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Undecided with Matt Ferrell


9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, AP® / College


Science, Physics

Regional Focus



YouTube Video

Why Heat Pumps Are Essential for the Future

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  • This video describes the operation of heat pumps using heat exchangers, which are a more efficient way to operate heating and cooling systems that traditionally use fossil fuels.
  • The downsides or limitations of heat pumps are also discussed, which include high costs for initial installation and reduced effectiveness on very cold days.
  • Heat pumps can operate in an air-to-air system or geothermal system and both types of systems are described with detailed visuals. Additional applications of heat pumps in laundry systems and water heating are explained.
Teaching Tips


  • The video uses detailed visual diagrams to effectively demonstrate different methods of heating and cooling when discussing the application of heat pumps.
  • Highlighting an effective way to reduce fossil fuel emissions with applications that can have a significant impact may leave learners with a hopeful attitude toward climate change innovation.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students should be familiar with the laws of thermodynamics.
  • There is a short advertisement before the video. There is also a short sponsorship thank you from 6:56-7:48.


  • Discuss the conservation of energy with students before watching the video to ensure they have a foundation for understanding the description of heat pumps.
  • Having students diagram the process by which heat pumps can heat and cool homes could help them understand the physics behind the technology.
  • Since the video is dense in descriptions of different applications of heat pump technology, stop the video at multiple points for discussion. Creating a pros and cons list of each application could be an interesting way to spark discussion in the classroom.
  • Other resources that are useful to investigate energy efficiency are Energy Efficiency and Climate Change and En-ROADS Climate Solutions Simulator.
Scientist Notes
The video brings to the fore how heat pumps could support the drive towards sustainable energy efficiency in our homes. This technology, as tested out, uses heat exchangers which appear to be one of the most efficient heating and cooling systems. It could be used as dryers, for laundry, and for other purposes in our homes and it comes with a long return on investment if incentivized. Heat pumps could save tonnes of carbon dioxide from the energy sector and it is eco-friendly. This resource is recommended for teaching.
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • HS-ESS3-2 Evaluate competing design solutions for developing, managing, and utilizing energy and mineral resources based on cost-benefit ratios.
    • PS3: Energy
      • HS-PS3-4 Plan and conduct an investigation to provide evidence that the transfer of thermal energy when two components of different temperature are combined within a closed system results in a more uniform energy distribution among the components in the system (second law of thermodynamics).
  • College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
    • Dimension 2: Economics
      • D2.Eco.1.9-12 Analyze how incentives influence choices that may result in policies with a range of costs and benefits for different groups.
  • Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
    • Speaking & Listening (K-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.11-12.3 Evaluate a speaker's point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric, assessing the stance, premises, links among ideas, word choice, points of emphasis, and tone used.
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