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Upgrades to Existing Home – Boulder, CO

Tom and Amy Van Dreser

Tom and Amy Van Dreser have been in their home in Boulder for 30 years. During that time, they have invested in new insulation for parts of their home and added  600 more square feet of space to the home. Tom has been retired and up until recently, Amy was still working from home, which gave them insight into how much warmer their home felt, “thanks to climate change.” Tom was never keen on getting a swamp cooler, and neither of them wanted to invest in an A/C unit. An energy audit helped them realize that their furnace, which was original to the 1950’s home, was at the end of its life span. Their auditor recommended getting a heat pump, something that Tom had heard of before, so the couple was immediately interested in learning more.

They spent a lot of time doing their research and relied on a neighborhood friend who introduced Tom and Amy to a mechanical engineer. They didn’t quite align on the cost or project parameters, which is what drove them to then talk with Dave Petroy from NTS Energy. Dave was able to provide an in-depth analysis and report, where he laid out everything from the different heat pump brands to heating and HVAC companies. He was able to open their eyes to the different tiers and models for pumps and the level of quality for each. He provided Tom and Amy with a thorough breakdown and gave his honest recommendations.

In May of 2022, using their existing duct work, Tom and Amy installed an efficient air source heat pump through a local, family-owned company, Kappler Mechanical. They also installed a new furnace for backup heating.


  • Very quiet
  • Great comfort so far in cooling and heating modes
  • About 80% reduction in gas consumption for heating
  • Reduced carbon emissions
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As the perfect solution for both a new heating and cooling system, Tom and Amy can feel a difference and feel they have more consistent air distribution in the home.

Amy recommends that homeowners do their research, such as through Love Electric and talk to as many people as possible because some HVAC companies will shrug off the concept of heat pumps. Tom added that it’s important to keep contractors honest and maintain a level of transparency throughout the process.

Quick Facts

  • Location:
  • Home Size:
    1600 sq ft.
  • Upgrades:
    New heat pump system and new gas furnace
  • Heating & Cooling:
    Bosch ducted heat pump system ( 3 TON, 20 SEER, 10.5 HSPF) and Bosch 2-stage, 96% efficient gas furnace. The controls are set so that the heat pump will operate down to 20 degrees, and the furnace will operate at temperatures below that.
  • Heating & Cooling Cost:
    $20,000, including rebates from Xcel Energy and City of Boulder
  • Heat Pump Installer:
    Kappler Mechanical
  • Why This Heating System:
    They chose this efficient (but non-cold climate) heat pump system with the gas furnace backup for two reasons: 1) A ducted cold-climate heat pump system with enough capacity for their home would not be available for at least six months, and 2) the cold-climate heat pump system (with no backup furnace) would have cost $5,000 – $10,000 more than the system they chose.