30 May 2005
The use of heat pumps has grown slowly but steadily in North America. Recent natural gas price
increases make the use of heat pumps more attractive. The pending increase in the minimum efficiency
mandated by the federal government will result in a smaller variety but higher efficiency units for sale.
Coupled with the transition to HFC refrigerants, significant redesign can be expected. There is also an
increased recognition of the importance of refrigerant containment during all phases of the equipment life.
American industry is working on several initiatives to reduce emissions. North American industry has
found that certification programs are vital to ensure that heat pumps perform as specified and are installed
and serviced correctly. While vapor compression cycles using fluorocarbon refrigerants will continue to
be the technology that is used to provide heat pumping, a variety of other technologies are being
evaluated for long term use.