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Published Feb 14, 2024
3 mins read

Day 1

Today is Day 1 for Heat Pump Review , but let's rewind about a year:

Last year I left my long-time leadership position at Amazon and set off on a journey to figure out what my next chapter should be. I wrote about that decision here .

Since then, I've spent the year learning everything I can about the present climate crisis, immersing myself in online communities like MCJ Collective , inhaling all of the great content already being created by the likes of David Roberts at Volts , Canary Media , Carbon Copy , MCJ, Catalyst , and even more niche (but insanely awesome) sustainability podcasts like Red to Green . Late last year, I even co-founded a meetup for the Baltimore Climate Tech community (which has already generated a founding team!).

Being the Customer

However, being the "product guy" that I am, what I've spent the most time doing this past year is just being the customer myself. A few years ago, I moved into 1970s townhome in the city of Baltimore. In the past year, I've done an Efficiency Audit, installed solar panels, "heavy-ed up" my electric panel, bought an EV, installed an EV-ready outlet on the exterior of my home (no garage or private parking space in my HOA), joined the HOA Board to get public chargers installed in the community, passed a composting regulation in the HOA, updated my cookstove to induction, replaced all my canned lights with sealed LEDs, and within a few weeks I'll seal and upgrade my attic insulation. I've taken to documenting all my projects here .

So Why Heat Pumps & Why this "Heat Pump Review"?

I'm fairly optimistic about how everyday people, scientists, entrepreneurs, and even governments are rising to the present climate challenge, but I'm presently most concerned that we will not decarbonize our heating and cooling nearly as quickly and dramatically as we need to. I'm not going to use this first post to detail the numbers behind this concern (as many need their own dedicated post), but – as you can imagine – transitioning how we cool and especially how we heat our homes is in the top 3 of ways consumers and small businesses can reduce their carbon impact (up there with transportation and diet).

But while the transportation/car market is very mature – awash with great resources for reviewing car models, knowing what's coming out soon, evaluating financing options via loans and leases, comparing insurance, comparing reliability metrics, and so on – I've been struck by how very little there is for the heat pump industry - when the price tag for a new home heating/cooling system is nearly as expensive as new transportation.

Perhaps it shouldn't be a surprise, then that of all the ways I can decarbonize my home, upgrading my 23 year old A/C unit and 80% efficient Natural Gas furnace has been the hardest for me to get over the line.

So that's it. I see a void. A need for better information. Better organized information. More details on how to finance a heat pump purchase. Better comparisons of the existing options. More testimonials from people I know. More visibility about the roadmaps of heat pump manufacturers.

Much of this data and information exists already, usually as a sub-section of a larger climate resource or publication; and so a lot of what I will be doing with this publication is pointing people to those great resources that already exist. I am not an expert in this topic, and I won't pretend to be one; and I certainly won't be one to break news. Where I see a void, however, I will try and fill it.

More to Come

Today is Day 1. Let's see what comes next. For now, you can subscribe if you'd like to stay up to date and receive emails when new content is published, rather than checking back to the site. Today Heat Pump Review is this single post. Each day it will grow to what it will become. I'm thankful to have you along for the ride.

Nate Westheimer
Nate Westheimer Editor, Heat Pump Review
Nate Westheimer is the Editor of Heat Pump Review. He as worked in the tech industry for nearly 20 years, including as a Director of Technical Product Management at Amazon, the CEO of Picturelife, and as the Executive Director of the NY Tech Alliance.
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