Just in time!

We did it!  We made our first big investment in our home!

When we purchased the house, we inherited an ancient oil heating system that was working but well past its normal life expectancy.  Our home inspector told us that systems like ours usually lasted about 25 years, and our was original to the house (so, closer to 60 years).  Because it was so old, it was estimated to be working at around 60% efficiency.  Coupling the inefficiency with the fact that oil is so expensive, we knew making a change would be an immediate necessity.

If you need a visual of how old the system was, check out the image of this totally not creepy child on the plaque on the system’s humidifier:

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Enough said.

We heard about the MassSave program and learned that they offer 7-year, 0% interest loans to qualifying homeowners for energy-efficient upgrades.  The process was long and had many steps, including a MassSave audit, having National Grid run the gas line to the house, getting quotes from HVAC companies, etc.  However, after a nearly two-month long process, we have finally converted our heating system to gas.

Additionally, we decided to add central air to the house, which was a pretty exciting bonus.  The house already has forced hot air heat, so the necessary duct work was in place.  Because we decided to install a MassSave-approved air conditioner unit, we were able to lump it into the loan, which made the decision even easier.

So, without further ado, let’s take a look at some before and after pictures!

Heating system before:

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Heating system after!:

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Here is the central air conditioning system (or lack there of) before:

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…and the air conditioning system after!:

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We could not be more thrilled with our decision to update our heating and cooling systems and convert our house to natural gas.  It wasn’t a fast process (two months later…) and it certainly wasn’t fun getting through a freezing October with no heat, but I think it was completely worth it.

We still have this monster to get rid of… :

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But luckily, that will be our last and final step!  We just have to make a call to a licensed removal company and they’ll take it apart and get it out for us.

The process certainly wasn’t cheap, but we determined that based on the heating system alone, the conversion would pay for itself in about three years.  The air conditioning unit is somewhat of an added expense, however the new system will be far more efficient than the window units we used this past summer.  All in all, we couldn’t be happier with our decision!

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