Southeast Conference meeting participants heard about a heating technology Tuesday that is being adapted to colder climates.
Air-source heat pumps extract heat from the air outside of a building and transfer it to the building’s interior.
Two of these systems are already operating in Wrangell. There is one at City Hall, and one at the Municipal Power & Light office.
“That is a relatively simple and inexpensive retrofit option to get cheaper heat than you can get with electrical resistance heat,” said Colin Craven, Building Science Research Director for the Cold Climate Housing Research Center in Fairbanks.
Craven said Wrangell’s heat pumps are part of a study evaluating how effective this technology is across Alaska.
“In a place like Wrangell, where it’s a much more mild climate, we expect that it should be able to provide 100 percent of your heating if it’s designed and installed correctly. So we want to help just delineate where people can expect to get a certain type of performance and how much of your heating demand can it provide,” Craven said.
A year from now, these research results will provide a better picture of how air-source heat pumps can reduce heating costs in Southeast Alaska.