Heat pumps have been popular in temperate and tropical climates for years. But in areas like Canada that are farther north and can experience more extreme seasonal weather, heat pumps are just now starting to catch on.
A big part of the reason heat pumps are now becoming more popular in colder climates is that heat pump technology is finally catching up to the demands of plunging winter temperatures. Today’s heat pumps can handle the hot and the cold in a way that they couldn’t in the past.
In this post, learn 10 cool things a heat pump can do that might make this HVAC system the right choice for your budget and your temperature control needs!
1. A heat pump recycles energy from air, water and earth
If you are looking for a way to save the planet, look no further than the modern heat pump.
A heat pump recycles heat energy from the air, water or earth that would otherwise simply go to waste. In this way, it reduces your carbon footprint – and your household energy bill – every time it cycles on.
2. A heat pump can cool and heat your space
While the name might seem to contradict this, today’s heat pumps are able to efficiently cool as well as heat your space.
In fact, the name “heat pump” actually arose from how this HVAC system works – by pumping heat energy to or away from the unit to achieve heating and cooling.
3. A heat pump can trim your annual energy bill by 60 percent or more
Depending on which type of heat pump you install, you can realize energy savings of between 30 and 60 percent in comparison with other types of heating and cooling systems.
The greatest energy efficiency gains come from a geothermal heat pump system, but this system isn’t always the right choice for every space.
4. Air source heat pumps can work without ductwork
Air source heat pumps, which move airborne heat energy around, are the most popular types because they are the most compact and easiest to install. An air source heat pump can fit into any size space – just like a window unit.
One type of air source heat pump, the ductless mini-split, can also work even if there is no existing ductwork present or you don’t want to install ducts. This might apply if you are adding HVAC to a vintage home or to a space you are building onto your home or workplace.
5. Some types of air source heat pumps can also work with radiant floor heating
A heat pump called the “reverse cycle chiller” can cool or heat water instead of air. This makes it a perfect choice in spaces that already have existing radiant floor heating installed.
As well, some ductless mini-split heat pumps can be retrofitted to work with electric resistance or hydronic baseboard heating.
6. Absorption heat pumps can use fuels other than electricity
Most heat pumps still need electricity to function. However, absorption heat pumps can use propane gas, natural gas or solar power to do their jobs, making them perfect for remote or off-grid spaces or any place where electricity simply isn’t desirable as a power source.
Because of their larger size, absorption heat pumps are a great choice for large residences (4,000 sq. ft. or greater), office buildings and industrial spaces.
7. Two-speed heat pumps can operate in zones
Heat pumps that are equipped with two-speed compressors have two notable benefits. These heat pumps use the variable speed option to push out maximum heating or cooling capacity in a way standard HVAC systems could not do.
Another benefit that comes from having a dual-speed compressor is that these heat pumps can work with multi-zone HVAC control to heat and cool different rooms within the same space differently. They can be used in spaces with up to eight different zones.
8. Some high-efficiency heat pumps can also heat your water
If you choose a heat pump that is equipped with a device called a “desuperheater,” you now have a high-efficiency air conditioner, heater and hot water heater all in one!
Not only does this type of heat pump recycle heat energy that would otherwise be lost and reuse it to heat your water, but it can also do so at up to three times the efficiency of a standard electric water heater.
9. Heat pumps can work well in temperate and extreme weather climates
Today’s heat pumps are designed to integrate with backup heat sources during times of extreme cold such as what we often get here in Canada in the winter.
Heat pumps have been adapted in three special ways to handle the extreme cold of the Canadian winters.
Add-on heat pumps are designed to work with another heat source such as a traditional furnace.
All-electric heat pumps (air source) have an inbuilt backup heat system that uses electricity.
And bivalent heat pumps were designed here in Canada to work together with a gas/propane burner in the outdoor component.
10. Heat pumps can be installed in any size space
Heat pumps today, like spaces today, come in literally all shapes and sizes. There are heat pumps for tiny one-room apartments and heat pumps for enormous multi-level commercial enterprises.
Heat pumps can work with or without ductwork and even with zoned heating and cooling or baseboard heating if desired.
BONUS: Heat Pumps Are Safe for Kids & Pets!
Not only do heat pumps help clean the air, reduce humidity, filter micro-particulate matter and save energy and money, but with their cool exterior, they are also kid- and pet-safe!
Get in Touch
Do you think a heat pump might be right for your HVAC needs?