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Heat Pumps 101: Answers to the Questions You Donít Know to Ask!

heat pumps 101

Today, the heat pump is perceived as one of the most energy efficient heating and cooling technologies available—one that, when installed properly and used wisely, delivers maximum efficiency with nearly zero waste!

Perhaps a heat pump might be the right next choice for your home or workplace. But to know for sure, first you need to know the answers to questions you might not even know to ask.

What Is a Heat Pump?

A heat pump has one job: to exchange hot air for cool air in summer and to exchange cool air for warm air in winter.

In winter, a heat pump moves heat from the outdoor air to warm your indoor air. While it can be hard to believe in the midst of another bitterly cold Canadian winter, there is always sufficient heat available outside for the heat pump to do its job!

In summer, a heat pump moves indoor warm air back outside, exchanging it for cool air from the outdoors to keep your home cool.

A heat pump runs on electricity and uses a substance called refrigerant to perform its air exchange—not unlike how your refrigerator operates as a permanent heat pump set to “cool mode” to keep your food cold.

There are two basic types of heat pump: an air-source heat pump and a ground-source heat pump.

What Benefits Can a Heat Pump Offer?

A heat pump is an incredibly efficient way to heat and cool your home or workplace. This is because the heat pump harnesses the heat in the air to work its magic, whether you need it to warm or cool your indoor air.

A heat pump can work as a standalone heating and cooling system, but it can also be a great addition to your existing heating and cooling appliances.

For example, perhaps you decide to add on to your home or office, but you don’t want to re-route all the ductwork or install more radiant flooring. You can add a ductless zoned heat pump system that will cool and heat the new addition seamlessly!

A heat pump can save you a tremendous amount of money on heating costs—some estimates indicate you can save up to 50 percent. And while your heat pump is busy heating and cooling your indoor air, it is also balancing your humidity and removing pollen and toxins from your air supply.

Perhaps best of all, Ontario offers rebates for homeowners who choose to install an energy efficient heat pump system. Right now, you can earn $850 in rebates for installing a heat pump and save an estimated $325 per year on HVAC-related energy costs.

What Maintenance Does a Heat Pump Need?

Different types of heat pumps (i.e., air source versus ground source) may need slightly different types of seasonal maintenance.

However, overall the maintenance chores are no greater than what you need to do for a traditional air conditioner and furnace system.

Maintenance should be performed at least once per year, and preferably twice when seasonal weather reaches high-low extremes. Some of this you can learn to do yourself to save on maintenance costs (such as cleaning the coils, filters, and fan).

Your heat pump will need the following maintenance at least annually to maintain peak energy efficient performance:

  • Complete inspection and tune-up

  • Cleaning of the coils, air filters, and fan mechanisms

  • Filter replacements as needed

  • Cleaning away debris from the outside components to avoid damage

What Size Is the Average Heat Pump?

Heat pumps are actually quite compact, which makes them an amazing choice if you don’t have a lot of space.

Ducted air source heat pumps have both an inside and an outside component, as do ducted ground source heat pumps (the outside component here is installed underground).

Ductless heat pumps are unobtrusive and compact, and have no outdoor component at all.

What Is It Like Using a Heat Pump?

A heat pump in operation is pretty much the same as controlling a traditional air conditioner and heating system.

You can use a remote control, a wall-mount programmable thermostat, and, for some heat pumps, a WiFi enabled app.

Is a Heat Pump Expensive?

Just like a traditional air conditioner and furnace system, purchasing and installing a heat pump system is an investment.

Rebates can really help here, as can the annual energy savings you will reap once your heat pump is up and running.

The typical cost range for heat pump purchase and installation tends to run from $3,000 to $5,000. Your contractor can give you a detailed estimate for the exact size and type of heat pump you need.

Get In Touch

A heat pump is a fabulous investment into an energy efficient future at home or at work!

Today’s heat pump technology makes these units a solid choice for Ontario residents and business owners, whether you will be using your heat pump as a standalone HVAC system or adding it on to an existing system.

Contact us online or give us a call at 905-549-4616 for a free estimate on the purchase and installation of the heat pump system of your choice!

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