Nate Adams, or Nate the House Whisperer as he goes by on his blog, is a huge champion of electrification. It gets rid of combustion indoors, which is good for indoor air quality. It allows homes to run on clean electricity, which is good for outdoor air quality. It sets the stage for a future powered by renewables, and done well, it creates what he says are the most comfortable homes he’s ever been in.

Adams knows a thing or two about electrification. He wrote the book HVAC 2.0, which focuses on whole-home energy retrofits, and played a role in passing the HEATR ACT, which offers tax credits for electric-powered HVAC equipment including heat pumps.

But there’s a problem. Homeowners and HVAC contractors alike are often nervous about electrification, especially in cold climates. It’s a big investment. And all-electric houses aren’t widespread enough to be able to just stop by and test one out.

Adams has a solution: short-term rentals. And he is walking the walk.

Adams and his wife have dabbled in short-term rentals since 2015 as a way to make some extra income. Recently they bought two small houses in West Virginia, near the New River Gorge National Park, converted them to all-electric, and listed them on AirBnb.

Each of the houses has a theme — there’s the Wizard House and the Game House, which is actually the second story above a 4-car garage. The Game House has a Battleship-themed escape room with a treasure chest, life-sized Operation and Monopoly boards, the Nintendo Switch, and blankets you can use to play Chutes and Ladders or Candyland.

In addition to the fun decor, the Game House also has state-of-the-art HVAC. The bath fan and range hood are both vented outdoors, and it has >what Adams calls “BAD ASS HVAC” that covers 6 functions: load matching, filtration, dehumidification, fresh air, mixing, and humidification, which in this case is covered by a standalone small dehumidifier.

The little house was leaky; 3,000 blower door on an 800-square-foot house was not something that could be solved with HVAC alone. Adams replaced the leaky garage door seals, did some air sealing in the attic, and insulated the garage walls and the rim joists with polyisocyanurate, which is extruded polystyrene foam with foil on either side. That took the blower down to 1,300, which he said worked fine for a vacation home.

The little house also got new windows, sliding door, roof, brand new kitchen and bathroom, and a full HVAC system, which is powered by a 1.5-ton Daikin Fit heat pump.

With his ductwork projects, Adams works to lower static pressure to the point where you can hardly tell it’s running. His goal is under half an inch; he finds that .08-.3 is best. The Game House, which at its operating max is 600 cfm, is running .13, which Adams said is low enough that people will freak out because you can hardly hear it running.

Finally, Adams installed a Haven in-duct air quality monitor. It measures pressure, velocity, temperature, humidity, VOCs, and particulate matter, and it can also trigger the system to react if one of these is out of alignment.

Of course, going along with the all-electric initiative, the Game House also has a plug for EV charging.

Adams said he has already had comments from guests about how comfortable the Game House is. Next, he wants to really start promoting the IAQ aspect and the fact that it’s electrified. He plans to put the air quality data on a tablet, so guests can have a visual representation of what their air quality looks like.

What he really wants is for AirBnb, VRBO, and other rental services to create, and promote, a special class of short-term rentals that are all-electric.

A few thousand of these around the country could host 50-100 families each per year, he estimated, and give those guests the “electrify everything” experience on a trial basis.

“Say there were 2,000 properties that host 50 families a year each,” he wrote on his blog. “That’s 100,000 families a year seeing what the hype is all about. That is likely to spark many more full or partial electrifications and likely more all-electric short-term rental properties.”

Because of the profit margins of short-term rentals, it opens up room for upgrades like inverter-driven heat pumps, particularly if a property’s HVAC is at end of its useful life. Plus, all of the homes would be substantially improved, he said, which is good for U.S. housing stock. The upgrades could likely extend the houses’ lifespan by an additional 30-100 years by making them future-proof and far more moisture-resilient.