The next frontier of heat pumps? New York apartment windows | Trending Viral hub


“There is a huge difference in the amount of heat our system puts out when a user requests heat to be comfortable versus a radiator that dumps tons of extra heat into the room,” says Vince Romanin, CEO of Gradient. “If they are able to set that temperature by room, not by room,building Based on this, you end up—because you’re only heating and cooling the rooms you need—with about 20 percent less energy use.”

The New York City Housing Authority says residents are generally happy with the units, especially the ability to control temperatures. In summer, a heat pump is reversed to function as an air conditioning unit. So people who have never had air conditioning suddenly have a clean, efficient device that heats and cools. “Heat pumps allow NYCHA to move away from natural gas-fired steam heating systems and are also two to six times more energy efficient than these systems,” says Shaan Mavani, director of asset and capital management at the Housing Authority.

With these heat pumps, New York is reversing the usual pattern of new energy technologies, which are often too expensive for ordinary people to afford. “It’s a relatively cheap, relatively simple, plug-and-play technology that works in the 100-year-old brick public housing building,” says climate economist Gernot Wagner of Columbia Business School. “Is he rich who are supposed to be the first to adopt the new, sexy, advanced climate technology.”

gradient all weather heat pump, intended to operate in colder climates, will be priced at $3,800 later this year. That would be compensated by a increasing number of state and federal tax rebates and credits that encourage decarbonization. With a full heat pump system running through ducts in a fancy person’s home, you’re looking at the costs of having to upgrade your electrical system to handle the additional energy demand, while a smaller window version would simply connects to the wall. Installing a heat pump is actually not much different from installing a typical air conditioning unit, usually taking about a day, but the technician will need special training to do it. (In general, the United States is desperately short of skilled workers available to install enough heat pumps and other green technologies to decarbonize quickly enough). By contrast, you can install a heat pump on a windowsill in less than an hour, says Gradient.

One of the obstacles for urban apartment dwellers is the possibility of a change in operating costs: if the landlord had been paying for a steam central heating system and the tenant now uses a heat pump using their own electricity unit, your bills may increase. About 90 percent of New York City Housing Authority residents live in buildings that are “master metered” anyway, meaning they don’t pay individual electric bills. For the remaining 10 percent, NYCHA will likely introduce a utility subsidy to ensure that switching to a heat pump does not increase expenses. At the same time, as residents make that switch, the agency will save on costs associated with repairing existing heat distribution systems. “Heat pumps eliminate the need for these investments,” says Mavani.

What NYCHA has embarked on is a plan that other metropolises could copy to switch their own multifamily buildings to heat pumps. “That said, every city has a different mix of building typologies, local codes, heating and cooling needs, and construction and utility costs,” Mavani says. “Hopefully, based on New York’s experience, other multifamily building owners, whether public or private, will have better data to support their own decision-making.”

Heat pumps will be cheaper from now on. Unlike stagnant fossil fuel heating techniques, heat pumps are a technology that is evolving and becoming increasingly efficient at extracting heat from outside air and moving it indoors. “Heat pumps are the classic example of a technology that will only get better and cheaper over time,” says Wagner. “We know where we have to go. We have to electrify the buildings; We especially have to stay away from gas and diesel heating. This is the way to do it.”


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