Energy Efficiency for Homeowners

Slack Case Study: Cold Climate Air Source Heat Pump (ccASHP) System 

03-30-2021 14:54

Nestled in the historic town of Concord, Massachusetts, Kim and Amanda Slack's home demonstrates that even with the Boston area’s hot summers and frigid winters, cold climate air source heat pump (ccASHP) systems can satisfy home heating and cooling needs.

In 2018, the Slack family moved to their home in Concord, a town that epitomizes historic New England, with many elegant, mature single-family homes on large lots. Built in 1955, the Slack home is newer than many of the surrounding homes and fits nicely into the neighborhood’s quiet and dignified character. When the Slack family purchased the home, it was apparent that the 40+ year-old fuel oil hydronic heating system needed to be replaced.

The homeowners are very environmentally conscious and had a strong interest in reducing their new home’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. They saw the need to replace the HVAC system as an excellent opportunity to install a ccASHP system rather than a new high-efficiency oil furnace. Installing a new gas furnace was not an option as their road has a five-year moratorium on new natural gas home hook-ups. Even if gas were an option, the Slacks wanted to demonstrate that home electrification is the future, and a ccASHP system can fully handle the heating and cooling load in the Boston area climate. Along with installing the ccASHP system, the Slacks installed a rooftop solar panel array that serves half of their electricity needs and a charging outlet for their electric vehicle.

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