When my husband and I bought our home, we were thrilled with the location. The house itself was a total disaster. It had been left empty for nearly twenty years and was on the verge of collapse. Little beyond the framework was salvageable. We ripped off the roof, tore out the walls and ceilings, removed the entire HVAC system and basically gutted the place. I saw this as an opportunity to install the perfect heating and cooling system. I wanted something quiet, fairly compact, safe, clean and energy efficient. After a whole bunch of reading and research and talking to friends and family, I decided on an electric heat pump. The heat pump consists of an indoor air handler and an outdoor compressor, which circulates refrigerant. The refrigerant absorbs and releases heat as it travels between the two units. It operates a lot like a central air conditioner but can actually reverse direction to supply heat. It works by transporting warm air from one place to another, depending on the season. Although the outside air seems cold, there is heat energy available. The heat pump extracts this ambient heat and transfers it into the house. During the summer, the heat pump removes heat from the home and pumps it outside. Because the system moves heat instead of creating it, it is wonderfully safe and energy efficient. There is no combustion process, eliminating the threat of carbon monoxide and making them quite environmentally friendly. While a heat pump is fairly expensive to purchase and install, it handles the workload of two units. I only need the one system for year round temperature control. Plus, it provides effective dehumidification and doesn’t require a humidifier because of overly dry air during the winter.