The Path to Drawdown: High-Efficiency Heat Pumps
Buildings and construction account for about 38% of global CO2 emissions and 35% of total energy-use. More than one-third of that is for heating and cooling, which could cut energy use by 30-40% with maximum efficiency.
Heat pumps are the technology that can increase heating and cooling efficiency most effectively. Heat pumps extract heat from the air and transfer it from indoors to the outside for cooling, and from outdoors in for heating. The ground, air, or water can act as the source of or outlet for that heat.
Heat pumps are easy to adopt, well understood, and already in use around the world. They can supply indoor heating, cooling, and hot water, all from one integrated unit. With high efficiency, they can dramatically reduce building energy use. When paired with renewable energy sources, they could eliminate almost all emissions from heating and cooling.
According to Project Drawdown, high-efficiency heat pumps need to continue growing mildly between now and mid-century to help achieve decarbonization:
- In 2018, high-efficiency heat pumps accounted for 3% of the market for delivered heat globally
- To stay below 1.5°C of global warming, high-efficiency heat pumps need to grow enough to account for 4.3% of that market by 2060
- That’s 0.86% growth annually between 2018 and 2060
If this scaling can be achieved, heat pumps can help avoid up to 9.3 gigatons of GHG emissions.
Carrier Global Corporation (stock ticker: CARR) is a home appliances corporation. They manufacture and distribute heating, ventilating and air conditioning systems, as well as commercial refrigeration and foodservice equipment, and fire and security technologies.Headquartered in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, they serve customers in over 160 countries.
CARR's Role in Drawdown
Carrier’s HVAC segment provides products, controls, services and solutions to meet the heating and cooling needs of residential and commercial customers, while enhancing building performance, energy efficiency and sustainability. Products include air conditioners, heating systems, controls and aftermarket components, as well as aftermarket repair and maintenance services and building automation solutions. They offer these solutions through their subsidiaries (Automated Logic, BlueEdge, Bryant, Carrier, CIAT, Day & Night, Heil, NORESCO, Riello and Tempstar).
Their HVAC segment also offers a wide range of heat pumps. Most recently, their subsidiary Carrier Residential HVAC launched (p. 6) two new flagship products in 2020 - the Carrier infinity 26 air conditioner and the Carrier Infinity 24 heat pump, which offers both heating and cooling capabilities. They help maintain consistent temperature and humidity, achieving the highest energy efficiency ratings among all ducted systems and offer ultra-quiet operation.
Carrier’s AquaSnap heat pumps (p. 6) use a refrigerant with a low global warming potential that improves performance and reduces direct GHG emissions by up to 77% compared to the previous range.
CARR: What We Like
Carrier has a track record of setting and achieving sustainability targets:
- Since 2015, Carrier has reduced their operational GHG emissions in absolute terms by over 78,000 metric tons (p. 33)
- They reduced water consumption by 44% compared to 2015 baseline (p. 13), or almost 255 million gallons
- By 2030, Carrier aims to reduce customers’ carbon footprint by more than 1 gigaton (p. 14) through their energy efficiency products and services
Also by 2030, they’re committing to becoming carbon neutral (p. 14) in their operations.