Green home living is all well and good – as long as it doesn’t cut a hole right through your wallet. In the past, adding truly energy efficient appliances and fixtures to your home often meant settling for less comfort at a higher cost.
Today’s heat pumps are as versatile as any other type of HVAC system and up to twice as energy efficient. They are also quiet, durable, compact and visually appealing in ways their predecessors clearly were not.
Best of all, adding a heat pump could potentially trim up to $1,200 off your annual energy budget. Interested? Read on!
Understanding Heat Pump Technology
What is a heat pump? A heat pump moves heat energy around, “pumping” it inside or outside your home depending on what the season requires.
In summer, a heat pump operates quite similarly to a traditional air conditioner.
This is because heat pumps, like forced air conditioners, use refrigerant to work their magic. The refrigerant attracts heat from your indoor air and exhausts it back outdoors, keeping your home cool.
But winter is where the heat pump really shines.
During the winter season, a heat pump extracts heat energy from the outside air, water or ground and uses it to preheat your indoor air, lowering your heating costs all winter long.
It might seem contradictory to hear that heat pumps heat your home by pulling in heat energy from the bitter cold outdoors. But there is still plenty of heat to be extracted. And it is heat that would otherwise go unused and wasted.
DID YOU KNOW: For every one kilowatt of heat produced by a traditional HVAC system, a heat pump can produce three kilowatts of heat.
This is where the energy efficiency benefits of a heat pump are easily realized.
A Heat Pump Does It All – Both Heating and Air Conditioning
Heat pumps are able to cool your home in summer and heat your home in winter. All of this from a single appliance!
Even better, with heat pumps you have a choice between a ducted (central) air handling system and a non-ducted (ductless) air handling system.
Ductless mini-split HVAC systems cool and heat with a simple two-part system that is quite similar to the traditional forced air HVAC system, only much smaller and sleeker.
Here, you might wonder how a ductless system could possibly heat and cool a multi-room space? Ductless systems use zones to provide tailored heating and air conditioning for up to eight connected zones per system.
Ducted or central heat pumps use the same type of ductwork system that central forced air HVAC systems rely upon.
This flexibility makes it easy for you to transition from a traditional heating and air conditioning system to an energy efficient, money saving heat pump.
Which Type of Heat Pump System Is the Most Energy Efficient?
Heat pumps run on electricity. With the high cost of electric power here in Canada, this can make a heat pump appear like a less attractive option at first.
But that is only until you consider how much less electricity you will be needing when you make the transition.
Electricity is also an arguably simpler energy choice, especially when you don’t already have access to natural gas, propane or oil.
Of the two heat pump systems, central and mini-split, the non-ducted systems are by far the most energy efficient. This is because there are no ducts to install, insulate, seal and maintain.
Ducts can put a big dent in energy efficiency. Leaky or uninsulated ducts can account for up to 30 percent of energy losses according to the Department of Energy. Ductless systems deliver 100 percent of heated or cooled air to your indoor spaces for your comfort.
What About That $1,200 In Heat Pump Savings?
So let’s talk about the eye-popping savings available when you switch over to a heat pump for your heating and air conditioning needs.
We need to start at the beginning with a baseline statistic. The Ontario Financial Accountability Office states that the average Ontarian homeowner spends about $2,358 per year on energy for all home needs.
Approximately 64 percent, or about $1,509, of that goes to just two activities: heating (61 percent) and cooling (3 percent).
It is true you are unlikely to realize noticeable energy savings from a heat pump’s cooling function, if for no other reason than because we don’t need much air conditioning during our brief summer season!
But heat pumps can put a big dent in your heating bills in particular by harvesting available heat energy from the outdoors.
According to the Canadian Housing and Mortgage Corporation (CMHC), this makes it possible for an air source heat pump to reduce your annual electrical heating energy usage between 57 and 81 percent.
This translates to an annual savings of between $860 and $1,222, depending on your annual heating use.
Keep in mind your savings could even increase if you opt for a ductless mini-split heat pump system. Or you have a well-sealed and insulated system of ducts in your home that minimizes heat loss from leaks.
Shipton’s Heating and Cooling in Hamilton Is Your Heat Pump Expert
Heat pump technology has finally made it into the 21st century. And it was worth the wait.
Modern heat pumps are hands-down the most energy efficient heating systems you can get for the money.
Exhausted with high winter energy bills that never seem to end? Our heat pump experts at Shipton’s Heating and Cooling can help!
Give us a call at 1-905-549-4616 or visit us online for a free quote on a dual heat pump system! We serve Hamilton, Oakville, Burlington and surrounding areas with heat pump installation and maintenance.
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