Project: HVAC Repair – Home sealing and heat pump water heater
Customer: Alex Roetter
Home: Single family foursquare home, built 1908
Alex Roetter was immediately drawn in by the character of the 1908 foursquare home he and his family bought in 2018.
But a home that’s over 100 years old comes with a long list of needed repairs and improvements
For the past few years, Alex has overseen major renovations to modernize the home.
He’s attempted to improve the energy efficiency with each new HVAC repair project and even put solar panels on the roof.
“They’re not specifically energy efficiency projects, but when I do work, I improve insulation,” Alex said. “Every time I do something, I try to make it better from that point of view.”
This past year, Alex started focusing even more on reducing his home’s carbon footprint.
“It’s becoming more and more urgent,” he said.
He had two different issues he wanted to solve. One was the huge amount of energy it took to heat and cool his home. The other was his inefficient gas water heater.
“I just want to burn less gas and my water heater burns gas,” he said.
“My house is old and not well insulated so in the winter the only room I’m able to effectively heat is the mechanical room because the gas water heater is so inefficient it just warms the space.”
“I just don’t want a crazy inefficient thing burning gas.”
After years of working with HVAC repair general contractors who could be hard to communicate with, he wanted a more streamlined experience this time around.
Alex heard about Elephant Energy through his local startup networks and decided to try working with a dedicated energy efficiency contractor.
“Their whole mission is the thing I’m trying to do,” he said. “Reduce residential carbon emissions.”
Solution – HVAC Repair
After an energy efficiency assessment, Alex received guidance from Elephant Energy on what would be the most effective steps forward.
“They came over, they looked through the house, they talked through things they could do,” he said.
“They also reviewed an energy efficiency report that I’d had done and we talked through what was economically feasible and what wasn’t.”
Alex received a plan for two improvements that would meet his goals and fit his budget: a home sealing project that would eliminate air leaks and improve his insulation and a heat pump water heater to replace the gas one.
Alex said it was a much smoother and efficient experience working with Elephant Energy instead of a general contractor.
“They’re smart and modern and responsive and know their stuff,” he said.
“General contractors, there are some amazing ones, but in general it’s a pretty old-fashioned industry,” he said.
“It’s way better just to deal with DR and a modern startup instead of chasing GCs around. So that made me happy.”
Results – HVAC Repair
The heat pump water heater was only installed a month ago, so Alex is still waiting on the first energy bills to see the impact of the switch.
But the evidence that things have improved is already clear.
“The mechanical room is not hot anymore, which is good because that was all a complete waste of gas to heat a room that I don’t live in,” Alex said.
“And the water heater works great.”
The total cost for Alex’s water heater HVAC repair was around $5,000 and he received $1,200 in rebates. The sealing and insulation project was $1,000.
As he moves onto the next big upgrades, like a new HVAC, he would definitely work with Elephant Energy again.
“I like that you’re dealing with a modern, responsive, customer-focused company,” he said. “They’re clear on what they can do for you and then they make it all happen.”
“You have a single point of contact and you don’t have to worry.”
“They even do things like apply for the rebates for you and preemptively take that amount off your bill so then you’re not chasing down the utility company to see if they ever sent you a rebate.”