Our California house was built in 1948 and until this Spring it had the original fossil fuel gas powered gravity floor furnace as the only heat for the 3 bedrooms, kitchen, living room, dining room and bathrooms.
It was smelly and so noisy it sounded like there were men with hammers banging on metal to produce the heat. It was so old that its thermostat was only “off” and “on” with no automatic settings or smartness possible. It was so inefficient that it had to heat the entire house to reach the kitchen with any warmth. And every year the climate killing fossil fuel gas just got more and more expensive.
But now we’ve got electric heat pump heat from each of our 4 different zones and it’s like night and day. First of all it’s practically silent. Secondly the heat comes on in minutes with the touch of a remote button, exactly where we want it, without heating up places we don’t.
The wall unit also uses louvers to direct the heat to the specific spaces in the zone we’re looking to make comfortable. The thermostat will turn the unit off and on as needed and the built in sensor will turn the unit off when there’s no one in the room anymore.
I wish we had installed this system years ago, but I’m looking forward to having a much more comfortable house for the next 20+ years on those morning and nights when it’s in the 40s and 50s here at the beach
And I wish I knew years ago about how important electric heat pumps are to slashing greenhouse gas emissions here in California – and everywhere else that needs heat.
In November of last year, the National Resources Defense Council published their report in collaboration with the Energy & Resources Group at UC Berkeley that said:
Using high-efficiency electric heat pumps instead of gas for residential heating needs in California could cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in half or more, according to a new NRDC analysis published in the Electricity Journal. This makes heat pumps an important tool to help achieve California’s ambitious goals to cut GHG emissions 40 percent by 2030, achieve carbon-neutrality by 2045, and improve air quality in its urban areas—which rank among the most polluted in the country.
“Clean space and water heating technologies such as heat pumps and solar thermal have the potential to save Californians more than $1,500 upon installation and hundreds of dollars on annual utility bills afterward. In particular, super-high-efficiency heat pump technology is key for the state to meet its clean energy and clean air goals, according to the first in-depth analysis of the economics and grid impacts of building decarbonization in California.
Because our home is solar powered and our rooftop PV system generates more electricity than we use – including charing our 2 electric cars – we are expecting substantial savings over our previous gas heating bills. As the summer begins and progresses, we’ll be reporting back to you on our electric bills and gas bills. And I’ll be letting you know how well the system works.