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Quilt is a pretty smart heat pump system

A new company founded by three former Googlers is looking to disrupt the somewhat staid mini-split industry. Quilt is a new “home air conditioning system”: a ductless HVAC system that uses mini-split units powered by a heat pump to heat and cool your home.

Two things set Quilt apart from the start: it’s smart And pretty. The system incorporates millimeter wave radar sensors for precise occupancy detection, so you can choose to heat and cool only occupied rooms. They work with a smartphone app and a sleek touchscreen remote called Dial, and the system uses predictive algorithms to heat and cool your home as efficiently as possible.

Each Quilt unit is a ductless mini-split, but rather than large white boxes on your wall, Quilt has designed smaller, sleeker units with the option of a white or white oak front panel that can be customized to fit your decor.

At just 38 inches wide, less than eight inches tall, and just over eight inches deep, the Quilt indoor unit is much smaller than traditional mini-splits and can fit over a window to be less invasive in a room. The units also feature built-in accent lighting, with color changing lighting and adjustable brightness.

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Quilt outdoor units are designed to be more attractive than most compressors.
Image: Quilt (Cayce Clifford)

The outdoor unit, which can power up to two indoor units, has been designed to be smaller and more modern, with a matte black finish. CEO and co-founder Paul Lambert says the electric units meet or exceed industry standards for energy efficiency, including Energy Star Most Efficient 2024, SEER2 25 and CEE Tier 2. Although the numbers are preliminary because the system is still awaiting certification (you can see more details on the Quilt website). Lambert, alongside co-founders Bill Kee and Matthew Knoll, were involved in the development of Gmail, Google Analytics and robotics at Google respectively. Lambert says Nest co-founder Matt Rogers was an early investor in Quilt.

The Dials are equipped with Thread radios and can be upgraded by Matter, although the company won’t enable them at launch either.

The Quilt system uses Wi-Fi (2.4 and 5 GHz) and Bluetooth to communicate between units and remotes, and each Dial can also control the entire system, just like a thermostat does for an HVAC system central. The dial incorporates temperature, motion and proximity detection. You can also use the Quilt app (iOS or Android), where you can set schedules and program the system according to your preferences, such as what temperatures you want empty pieces to be kept at.

Lambert says the Dials are equipped with Thread radios and can be upgraded by Matter, although the company won’t enable them at launch either. There’s also no integration with smart home platforms like Apple Home, Google Home, or Amazon Alexa. “We want to see where the demand is,” says Lambert. “But we hope to have a public API and support Matter.”

The dial is very small (2 and 1/4 inches), can control one or more quilts, and has defined vibrations from the Nest thermostat (the nicer version).
Image: Quilt (Cayce Clifford)

Unlike traditional ducted HVAC systems, ductless systems require one unit for each room (or two, depending on size). While this is more efficient – ​​because they don’t have ducts to carry the heated or cooled air into your home, where it can lose up to 30 percent efficiency – it can be a challenge to installation and costs much more.

The quilt costs $6,499 per room, including installation. While there are several rebates and incentives for upgrading your home’s HVAC system to an efficient electric solution, it’s going to add up very quickly. For a three-bedroom house, let’s say you’re looking at putting it in six rooms (each bedroom, a kitchen, a living room, and a dining room – Quilt doesn’t recommend them in bathrooms) – it could cost close to $40,000. Quilt says it will offer all available discounts and help with incentives at checkout.

Quite uniquely, Quilt plans to take ownership of the entire process, from point of sale to installation. The system will only be available in the Bay Area at launch, with the first installations planned for late summer 2024. Los Angeles will follow later this year, and Lambert has announced plans to expand based on volume. reservations. So, if you are interested, you need to register at Quilt.com – a $100 deposit is required.