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NYCHA to get advanced HVAC system to reduce greenhouse gas

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Thousands of NYCHA residents will soon have new heating and cooling units in their homes as part of a clean energy initiative the state is rolling out, officials said Tuesday.

New York state is shelling out $70 million to install electric heat pumps in NYCHA units across the city in an effort to “decarbonize” the city’s public housing buildings, Gov. Kathy Hochul said at a news conference outside the Woodside Houses in Queens Tuesday morning.

The window units, which provide heat in the winter and cool air in the summer, will be installed in “a number of homes” over the next few weeks, Hochul said. By the end of the initiative’s “first wave,” more than 30,000 units will have pumps, she said.

“We’re taking steps to improve the indoor air quality in public housing. That’s what this is about,” the governor said. “And in the process, we’re going to spur innovation for brand-new technologies here in New York that the rest of the nation will be looking at.”

The state launched a competition seeking designs for eco-friendly heat pumps in December, Hochul said. Two manufacturers — Midea America and Gradient — secured contracts to develop the pumps last week, Hochul’s office said in a statement provided to NY1.

The pumps will help NYCHA reduce its greenhouse gas emissions and transition to “fossil-free sources of heating,” Hochul said. Most five borough buildings still rely on gas-fueled boilers to provide heat and hot water to residents.

The units will also allow NYCHA residents to control the air temperature in their homes, the governor said.

“That’s a radical idea for NYCHA residents, is it not? Because you’re always too hot, you’re too cold, you’re opening up the windows in the winter time when it gets too hot, you’re like, ‘What is going on here?’” she said. “So, we’re giving the power back to the people and saying yes, you can have control.”

Mayor Eric Adams on Tuesday said his administration “promised from the beginning that you would not be left behind as NYCHA residents.”

“Historically, NYCHA has always been last — last in technology, last in evolution, last in changes, last in repairs, last in the resources that are coming from Albany,” he said. “You are now first.”

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