heat system includes an outdoor heat pump that can replace an existing air-conditioning unit and both cool and heat indoor space, plus a “smart box” of controls that can be programmed for optimally timed switchovers to gas heating during extremely cold weather.

“This whole electrification movement is becoming very, very real. And contractors will have to educate themselves about heat pumps, and how to how to change their customers’ mindset around heat pumps,” said Michael Smith, senior manager of marketing and communications at METUS. “This gives them a good opportunity to go in and say, ‘Look, you can keep your furnace. But what we'll do is we'll add a high-performance heat pump, and you'll see that that can be your primary source, which is efficient, sustainable.’”

The intelli-Heat system can be applied to either single- or multizone configurations. The heat pump is capable of 100% heating down to an outdoor temperature of 5°F and is rated to continue operating at an outdoor temperature as low as -13°F, Smith said.

“So in many markets, that will be your primary heating source, and then your backup is the furnace,” he said.

Also on display was the new Smart Multi system for zoned heating and cooling. Available in four sizes ranging from 36,000 Btuh to 60,000 Btuh, the Smart Multi can be applied to either ducted or ductless configurations and, like the intelli-Heat system, can provide heat when the outdoor ambient temperature is as low as -13°F, according to company literature. Its SEER rating is up to 23.

“What we’ve done with this system is consolidated two of our series into one series, so it’s easier for contractors to order and for distributors to stock,” Smith said.

The new METUS EZ-Fit recessed ceiling cassette.

POP IN A CASSETTE: The new METUS EZ-Fit recessed ceiling cassette for ductless heat pump systems is designed to fit between 16-inch on-center joists. (Staff photo)

METUS also touted its new EZ-Fit recessed ceiling cassettes, designed to fit between 16-inch on-center joists, for ductless heat-pump systems. Rated at 6,000 Btuh, the EZ-Fit cassettes typically don’t require installers to cut into ceiling joists, and are also designed to be serviced from below, negating a need for ceiling access for servicing.

”It's a great way for contractors to retrofit a ductless system into someone's home,” Smith said. “Before we had this unit… you had to actually cut the joists to get the cassette there. But now you can recess this directly into the joists. The contractors really love this.”

Another plus for contractors, Smith said, is a new wall-mounted single-zone heat-pump system in which the indoor units have a patented coating, including on the heat exchanger, vanes, and blower wheel, that prevents dust, hair, oils, and other debris from accumulating. The units are linked to a new outdoor heat pump model with the METUS Hyper-Heating Inverter technology.

The company said the coating makes cleaning the units easier, and that they pick up only one-tenth of the debris, compared to uncoated units, after 10 years with no cleaning.

“Contractors like a deep cleaning like every five or 10 years. With that coating, the system can last longer and operate better,” Smith said.