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Aug 4, 2022

Heat Pumps Prove Themselves During A Harsh Maine Winter

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The state of Maine has started a campaign to educate residents about heat pumps and now they can heat homes even in the winter.


Heat pumps are i ncomprehensible to many people. How can a thing that looks like an air conditioner keep people warm in the winter? The state of Maine wants to install 100,000 heat pumps in the next 3 years and is off to a good start. 27,000 of them were installed by Maine residents last year. Presently, about 60% of all homes in Maine are heated by oil furnaces — one of the highest percentages in America. All those furnaces mean lots of carbon emissions.

Maine may not have the harshest winters in the United States, but it certainly comes close. Old time Mainers like to say their weather is “10 months of winter and 2 months of damn poor sleddin’.” Outside of cities like Portland, its residents tend to be skeptical of new ways of doing things, and that reticence extends to heat pumps.

To address those concerns, Efficiency Maine conducted an experiment last winter to see if heat pumps would keep homes in Maine comfortable even when temperatures outside dipped to-20º F. Lots of people who have heat pumps today also have an oil furnace as well, on the theory that a heat pump can’t make heat when the temperature drops below zero.

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