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Homeowner shares how heat pumps are saving money and keeping family warm even in frigid conditions: 'They've done great'

"We need as many people as possible to say this is a great opportunity."

"We need as many people as possible to say this is a great opportunity."

Photo Credit: iStock

In northern Minnesota, staying warm in the winter is always a top priority. That includes Michael Overend and his wife, who have outfitted their home to not only be warm for the winter but fuel-efficient and sustainable too, as they detailed to Yale Climate Connections.

"We have heated our home with air-source heat pumps now for the last two winters, and they've done great," Overend told YCC.

Heat pumps, the electric units that heat Overend's home, are quickly becoming the ideal unit that will change how we warm our homes. Quicker and more efficient than traditional furnaces, heat pumps are walled devices that use small amounts of energy to move heat from one location to another, pulling heat from the air or ground to heat a home or office building. They can also be easily switched to cool a house in warm summer months.

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Though heat pumps have been common in southern states for decades, it wasn't until the most recent advancements in the technology and its efficiency that they were able to take on more effectively the harsh winters that are common in the northern United States.

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While heat pumps have been praised for their efficiency and sustainability, the Overends went one step further by making more upgrades to their home — installing new insulation, siding, and windows to eliminate drafts. 

And as solar panels become ever more popular across the U.S., one could not only save money by installing a heat pump but also cut costs or even make money from an electric company that wishes to buy excess power.

Time and time again, though, heat pumps alone have been shown to be more efficient and cheaper than gas furnaces and substantially cheaper than oil furnaces — the savings are dependent on your state's electricity prices. However, heat pumps are up to three times more efficient than traditional heaters, using far less energy to produce the same amount of heat.

With climate change becoming more apparent, the Overends hope their journey to a more sustainable home will inspire others to consider the available options that will lessen the environmental impact of homes across the U.S. 

"We need as many people as possible to say this is a great opportunity, so we're trying to use our home as an example to our community," he said.

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