That’s the title of an article in a February 14th post from MIT — https://www.technologyreview.com/2023/02/14/1068582/
I have written about and provided my own explanations regarding how heat pumps differ from forced air furnaces and traditional A/C systems, but the article cited above goes the extra mile.
If you’ve spent a night in a hotel or motel, you have probably slept in a room that was heated or cooled by a heat pump, because invariably that’s what those units are which you saw and controlled under each window.
In my other post today, heat pumps provide the heating and cooling for every Boxabl home. They are also what heats and cools many electric vehicles, since they require less battery power than conventional electric car heaters.
I was surprised to hear that heat pumps were invented in the 1850s but only started being used to heat and cool homes in the 1960s. It took the global climate crisis and the need to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels to make them the hottest trend in new homes.
Speaking of new homes, however, I lamented as recently as last fall that I haven’t found a single new Denver area home builder which has abandoned gas-based home heating or even offers an upgrade to heat pumps. If you know of one, please tell me, because I’d be happy to promote that home builder in a future column.
The MIT article provides some useful information, including about the rebates being offered for heat pump installations. It also debunks the myth promoted by fossil fuel interests that heat pumps don’t work in colder climates. They are actually in use from Alaska to Maine, where, for example, my sister in Kingfield, Maine, installed a heat pump in her home to save on her fuel oil bill. Her fuel oil vendor told her that the adoption of heat pumps by her neighbors has noticeably reduced his sale of fuel oil in that rural community near the Canadian border.
According to the article, 60% of the homes in Norway are heated by heat pumps, as are 40% of the homes in Finland and Sweden (where another of my sisters lives).
“Wherever you look,” the MIT article concludes, “the era of the heat pump has officially begun.”