Fortunately, there's an existing technology that can do this: electric heat pumps that are three to four times more efficient than furnaces. Here's how it works: Extremely cold fluid circulates through coils of tubing in the heat pump's outdoor unit. Then the vapor moves through coils of tubing in the indoor unit of the heat pump, heating the building. AdvertisementGoing ElectricGrowing restrictions on fossil fuel use and proactive policies are driving sales of heat pumps in the U.S. and internationally. As the push to electrify society gains speed, heat pumps are ready to play a central role.