I live in an area that demands just about year round temperature control. The spring and summer seasons are both extremely hot and humid. The fall and winter temperature never falls below freezing, but the chill definitely requires heating. Trying to maintain a comfortable home can be a huge drain on the budget. When I started shopping for a heating and cooling system for my new home, energy efficiency was my main focus. I hoped to find a type of HVAC system that would keep running costs low and minimize my carbon footprint. I looked into forced air furnaces and central cooling systems as well as high velocity HVAC and ductless options. Despite the higher purchase and installation price, I eventually settled on an electric, air-source heat pump. The heat pump was rather expensive, but it combines heating and cooling capacity into a single unit. Plus, this type of system trims costs all year round. During the winter, the heat pump finds ambient heat in the outdoor air and transfers it inside. It doesn’t burn fossil fuels to generate heat, making it very environmentally responsible. There’s no greenhouse gases, fumes or carbon monoxide to worry about. When the weather warms up, the heat pump reverses the process, drawing heat out of the home to create a cooling effect. It acts just like an air conditioner but is more energy efficient and better at combating humidity. The heat pump features variable-speed operation, allowing it to adjust capacity anywhere between 40 and 100%. The longer running times at lower speeds achieve lower sound levels, more consistent temperature and amazing energy efficiency levels.