Media: In Minnesota, fighting climate change means changing how to heat buildings (Star Tribune)

May 1, 2021

From Star Tribune:

Brian DeGidio admits he hasn't thought much about the environmental benefits of the air-source heat pumps he's working on atop a large apartment complex under construction in St. Paul....

Electric heat pumps are gaining new traction in cold-weather states such as Minnesota thanks to recent advances in the technology. The systems can now heat when it's as cold as minus 22F — and even lower in at least once case, said Ben Schoenbauer, senior research engineer at the St. Paul nonprofit Center for Energy and Environment.

They're getting more economical and are seen as a front-runner in decarbonizing northern buildings. "It's only in the last 10 years the technology has advanced to the point where you can do it for really cold temperatures," Schoenbauer said....

There are other challenges. Despite significant improvements in heat pumps, most buildings require a backup heat source during Minnesota's severe cold snaps. Some new systems can run down to minus 30F, said Schoenbauer, but performance is reduced at lower temperatures....
 

Read the full article from Star Tribune.