When my partner and I bought property down south, the two of us chose an older home equipped with a heat pump. The local weather is consistently hot with plenty of sunshine in the summer, and moderate weather during the wintertime. While the temperatures during the summer often climbs up into the upper nineties, it rarely drops below thirty-five degrees after fall. This range is certainly manageable by the heat pump. It operates as a central a/c unit in cooling mode, and with a touch of a button, switches to heating without any problems. It operates on electricity, by simply finds ambient heat in the air, it moves it from one room to another. Of course, our first winter in our new quaint home, there was an unexpected and unprecedented frigid cold snap. The temperature now stayed well below freezing for a couple of days. The house, at that time, was not insulated for this type of cold and the heat pump couldn’t handle the drastic cold temperatures. Being an older unit, the heat pump is actually not as energy efficient or powerful as a modern alternative such as in floor heating. With the drop in temperature, the equipment literally froze over. There was a coating of ice over the component. My husband and I had to repeatedly shut the heat pump off, and the two of us held hair dryers up to it to thaw it out. We even tried changing the filter and cleaning the inner workings, however the system simply wasn’t designed for such frigid rapidly changing low temperatures. We eventually bought spaces heaters for the bedrooms to supplement the heat pump. Since then, we’ve debated over whether or not the home should have an upgraded heating/cooling system. Although the weather has returned to being mild, we are concerned that we’ll get hit by more frigid weather and once again have to endure not having acceptable heat.