Heating and Cooling
Having an efficient heating and cooling system that is customized to your family’s needs is essential to lowering your monthly energy bills and being comfortable in your home. As part of our whole-home approach, we recommend homeowners who heat with oil, propane or electric baseboard install Total Climate Control (TCC) systems in their homes as an affordable alternative to traditional heating methods.
A recent report from the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) – a think-tank primarily focused on driving the efficient and restorative use of resources – underscores the need for TCC systems, or heat pumps, in the Northeast due to the high proportion of residents who heat with oil.
In the past 6 months, Next Step Living has installed over 180 TCC systems in New England homes which will result in $3.6 million in savings over the life of the heat pumps for these residents. We connect customers with available rebates, incentives and financing options from state programs to help reduce the upfront cost of the heat pump so that it becomes an affordable option for homeowners.
Is TCC right for my home?
Homeowners who answer yes to any of the following questions typically find that they see an increase in the comfort of their homes and a reduction in their energy bills after installing a TCC system.
- Do you heat with oil, propane or electric baseboard heat?
- Does your family have the tendency to use certain rooms in your home more than others?
- Is your heating or cooling system 20 or more years old?
- Does your system need regular maintenance to run smoothly?
- Do you use window units for cooling?
- Do you want a green alternative to natural gas?
Benefits of a TCC System
TCC systems can significantly reduce your monthly energy bills and give you more control over which rooms in your home to heat and cool.
- Savings up to 30% – 50% on your home heating compared to electric or oil heat
- 40% more efficient cooling than central air without the loud noise and hassle of window units
- Room-by-room control of your home’s heating and cooling
- Filtered air circulation that improves indoor air quality and reduces allergens
- Easy to install, low-noise ductless system
Call us at 866.867.8729 to schedule a no-cost, no-obligation heating system consultation.
One of our expert advisors will come to your home for an informative visit which will include:
- A review of your needs, priorities, and the capabilities of your current heating and cooling system
- An overview of the heating options available to you and in-depth description of TCC heating and cooling systems
- An explanation of how a custom designed TCC system can help meet your needs while fitting in with your home
- A personalized estimate of the potential energy savings you will see
- A discussion of the rebates and incentives available to you
- Time for you to ask questions and get all the answers you need to make an informed decision
Like your refrigerator, heat pumps use electricity to pump refrigerant and transfer heat from one space to another. Because electricity is only used to pump the heat rather than create it (as electric baseboard or resistant heat does), a TCC system dramatically reduces the energy needed to heat and cool your home, which means it is less expensive to run than other heating methods.
TCC systems qualify for various incentives and rebates depending on the state you live in which make them an affordable option for homeowners.
Massachusetts residents who qualify for the Mass Save ® Home Energy Services Program have access to the COOL SMART residential rebate program for a rebate of up to $500 on Energy Star qualified TCC systems as well as the HEAT Loan Program. The HEAT Loan is a utility-subsidized 7-year 0% interest loan for up to $25,000 that can be used to make upgrading your heating system to a more efficient TCC system easier.
Through the Connecticut Energy Efficiency Fund, Connecticut residents are able to secure rebates for $250 per unit – up to $1,000 – for the installation of a TCC system.
To learn more about the incentives and rebates available to you, please call our team of experts at 866.867.8729.
What makes up a Total Climate Control system?
A Total Climate Control (TCC) system is comprised of an indoor unit called the evaporator and an outdoor unit called the condensing unit. The evaporator is connected to the condensing unit by copper tubing and electrical wiring which is passed through a 2 ½” – 3” hole. Essentially, it is a small central air unit with the flexibility of cooling or heating one or more rooms. This ability to control specific areas of a home is often referred to as zoning.
What are the advantages of installing a TCC system over a central air system?
1) You do not have to buy or install more system than you need. With a central air system (typically 18,000+ BTU), you must cool an entire home when only one or two rooms may need cooling. A TCC system, on the other hand, allows you to cool only the areas you want and not the areas you don’t cutting down your BTU usage to 9,000-12,000 and ultimately lowering your energy bill.
2) A TCC system includes multiple indoor units – or heads – which makes zoning as simple as setting a remote control. Typical homes are not zoned or require the installation of complex zoning systems along with a central air system, which makes it very expensive for the homeowner.
3) Standard ducted systems can waste up to five times more energy than TCC systems just getting the air where it’s needed. Ducted systems can lose up to 25% of the energy produced within the ducts themselves while TCC systems conserve 95% of the energy through the insulated refrigerant lines.
4) Retrofitting homes requires cutting holes in walls, floors, ceilings or decreasing closet space with ducts. A TCC system requires just a 3” diameter hole in the outside wall; this means less mess and better home aesthetics.
5) A TCC system can also heat your home during the winter months much more efficiently than oil, propane or electric baseboard heat.
What are the advantages of installing a TCC system over window units?
1) TCC systems are much quieter than window units.
2) Because TCC systems are permanently installed, homeowners no longer have the hassle of seasonal installation and don’t have to worry about storing units in the off-seasons.
3) TCC systems are more efficient than window units which means you spend less money cooling your home.
Does the system work when it rains or snows outside?
Yes, the outdoor compressor is designed to work outside in the rain and the snow. When the temperature drops below 20 degrees, please refer to your owner’s manual for specific product instructions. In the last 50 years, Boston’s temperature has fallen below 20 degrees only 13 days on average per year so this is an infrequent occurrence.
What color do TCC systems come in?
Each TCC wall mount model is offered in one standard beige color.
Can I paint the TCC unit?
We don’t recommend painting the evaporator. If, for any reason, a problem occurs with the unit in the future, the warranty will become null and void.
What is SEER?
Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) is a measure of cooling efficiency for air conditioners and heat pumps. The higher the SEER, the more energy efficient the unit. Energy efficiency equates to lower electrical bills. Currently the U.S. Government’s minimum SEER rating is 13. The range of the TCC SEER rating is 14 – 26.
What is a BTU?
The British Thermal Unit (BTU) is used to measure cooling or heating capacity; the amount of heat required to raise or lower the temperature of 1 lb. of water 1°F. In other words, 1 BTU of thermal energy is released when you burn a single match. The energy equivalent of burning an entire box of matches would be making an eight-cup pot of coffee.