By contrast, the electricity needed to initiate the refrigerant cycle in a heat pump is a mere fraction compared to the fuel burned in an oil or gas powered furnace.
I think that we need to start making serious efforts to address climate change, and we need to do it one way or another. When I say this, I’m not suggesting that we completely ban plastic and other environmentally detrimental products unless they can easily be replaced by something else. Bottles are a perfect example—in many situations we should be using glass instead of plastic. However, if you’ve ever worked in health care or taken care of sick relatives, you know that plastic gloves cannot be phased out because a biodegradable alternative wouldn’t be resistant to liquids and fluids. There are just some applications of plastic that are essential to the health and safety of people who are sick or getting procedures after injuries. However, we can lead people away from environmentally detrimental heating and cooling methods. That means no wasteful portable air conditioners, nor any oil burning furnaces. Oil will continue to be a scarce resource and producing and burning it harms the environment in a very real way. By contrast, the electricity needed to initiate the refrigerant cycle in a heat pump is a mere fraction compared to the fuel burned in an oil or gas powered furnace. And if you are harvesting your heat from outside air, underground earth, or a water source—it solves half of the problem associated with indoor heat. Geothermal heat pumps are expensive but some state and local governments give out tax and rebate incentives to anyone looking to install a geothermal heat pump. If all of the people who use indoor heat were switched to geothermal heat pumps, it could have a sizable impact on the future of climate change.