New Heating and Cooling Equipment for More Energy Efficiency, Lower Costs
Is a New HVAC System for You?
Since about half of your yearly utility cost is for heating and cooling your home, you’ll want to consider a new HVAC system if:
- Your heating and cooling (e.g., furnace, boiler, central air conditioning) or hot water equipment is more than 20 years old
- There are rooms in your home that never seem to be warm enough in the winter or cool enough during the summer, or there’s a lot of humidity or excessive dust in your home
- Your utility bills seem to be a lot higher than usual, all of a sudden
What You Should Know About HVAC.
HVAC – short for heating, ventilation and air conditioning – moves warmed, cooled or dehumidified air through ductwork to all the rooms of your house. (Ductless mini-splits are a new heating-and-cooling solution that gives you more room-by-room temperature control with no need for ductwork.)
Before investing in a new HVAC system, it’s a good idea first to make sure you’ve tackled any shortcomings in your home envelope with air sealing and/or insulation; insufficient weatherization may explain why some of your rooms never seem comfortable. A recommended first step is to have a home energy evaluation. (Please note: Next Step Living HVAC services are available only in Massachusetts.)
If it’s time to upgrade your HVAC system, you should know that in recent years heating and cooling equipment, like other appliances in your home, has become increasingly energy-efficient. Among the products we recommend, for example, are Energy Star-labeled furnaces, boilers and heat pumps.
HVAC and the Next Step Living Difference.
We offer our customers a wide range of heating and cooling solutions at various efficiency levels and price points; in general, the greater the efficiency, the higher the price. Additionally, by starting with a no-cost home energy evaluation, we’re able to identify subsidized improvements that will reduce the scope, and cost, of your HVAC upgrades. This is the Next Step Living whole-home approach, your one-stop resource for home energy efficiency.
The Impact of HVAC Upgrades.
Since an HVAC system typically uses more energy and therefore costs more than any other system in your home, using up-to-date, energy-efficient components will help you save a lot of energy. These energy savings also will reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, cut greenhouse gas emissions, reduce your utility bills and enhance the comfort of your home.
- Replacing your old heating and cooling equipment with Energy Star-labeled equipment can cut your annual energy bill by almost $200.
- New technologies that generate improved results include a heat pump hot water heater that creates the same amount of hot water as a conventional electric water heater but cuts your heating expenses up to 62 percent. Another example: A state-of-the-art gas boiler can achieve up to 98 percent thermal efficiency versus 70 percent to 80 percent with a conventional boiler.
- NSTAR, National Grid or Columbia Gas customers who’ve had a home energy assessment and may qualify for the Mass Save® Home Energy Services program, may be eligible for the HEAT Loan, a utility-subsidized zero-interest loan for up to $25,000 that can be used to upgrade a heating and cooling system.