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Switching to All-Electric Heating

From Donna Davies, August 31 2020

About a year ago, a new friend showed me her home remodel which included a brand new electric heat pump. I was especially impressed by the sleek, clean design and her reassurance that it was very quiet. Although our gas furnace was still in good condition, it sounded like a 737 on takeoff in a storm, without enough pretzels and peanuts on board. My husband and I had solar panels installed several years earlier and were very interested in other fossil fuel free conversions. Besides that, he spent one unusually hot summer working at home and longed for occasional air conditioning, something we didn’t have.

So we invited HVAC contractors to estimate the work in our small house which is 1200 sq. ft. The contractors presented different plans all with estimates over $20K. It took my husband and I a while to agree on using an outdoor heat pump/condenser with several ductless mini split units inside, mounted high on the walls. Once that was decided, we invited one last quote. Even though we were clear on our plan and ready to move forward, the estimate was still stubbornly high. I mentioned to the salesperson how disappointed I was that the quote wasn’t closer to $15K. One call to his supervisor and he was able to take $5,000 off our project so we readily agreed.

Although it took five days to complete, we were pleased with the installers and the new system. It really is quiet and very efficient! Naturally, the best thing to do for helping solve climate change on a larger scale is to ban gas and mandate the installation of all-electric HVAC and appliances in all new construction. In this way, homeowners can bypass a similarly expensive retrofit. I appreciate not having to use gas and know like my friend did, it’s the right thing to do.

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