Researchers from the University of Southeast West Virginia have published a research article in “The Journal of Concerned Petrochemical Industry Scientists” that finds air source heat pumps may quickly become an invasive species in northern states.

The researchers noted the following primary indications of being an invasive species:

  • In the past, ASHPs mostly flourished in southern states; but as temperatures have risen over the last couple decades, more and more are being spotted in northern states.
  • The species has also been seen to adapt to colder climates by becoming increasingly efficient at lower temperatures.
  • ASHPs have been observed displacing native heating system species that are powered by natural gas, propane, and fuel oil.

With these alarming discoveries, the researchers encouraged the Union of Concerned Petrochemical Industry Scientists (which funded the study) to consider working with the EPA and/or the USDA to develop a strategy for stopping the spread of air source heat pumps.

When questioned about these findings, Bill Makofske, long-time advocate of sustainable living, said: “Obviously, this so-called research is a complete joke!”

In the 20thcentury, propane, fuel oil and natural gas replaced coal and wood-burning heating systems because they burned cleaner, used energy more efficiently and were cost effective. Today, heat pumps are replacing propane, fuel oil and natural gas systems because they run cleaner, use energy much more efficiently and are even more cost effective.

  • Heat pumps can both heat a home in the winter and cool a home in the summer — and ground source heat pumps also provide hot water
  • Heat pumps use energy very efficiently because they separate hot from coldinstead of creating heat or cold.
  • In 2019, Warwick residents can get rebates from NYSERDA and O&R and further discounts on a new heat pump system by participating in the HeatSmart Warwick campaign.  Especially if a home is switching from fuel oil or propane to heating (and cooling!) with heat pumps, the results are good for both the environment and the bank account.
  • After New York State implements the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act of 2019, heat pumps will become the primary way New Yorkers heat their homes. Need to replace your furnace? Don’t go with any of the horse and buggy options!

There is a lot to learn about heat pumps and the many options for adopting them in your home. Check out or email Sustainable Warwickfor more information.