Dear Editor,

Mini-split heat pumps can save the planet. Santa Monica makes it impossible to retro-fit them.

Mini-split heat pumps are incredibly efficient, non-polluting, safe, almost silent, compact and a breeze to install.

Gas furnaces are horribly polluting (both CO2 and gas leaks), dangerous (fires and carbon-monoxide), and inefficient.

Retrofitting mini splits in Santa Monica apartments is almost impossible due to requirements to upgrade insulation/windows, and banning them from side-yards, balconies and rooftops.

To encourage rapid adoption of mini-splits, especially for apartments, the city needs to:

Allow mini splits in side-yards, balconies and rooftops (with suitable screening if publicly visible).

Stop requiring upgrades to windows and insulation. Often these are cripplingly expensive, giving landlords zero motivation.

Wave all permit and inspection fees for mini splits as long as any gas heaters present are disabled.

And remember, that besides heating, mini-splits can cool. The alternative is that hideous, rattling, inefficient window AC that your neighbor runs continually and ruins your sleep.

By insisting on the best, Santa Monica is leaving the planet stuck with the worst. If these changes are not made the vast majority of apartments in the city will never switch from gas heating, and we are doomed.

Peter Borresen. Santa Monica.