Why Heat Pumps Are the Future, and How Your Home Could Use One

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Heat pumps, which both warm and cool buildings and are powered by electricity, have been touted as the answer to curbing greenhouse gas emissions produced by homes, businesses and office buildings, which are responsible for about one-third of the emissions in New York State.

But how do they work? How much do they cost? Is New York ready for them? And can they really help solve the climate crisis? Here are some heat pump basics.

Why are heat pumps better for the environment?

Currently, we mostly burn fossil fuels to produce heat. This causes pollution. Heat pumps are all-electric.

Even though most electricity still comes from combustion, the United States is slowly transitioning to renewable power like hydro, wind and solar. As this shift occurs, heat pumps will help eliminate greenhouse gases.

How do they work?

Heat pumps use refrigerant to heat and cool air.CreditCredit…

A heat pump moves heat.

It consists of a boxy component outside and a sleek-looking blower inside. A thermostat controls the temperature. During warm weather, a pump works just like an air-conditioner by rerouting indoor heat outdoors.

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