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If you’re planning to replace your central air conditioning, you might consider a heat pump instead.

Despite the name, a heat pump is essentially the same thing as an air conditioner. It’s installed in much the same way and provides the same cooling.

But unlike AC, a heat pump can also run in reverse. So it can provide heat in winter, too. And as the technology improves, it’s increasingly used in northern regions.

“There are absolutely a lot of products that are designed to work well in cold climates and are proven to have worked in the furthest reaches of New England or northern Minnesota, and other places around the country,” says Stephen Pantano of CLASP, a non-profit that promotes energy-efficient appliances.

He says that unlike traditional furnaces, heat pumps run on electricity instead of oil or gas.

“They’re very efficient,” he says. “And it avoids having to burn fossil fuels in your home. So it’s a great environmental benefit, especially when you can run it off the electric grid, which is getting cleaner every day.” 

He says as more renewables are added to the grid, the environmental benefits of heat pumps will also grow.

So the technology can help homeowners reduce their impact on the climate without sacrificing comfort.

Reporting credit: ChavoBart Digital Media