The Ins and Outs of Switching to Air Source Heat Pumps for Home Heating

Task Force member and veteran environmentalist Peter Callaway recently took the major emissions-fighting step of converting to heat pumps (#42 on Drawdown’s ranked list of 80 climate change-mitigating actions you can take) to heat and cool his home. As he made his way through the process, Peter meticulously documented all the details and tracked how he made each decision. The results are a comprehensive step-by-step guide to switching your home from oil heat to heat pumps and a Q&A document that’s a great quick reference for the process.

Peter also sat down with fellow Task Force member Erik Brown to record an interview about his experience, complete with additional context and commentary on the process.

As a large share of GHG emissions in Philipstown come from burning heating oil and propane for home heating, a top priority for the Task Force is to educate our friends and neighbors about the climate and economic benefits of making the switch, as well as the generous incentive programs that encourage New York State residents install heat pumps.

For general information on the why and how of switching your home or business from heating oil or propane to electric heat pumps and available financial incentives, visit our Energy Efficiency page. To read/listen to/download Peter’s story, click the links below:
Written Guide_How I Switched to Heat Pumps_Peter Callaway, Philipstown Climate Smart Task Force

Q&A_How I Switched to Heat Pumps_Peter Callaway, Philipstown Climate Smart Task Force

Audio_Peter Callaway & Erik Brown, Philipstown Climate Smart Task Force: How I Switched to Heat Pumps

Josh Garrett
Taking Climate Change Personally, vol. 5 - April 2019

Spring is a time for rebirth, renovation and fresh, local food—and the latest edition of TCCP has new lessons and advice on all three fronts. Click here to view and download this month’s installment of Taking Climate Change Personally (vol. 5, April 2019), which includes:

  • Renovate, rethink, recycle. Prepping for those spring paint touch-ups? Consider opting for natural paints this time. Read about their benefits and where to find them.

  • The path between farmer and table. You may know that it’s better for the climate and the environment to “eat local,” but what does that mean? Get the answer from an excerpt from Food Routes: Growing Bananas in Iceland and Other Tales from the Logistics of Eating by Robyn Metcalfe.

  • Cook-tribute. What better way to use fresh spring greens than a salad? Enjoy Catherine’s recipe for warm cabbage salad.

Taking Climate Change Personally - vol. 5 - April 2019: click to view and download.

Josh Garrett
Taking Climate Change Personally, vol. 4 - February 2019

The latest edition of TCCP marks the end of a long, wet Philipstown winter with deep dives into fascinating climate change-related topics and the perfect (and low-emissions) late winter recipe. Click here to view and download this month’s installment of Taking Climate Change Personally (vol. 4, February 2019), which includes:

  • Renovate, Rethink, Recycle! Catherine draws on her interior design expertise to give us a comprehensive review of natural stone as a building material, from its extraction to re-use of old stone.. It’s beautiful and stately, but how sustainable is natural stone? Read on to find out.

  • The rains in Iowa. Ongoing changes to our climate are making impacts on human life that have far-reaching implications. More rainfall in the agricultural region of the U.S. midwest is an example of one such impact: what does it mean for food production, farmers’ livelihoods and water pollution in the Gulf of Mexico? The answers may surprise you.

  • Cook-tribute. What to do with the random assortment of winder fruits and vegetables accumulating in your kitchen? Make a Buddha Bowl (a.k.a. “a big bowl of ‘whatever’”): a healthy, delicious, vegetarian dish with a tiny carbon footprint.

Taking Climate Change Personally vol. 4 - February 2019


Josh Garrett
Taking Climate Change Personally vol. 3 - December 2018

As 2018 comes to a close, Catherine has another dose of useful and thought-provoking info for us! Click here to view and download this month’s installment of Taking Climate Change Personally (vol. 3, December 2018), which includes:

  • Climate-Conscious Gardener. Guest author Janis Butler, a Master Gardener Volunteer at the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Putnam County, lays out many reasons to take a light-touch approach to the late fall “tidying up” of our gardens and yards. Pruning, mowing and leaf-clearing take away many potential advantages your yard can provide to beneficial organisms during the coming winter.

  • Cook-tribute. The European tradition of serving roast goose for Christmas dinner is highly preferable to the American traditional dishes of turkey and ham in terms of climate and sustainability. Read about why and find a delectable recipe for French roast stuffed goose with prunes in armagnac!

  • Did you know? The U.S. department of transportation recently removed several pages about climate change from its website. Head to the Union of Concerned Scientists to learn why the removal is a problem and how it fits into a larger pattern of the federal government’s denial-by-removal approach to valuable climate science and information.

    Taking Climate Change Personally - vol. 2 - November 2018: click to view and download

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Taking Climate Change Personally vol. 2 - November 2018 (Thanksgiving edition!)

Catherine’s second installment brings us new gardening and design guidance, along with some recipes tips for sustainable cooking and eating, just in time for Thanksgiving! Click here to view and download this month’s installment of Taking Climate Change Personally (vol. 2, November 2018), which includes:

  • Renovate…don’t deteriorate. A detailed look at wood as a design and building material—which wood is the most sustainable choice?

  • Cook-tribute. Thanksgiving’s almost here! Tips for choosing a sustainably-raised turkey while watching your wallet, and two delicious meat-free recipes for The Big Meal: scrumptious and colorful brussels sprouts and cranberry sauce.

  • Did you know? In terms of GHG emissions, operating a gas-powered lawn mower for one hour is equivalent to driving a car 200 miles.

Taking Climate Change Personally - vol. 2 - November 2018: click to view and download

Josh Garrett
Taking Climate Change Personally vol. 1 - September 2018

Climate Smart Task Force member Catherine Serreau Thomson is a professional interior designer who makes sustainability of design a top priority. She’s also an avid gardener and cook—two activities that have deep implications for climate change and sustainability at the local, regional, national and global level. To share her experiences, expertise and insights on those three important topics, Catherine will be periodically publishing installments in a news column series called Taking Climate Change Personally. Click here to view and download the first installment in the series (vol. 1, September 2018), which includes:

  • Introduction: Our collective action does matter. If we all do a few little things to help mitigate climate change, together we can make a big difference.

  • Renovate…don’t deteriorate. Check back every month for sustainable home design tips.

  • Constant (&) Conscious Gardener. Check in each month for earth- and climate-friendly gardening guidance.

  • Cook-tribute: Delicious recipes that trim your carbon diet. This month’s recipe: sweet potato sandwiches.

  • Did you know? The world’s top five dairy and meat producers together emit more GHGs than Exxon-Mobile.

Taking Climate Change Personally - vol 1. - September 2018: Click to view and download.

Josh GarrettComment