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Climate tech explained: Heat pumps

Climate tech explained: Heat pumps

Some two-thirds of the energy used to heat buildings worldwide still relies on fossil fuels — usually in the form of a gas boiler. Reducing this reliance is a crucial part of the path to net zero. And one key technology for achieving this is the heat pump. Best understood as operating like a fridge in reverse, the technology is not new, but it is now being rapidly rolled out. Heat pumps draw warmth from the outside air or ground to heat buildings.

Nonetheless, manufacturers are working on improving their efficiency, cutting costs, making them easier to install in people’s homes, enabling water to be heated to higher temperatures, and using more environmentally friendly refrigerants. Work is also being done to understand the extent to which heat pumps can run outside peak electricity demand hours without affecting the household’s comfort. Installation processes are also being improved, too.

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