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Utica Home Switches from Gas to Cold Climate Air Source Heat Pumps

Image of a two story suburban home in upstate new york, surrounded by snow.New York Mills, New York

Square Footage: 2,900
Year Built: 1993
Annual Energy Cost: Before (heating and hot water): $1,100/year | After (heating and hot water): $1,200 per year | Note: *These are calculated estimates for comparison based on home energy usage data. Actual electricity costs are lower due to on-site solar.

Over the past few years, John and Maggie Reilly have slowly been moving away from fossil fuels.
Having installed solar and switched to all-electric and plug-in hybrid cars, the Reillys were looking for
their next step towards a fossil fuel-free future. With an aging gas boiler that had been in place since
the home was built and excess solar electricity generation available, they decided that getting off of
gas for heating and hot water would be their best next step. “We live in a very traditional style home
and wanted to show that it can be retrofitted to a new heating/cooling system while reducing your
carbon footprint and lowering costs,” the Reillys said.

Installation and Energy Details

Prior Energy system: Gas boiler and water heater, window and portable AC units

Prior Insulation or Sealing: Insulated walls, partially insulated basement, 10 inches of blown-in insulation in attic

New Energy System: Two 2.5-Ton Air Source Heat Pumps with Six Indoor Units and Supplemental Electric Baseboards, Heat Pump Water Heater

New Insulation or Sealing: --

System Specifications:

  • ASHP: Two Mitsubishi Hyperheat 3C30NAHZ ductless heat pumps with six indoor units; supplemental electric baseboards
  • HPWH: AO Smith 50 gallon water heater


  • With the help of resources from HeatSmart CNY, the Reillys began exploring options for both air source and geothermal heat pumps with three of the HeatSmart contractors. While their home unfortunately lacked enough space to accommodate geothermal, they worked with NP Environmental to find a heat pump solution that met their needs. The layout of and size of their home with many small rooms and lack of central ductwork presented a challenge for designing a whole-home system. As it would be expensive and inefficient to place indoor units in every room, NP Environmental included four small electric baseboard heaters in specific small rooms that would not be served by the heat pump units to ensure more even heat distribution. The Reillys were pleased to find that their goal of getting off of fossil fuels did not lead to any compromises in comfort. “Even when the temps dipped well below 0°F,” the Reillys said, “there was no drop in the amount of heat provided by our ASHP system. Don’t believe anyone who tells you that an ASHP system isn’t viable in our area!” Moreover, they found that the minisplit heads were able to heat up their home much more quickly and quietly than their previous hot water baseboard system while still providing even heating throughout the home. While a few adjustments were needed, the Reillys are very happy with their decision. “We would advise anyone choosing to diminish their reliance on fossil fuels to take their time and do their homework.”

Motivation for Heat Pump Technology

  • Get off of fossil fuels
  • Heat addition to home
  • Add cooling


Case Study: Reilly

Cost Category Initial Cost Incentives Final Cost
Air Source Heat Pump $31,965 $6,420 (National Grid) $25,575
Heat Pump Water Heater

More photos

Shows a square tan metal rectangle on a stand with a fan and grill over the fan. It is an example of a Mitsubishi HyperHeat cold climate air source heat pump's outside heat exchanger. image of a bedroom with a bed, door, and antique washstand, with a Mitsubishi ductless mini split heat pump on the wall above the washstand. Living room with a dresser against one wall and french doors to another living room. The ductless mini split indoor unit is on the wall above the door. A dining room with a table and chairs center and the indoor ductless mini split head for a cold climate air source heat pump on the wall next to artwork. A living room with a floor mounted ductless mini split indoor head for a cold climate air source heat pump. It takes up about the same space as a large radiator.