When my husband, Asa and I moved down south, I was a bit worried that the lake house was equipped with an electric heat pump. While heat pumps provide both heating and cooling capacity, they are only effective until the outside temperature drops too frosty. The heat pump doesn’t burn fuel to generate heat, but simply moves heat energy from 1 location to another. It works entirely well for air conditioning; effectively handling humidity and operating efficiently. For heating, the heat pump finds ambient warmth in outside air, compresses it to a higher temperature and brings it inside. This process is clean, safe and quiet, but insufficient in severely frosty weather. The real estate agent assured Asa and I that the outside temperature in our space would never get that cold. The first year both of us lived in the house,we experienced an unprecedented col snap. The temperature dropped below zero, and our lake house was uncomfortably cold. Both of us raised the thermostat setting, and the heat pump ran non stop. It simply couldn’t provide satisfactory heat to meet demand. Asa and I hastily discovered that every store had sold out of space heaters. Both of us were fortunate to have a heated blanket on the bed. We ended up buying a bunch of sweaters and jackets, and bundling up to keep warm. After that unpleasant experience, I hired a local Heating, Ventilation, and A/C corporation to install an additional furnace. We ended up purchasing a propane heater, which was rather luxurious, and we’ve never needed it. Since that first Wintertime, the weather has stayed well above freezing and the heat pump has been satisfactory.