Carbon emissions are one of the biggest sources of pollution on this planet. Yet, many of the items we use on a day to day basis produce an excess of them. This likely includes your at-home heating and cooling systems. You should never have to give up the comfortable temperature of your house completely, so luckily, there are other ways you can help cut carbon emissions with your heating and cooling systems.
How are HVAC Manufacturers Related to Carbon Pollution?
Many people are unaware that heating and cooling systems produce large amounts of carbon pollution. Like many products, most of these systems are made by one of a few large companies. So, this massive pollution is in the hands of these substantial HVAC companies (companies specializing in heating, ventilation, and air conditioning). Luckily, some HVAC manufacturers have a fool-proof solution.
For example, Ingersoll Rand, the parent company of HVAC system company Trane and refrigerator truck company Thermo King, has made plans to help cut these carbon emissions. It won’t be an immediate fix, but over the next ten years, they believe they can make a significant change.
The company’s goal is to reduce the carbon footprint of their customers by one gigaton by the year 2030. That’s about the same amount as the annual emissions for the United Kingdom, Italy, and France combined.
A carbon emissions reduction that massive might seem impossible, but by improving the efficiency of heating and cooling systems, it can be achieved. If all the large HVAC manufacturers collectively make more efficient technology and cleaner refrigerants, then a drastic decrease in carbon emissions is certainly possible.
It’s also possible for individual people to help with this change as well. By improving efficiency of your individual unit with regular ductwork inspections, frequent air filter changes, and necessary unit upgrades, you could help take a step toward the carbon emissions goal too.
How Can HVAC Manufacturers Cut Carbon Emissions?
When it comes to cutting carbon emissions, there’s one simple way to do it: use a heat pump. Places around the world have long been trying to find a way to better cut carbon emissions, and as it turns out, it really is as easy as offering a more modern system. So, many HVAC installers have been encouraging families to say goodbye to furnaces and to welcome heat pumps instead.
Current research shows that a heat pump can effectively heat a house just like a furnace can. Yet, it can often do it more efficiently and for a more affordable price. After all, heat pumps transfer the heat instead of generating it. Thus, they can deliver two to four times more energy than they consume
How Do Heat Pumps Cut Carbon Emissions?
A new study from the Rocky Mountain Institute took a look at how heat pumps compared to gas furnaces in the 48 contiguous United States (all states except for Alaska and Hawaii). The results showed that 46 of the 48 states found that heat pumps reduced carbon emissions more than a traditional gas furnace. Utah’s results were not determined due to a pending policy, and Wyoming was the only state to definitively not see a carbon emissions reduction with heat pumps.
The results from the study concluded that 99% of households in the United States found heat pumps to be successful for reducing carbon emissions. The main reason this number isn’t 100% is because Utah and Wyoming are both very reliant on coal-fired electricity, which is why their results might differ from other states. But overall, it seems that changing your gas furnace to a heat pump will greatly benefit not only you, but also the world we live in.
Additionally, the study also recorded how efficient heat pumps were compared to gas furnaces in different climates. The coefficient of performance (COP) for gas furnaces ended up being 0.9 for warmer states and 0.95 for colder states. When you compare those results to heat pumps though, it seems insignificant. The heat pump COP surpassed 2 in every state and even reached 4.06 in Los Angeles, California. That means that in most states, heat pumps are over two times more efficient than a gas furnace. This information only further supports the fact that heat pumps can cut carbon emissions.
Heat Pumps Can Make the World a Healthier Place
There are several reasons as to why heat pumps create less carbon emissions than other heating systems. Heat pumps usually last around 15 years, so the carbon emissions they produce should be compared to the 15-year use of a gas furnace, assuming that the furnace will last that long.
It all comes down to one key feature: efficiency. In general, heat pumps are more efficient than gas furnaces in many aspects, even during cold weather. Therefore, many heat pumps are being made specifically with efficiency in mind. The more efficient a heat pump is, the more it can cut carbon emissions.
This is where HVAC manufacturers have to take extra considerations when creating products. If they truly want to help reduce carbon emissions, they should be pushing to sell more heat pumps instead of furnaces. Millions of people replace heating systems each year, so the sooner this switch can be made, the better. If families don’t switch to a heat pump during their next unit installation, then they’ll likely be creating excess carbon emissions with their new furnace for over 15 years. That means the time is ticking whether we realize it or not.
When a household switches from a gas furnace to a heat pump, the carbon emissions will be reduced almost right away. Gas furnaces produce about one pound of carbon dioxide gas for every 10 cubic feet of gas it burns. This means it’s continuously producing more and more harmful gas as it ages. On the other hand, heat pumps only get better for the environment as time goes on. So, there’s really no harm in switching to a heat pump as soon as possible. Keeping up with maintenance on your current unit can also make a difference.
Are you looking to install an efficient, carbon-reducing heat pump in your home? Foster Heating and Cooling can take care of your system needs both quickly and efficiently. Contact us today for more information about our services. You’ll be able to help make the world a better place in no time!