Chris Love, a new homeowner in Nonantum, recently undertook a retrofit of his home’s heating system with the help of HeatSmart Newton and its partner installer, New England Ductless. When Love purchased the home (believed to be a teardown candidate) in July, it had an old non-functioning oil heating system that was beyond repair. The only working heat in the house was supplied by a few electric baseboard units, and there was no air conditioning.   Love lives there with his wife and their 3-year old child, and at the time of this interview, they were expecting a second child.    

“It was urgent for us to get a new heating system,” said Love, “Converting the old oil heating system to natural gas required running a gas line into the basement, and we still needed air conditioning.”  Love had purchased window AC units for the summer but found them expensive to operate.  Worried about the project’s complexity, he was thrilled to find HeatSmart Newton through Mayor Fuller’s e-newsletter.  “I browsed the website, watched the video interviews, and reached out to the HeatSmart coach to learn about heat pump technology online.  We didn’t realize we had these options.  The ease of installation and the ability to both heat and cool with one system made it difficult to justify any new fossil fuel-based system.  With this system, we will have a greatly reduced carbon footprint and will no longer rely on fossil fuels.  In fact, we will use gas only for cooking.”

Love chose to install a ductless heat pump system with two outdoor compressors and five indoor heads (called “mini-splits”) to heat and cool the entire two-story house.   “We were both surprised by how discrete the indoor units are; not overly large or obtrusive,” he says.   “My wife was really excited about getting central cooling after a hot summer.  New England Ductless made it easy for us to get the project going and expects to complete it before the baby arrives.  They even helped arrange to remove the old oil tank from the basement. “ Love is also getting a no-cost MassSave energy assessment and plans to add insulation.

HeatSmart Newton plans to help many more residents improve comfort and reduce carbon emissions through heat pump installations.  To find out more about this program, which runs through the end of 2020, visit the HeatSmart Newton website or email