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Upgrades to Existing Home

Susan and Jim

Jim and Susan moved to their home in Lakewood 20 years ago. The history and the charm of land that once was an apple orchard, the non-cookie cutter and secluded area that was close to their daughter’s school were highlights that attracted them to their 1950s, post WWII barracks house.

Both Jim and Susan hold a background in natural foods, so they have always shared core values in conservation and sustainability. They both serve on the sustainability committee for The City of Lakewood and feel that they’re ahead of the curve when it comes to making energy efficient improvements to their home.

In 2019, Jim and Susan were leaving for Topeka, Kansas for Thanksgiving when all of a sudden, they lost power. Though their neighbors were able to let a heating guy in to clean out a sensor that was likely contributing to the outage, they became aware that their furnace was old and was starting to fall apart. That same winter, there was a Denver home and garden show, where Jim and Susan took the opportunity to talk to heating companies about heat pumps.

It wasn’t long before the couple decided to invest in an air source Mitsubishi system and get rid of their furnace. In their opinion, the Mitsubishi is some of the best technology for heat pumps, and functions well in colder climates like Colorado. Using the existing duct work in the home, Susan and Jim installed two heat pump units, one ducted and the other ductless. The project was a $15,000 investment, but they are very happy with the new heating system so far..


  • Excellent comfort, quiet operation
  • Reduced carbon emissions
  • Reduced risk of carbon monoxide
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As homeowners who used to receive letters from Xcel notifying them that they were in the top 10% of high-energy consumption in our area, in the last 5-10 years, they have significantly reduced their energy consumption. Having a heat pump was a major factor in that.

They say that now, they are never concerned about their energy usage and that the temperature in the house is way more consistent. The air moves at a much quieter and smoother rate.

Jim and Susan both agree that there’s a lot of money out there now that should be taken advantage of. But Jim cautions homeowners to proceed with efficiency and electrification upgrades in a way that  makes the most sense.  “I would suggest checking on insulation first and working towards a heat pump in order to have the most impact on reducing energy use and emissions.”

Their next step is to use the IRA incentives to electrify their kitchen with an induction stove.

Quick Facts

  • Location:
  • Home Size:
    2670 sq ft total (1680 sq ft first floor, 990 ft2 basement)
  • Upgrades:
    New heat pump system to replace the existing gas furnace
  • Heating & Cooling:
    Two Mitsubishi heat pump systems, installed in early 2020. One heat pump is a hybrid of ducted for most of the house, with one non-ducted indoor unit serving the kitchen. The other heat pump is a mini-split/non-ducted system serving the master bedroom. The total capacity for both units is 33,000 Btu/hr of heating.
  • Heating & Cooling Cost:
    $14,300 after rebates
  • Heat Pump Installer:
    Zeppelin HVAC (no longer in business)
  • Why This Heating System:
    To eliminate the gas furnace and provide efficient and comfortable heating
  • Cooking:
    They are planning to install a new electric range with induction cooktop
  • Why This Cooking System:
    Excellent response, better than gas