Letter: Heat pumps do the job in New Hampshire

Published: 1/12/2020 12:01:53 AM
Modified: 1/12/2020 12:01:11 AM

I am a homebuilder by trade. From 1975, when I first had a new heating system installed, through 2008, we used oil, natural gas or propane boilers or furnaces on every project. Since 2010 we’ve installed only heat pumps – one geothermal system in 2010 and close to 20 air source heat pump systems (or mini splits) – as the main heating and cooling source. About half have backup heat, mostly cord wood or pellet stoves, which are used sporadically, and most of our installations utilize solar panels to provide the majority and often 100% of their electrical load.

One home primarily heats with a small wood stove, which consumes about one cord per year.

In my own home, which dates back into the 1700s, we used oil hot air, propane and about three cords of wood per year until four years ago when we disconnected and stopped using both systems. We tightened the house and installed three mini splits. We’ve used about half a cord of wood since then but rely year-round on our electric mini splits. We are also saving about $2,000 per year, and the house has never been as comfortable.

Fifty years ago, Paul Hibbard (Monitor Opinion, Dec. 8) was right – heat pumps would shut off when temps got below freezing. But the technology of heat pumps, as we’ve seen with automobile and communication technology, has not stood still but advanced to where they work year-round in our climate, for far less cost than heating with fossil fuels. And you can make the fuel on your own property.

Oil and gas folks want us to believe their toxic, dangerous products are critical to living in New England. They are not, and I have a decade of experience and many clients who can vouch for that fact. It’s old technology, and it’s time, now, to transition to a renewable world.

BOB IRVING

Salisbury




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