Full Title: Decarbonizing Space Heating with Air Source Heat Pumps
Author(s): DR. NOAH KAUFMAN, DAVID SANDALOW, CLOTILDE ROSSI DI SCHIO AND JAKE HIGDON
Publisher(s): Center on Global Energy Policy
Publication Date: December 18, 2019
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In the United States, commercial and residential buildings produce roughly 12 percent of greenhouse gas emissions. Most of these emissions come from burning fossil fuels for space heating. These emissions must be significantly reduced or eliminated for the US to achieve deep decarbonization goals, including net zero emissions by midcentury.
Air source heat pumps (ASHPs) are powered by electricity, using well-established technology to move heat from outdoor air to indoor air. When powered by zero-carbon electricity, ASHPs provide space heating with almost no greenhouse gas emissions. ASHPs are especially effective for space heating in mild climates.
In 2015, roughly 10 percent of US households (mostly in the Southeast) used air source heat pumps as their primary heating source. ASHPs account for roughly one-third of residential space heating in Japan. The world’s largest ASHP market is in China, where sales are growing rapidly.