My husband and I spent the fifty years of our lives living in the northeast, where the winter weather is severe. We dealt with eight months of temperatures below freezing, multiple feet of snow, and dangerous wind chill. We devoted hours to shoveling snow and scraping ice, and spent a fortune on our heating bills. Our home was equipped with a large boiler system, which ran non stop throughout the winter. We never even bothered to install a central cooling system. When we’d finally had enough of the horrible winters, we bought a house down south. We chose an area where the temperature rarely drops below forty degrees. Our new home features an electric heat pump, which combines heating and cooling into a single unit. The system works by finding ambient heat in the air and moving it from one place to another. During the summer, it pulls heat from inside the house and pumps it outside, creating a cooling effect. When the weather cools off, the heat pump draws heat from outside and transfers it inside. If the temperature drops into the thirties, there’s not enough ambient warmth and the heat pump is no longer effective. We didn’t expect this to be a problem. Unfortunately, our first winter down south was one of the coldest seasons on record. We could not maintain comfort. The heat pump kept freezing over and quitting. We had to use hair dryers to thaw it out. We ended up purchasing a whole bunch of warm sweatshirts, pants and fuzzy socks. We also bought an electric space heater to help out the heat pump.