If you are like me, you may not have realized the wonders of the heat pump, one of the neatest innovations in home temperature control. Until I moved south a few years ago, I had never even heard of a heat pump. This type of method combines heating and cooling into a single, electricity-fed machine. The unit does not burn fossil fuels to create heat, instead moving air from one place to another. During the summer, the heat pump operates rather like a conventional central cooling system. Using refrigerant, it pulls heat from inside the apartment and expels it outdoors. When the weather turns colder, the heat pump reverses direction, finding ambient warmth in outdoor air, compressing it to a higher temperature, then bringing it indoors. This process is practically silent, clean, safe, and energy efficient too. There are no combustion byproducts to worry about, such as carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide or formaldehyde. There are no toxic fumes, fire hazards, or sizzling surfaces which might burn children or pets. There are no unhealthy gas emissions, which deplete the ozone, harming the environment. The simple heat pump is also an amazing tool for combating humidity plus it won’t overly dry the air in heating mode. While it may not be cheap to purchase and install, your heat pump will pay for itself in lower quarterly utility bills as well as years of reliability. The reason heat pumps are not more popular up north is that they are not all that effective once the outside temperature gets too cold. Living in the south, I am truly thankful for my handy heat pump.