Transitioning a Drexel Hill home from fossil fuel heating with an innovative Carrier ductless heat pump system
Problem: The oil boiler and radiators in this older home resulted in cold pockets around the house which caused the renters to use space heaters, driving up energy bills.
Solution: This Carrier multi-zone heat pump installation eliminated the need for space heaters and provides excellent air conditioning in summer.
Matthias: Hey, guys, it’s Matthias from John Cipollone!
We’re at a very cool project here in Drexel Hill. It is a landlord’s house, he’s currently renovating. He went from a fossil fuel boiler, radiant system to a ductless system, Carrier Ductless system. Come check it out!
So, Greg, I want to thank you for letting us be part of this unique project here that you have. You had an oil system in this house of radiators. That’s how you did your heat. You had no air conditioning, and you went to this very unique heat pump style system that can do both heating and cooling, be able to provide comfort for the house year-round. What prompted you to move away from fossil fuels and more electricity and heat pump styles? Just want to get your thoughts on that.
Greg: As much as I love the old cast iron radiators, I think they’re wonderful and provide a nice heat. As a landlord, I found that my tenants were having trouble managing the heat and establishing kind of like, zones in the house using that system, and that was resulting in them using a lot of space heaters to fill in the blanks. And I saw that as a fire hazard.
Greg: So that was something that I wanted to really focus on, was getting a natural zoning solution for them. Also, my boiler was reaching just sort of the end of its natural life. So I wanted to take the opportunity of the house being empty to get a solution that I felt like was going to last and meet some of those needs for the next 20 years, instead of trying to react in a panic next time there was a problem.
Matthias: Sure. Yeah. You took all the radiators out of the house. What kind of benefits did you see by removing the radiators and I guess putting a mix between floor mounts as well as wall mount units?
Greg: Well, this house has a lot of space constraints in it. It’s a very narrow layout, and the bedrooms especially are very small. And the radiators that were in those rooms were quite large so that having anything larger than, like, a twin bed was a layout difficulty.
So by moving those to the wall mount units that are sort of, like, above the walking space, it makes the rooms effectively a lot bigger, considering how small they are. And then the floor mounted units that are sort of like a smaller format than the radiators were lets us have more options about where to put, like, the couches and tables and stuff in the living room.
Matthias: Cool. In the end, what made you choose us to be part of this project?
Greg: I value a lot of expertise in my contractors. I don’t want somebody who’s just a technician of the technology, but who understands building science and the principles behind what they’re doing. And in talking with you, I really got the impression that you understood things like negative air exchange. When you’re running a unit that needs to exhaust combustion outside, that creates a negative pressure in the house, that draws cool air in.
Sometimes when you talk to people who are in the HVAC world, you get the impression that’s not really top of their mind, and they don’t think in a whole system way. So I really wanted to work with somebody who has that perspective and knows things from top to bottom and inside and out, and doesn’t just know how to install the latest unit.
Matthias: Yeah, that’s great. Yeah. Those are really all the questions I had, man. Thanks for the opportunity to be part of this.
Matthias: Very, very fun project. Very unique and just moving away from fossil fuels. It’s the future, right?
Greg: That was one of the reasons why we chose not to go with gas.
Greg: Because it might be good for now, but I think this is the future. So we want to get there here as soon as possible.
Matthias: Hey, thanks for checking out this video. If this is something that you think you’d be interested in, give us a call or check us out online.