Over the past few years, electric heat pumps have been gaining popularity as a growing number of homeowners look for ways to replace their old fossil fuel boilers and furnaces.
Heat pumps can heat and cool a home, and they often create less carbon pollution than oil or gas heating.
But installing a whole new system can be confusing and overwhelming.
So Steve Breit spends his days as a volunteer heat pump coach, helping people make the switch.
“When I spend a few hours with people, they’re just so appreciative of the help,” he says.
Breit is a retired engineer and co-founder of the HeatSmart Alliance, a group of volunteers that promotes low-emissions heating and cooling in Massachusetts communities.
When a homeowner is thinking of installing a heat pump, Breit will meet with them to go over costs, technical details, and the installation process — all for free.
And to make even more of an impact, Breit trains other volunteers to become heat pump coaches, too. Together, they have helped dozens of families in Massachusetts make the switch away from fossil fuels.
“It’s just very satisfying to me,” he says. “This has been just really one of the most fulfilling parts of my life, to be able to work on something that I care deeply about.”
Reporting credit: Ethan Freedman/ChavoBart Digital Media