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US States are Substituting Gas Furnaces for Heat Pumps

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By Erika John - - 5 Mins Read
Sustainable air heat pump installed outside a traditional brick home
Air heat pump installed outside a house | Snapshot freddy/Shutterstock

In an urgent call to action, nine US states are rallying behind heat pump technology to combat climate change and transition away from traditional heating systems.



Nine states, including California, Colorado, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, and Rhode Island, plan to have 65% of residential heating, air conditioning, and water-heating shipments as heat pumps by 2030. The target is to reach 90% by 2040.


The agreement, outlined in a memorandum of understanding, reflects a collective commitment to accelerate the transition to zero-emissions residential buildings.


Emily Levin, senior policy adviser at the Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management (NESCAUM), emphasizes the significance of this unified effort, stating that it sends a strong signal of intent from the states.

Benefits of Heat Pump Technology

Heat pumps offer a cleaner and more efficient alternative to traditional gas furnaces by transferring heat from the outdoor air into the interior space.


This process provides heating and cooling capabilities, making heat pumps versatile for residential climate control.


Serena McIlwain, Maryland's secretary of the environment, underscores the importance of transitioning to clean heat, emphasizing heat pump technology's cost savings and environmental benefits.


Studies suggest that households can save over $550 annually by switching to heat pumps, making them an attractive option for consumers.


We really need consumers to move away from dirty to clean heat, and we really want to get the message out that heat pumps are really the way to go. We have homeowners who are getting ready to replace their furnaces, and if they're not aware, they are not going to replace it with a heat pump,” says Serena McIlwain, Maryland’s secretary of the environment. 


Federal Support and Industry Collaboration

The coalition's efforts are bolstered by federal support, with the government allocating $169 million in funding for the domestic production of heat pump systems.


Mobile air heat pump placed on the exterior of a building
Mobile heat pump | Shutterstock


This funding, household rebates, and tax credits provide critical financial incentives to promote heat pump adoption.


Furthermore, the coalition aims to collaborate closely with heat pump manufacturers to track sales and progress, signaling a strong demand for these systems.


By sharing information and best practices, the states seek to standardize policies and regulations to facilitate the widespread adoption of heat pumps.


Nonetheless, despite the benefits of heat pump technology, challenges remain, particularly in workforce development.


The memorandum calls for investment in training programs to ensure an adequate supply of skilled technicians to install and maintain heat pump systems.


McIlwain stresses the importance of having a well-trained workforce to meet the growing demand for heat pump installations.


Additionally, efforts to retrofit homes with other clean energy technologies, such as solar panels and induction stoves, are essential in achieving zero-emission homes.


The coalition's collaborative approach aims to elevate heat pump technology from obscurity to ubiquity, signaling to consumers and the industry that zero-emission homes are the future.


By prioritizing clean energy solutions, the states are taking decisive steps toward building a more sustainable and resilient future for all.