Can Heat Pumps Help Canadians Save Energy?
In the never-ending quest to save money on home heating bills, a not-so-new product
has been receiving an increasing amount of attention. More commonly used as a single
heat source in warmer parts of the United States, the frosty temperatures in most of
Canada prevent heat pumps from being used in in that fashion. However, when
combined with an existing furnace, it may aid in reducing home energy costs.
Types of Heat Pumps
Many people view heat pumps as a safe, cost-reducing home comfort option that
requires the usage of no fuel source. There are two types available: air source and
ground source pumps.
Air Source Heat Pumps:
Air source models extract heat from outdoor air and moves it
indoors to warm your home. The ambient heat is generally sufficient, even in cooler
temperatures; however, due to the extremely low temperatures experienced by most of
Canada, air source models are unlikely to provide sufficient warmth and another heat
source is needed to take over when temperatures fall below -7°C.
Ground Source Heat Pumps:
Rather than extracting heat from the air, this model
harnesses the power of geothermal heat. Fluid is sent into the ground via piping to
extract the heat. Installing a ground source heat pump requires a considerable
commitment, due to the cost and amount of disruption caused by the installation.
However, in most parts of Canada, where winter temperatures can get fairly low, using a
ground source heat pump is the ideal choice.
While heat pumps do help homeowners cut down on energy usage, there are still
environmental issues to consider. These units make use of coolants to transfer the heat
in or out of your home. Some of these coolants have been known to have a negative
impact on the environment; however if you shop around, you can find models that use
more environmentally friendly options.
Another drawback is the price. While many believe that installing a heat pump will save
on energy in the long run, the initial cost has proven to be prohibitive for many Content
homeowners. This type of system is also required fairly regular maintenance, in order to
ensure that it continues to operate as efficiently as possible.
Of course, the biggest drawback of all is performance. Most Canadian climates are
simply too cold to warrant the use of a heat pump in any capacity other than as part of a
hybrid system. This makes the initial investment less worthwhile than it would be in
warmers parts of the continent.
Fortunately, heat pumps aren’t the only HVAC components that can help home owners
save on energy costs. We offer a wide variety of ENERGY STAR® rated furnace that will
reliably keep your home comfortably warm all season long, while also helping your
household cut costs. To learn more about your options, please feel free to contact one
of our home comfort specialists, today for information. Or, you can always schedule a
free, in-home consultation and quote.