Couple looking at each other over a computer - Your Ultimate Guide to Heat Pumps: Benefits, Costs, and Maintenance

As temperatures drop and heating bills rise, Canadians are always looking for ways to stay warm and save money. That’s where heat pumps come in. These energy-efficient systems can provide both heating and cooling, making them a versatile choice for Canadian homes. In this article, we’ll answer some of the most frequently asked questions about heat pumps, including their perks, costs, and maintenance. 

View this blog as a slideshow at the end of this blog or by following this link!

What is an air source heat pump?  

An air source heat pump is an energy-efficient heating and cooling solution that does not generate heat through combustion. Instead, it uses electricity to transfer heat between indoor and outdoor environments. In cooling mode, it functions like an air conditioner, expelling indoor warmth outside. In heating mode, it reverses the process, extracting heat from outdoor air and bringing it indoors.  

Are heat pumps more efficient than boilers and furnaces? 

A heat pump’s efficiency ranges from 150% to 300% and doesn’t emit any fumes, making it an eco-friendlier option than combustion sources. However, in colder climates with temperatures below 30°F, some air source heat pumps may require supplemental heating or alternative systems to perform effectively. 

Are Heat Pumps Worth It in Canada?  

Absolutely. Heat pumps are a great investment for Canadian homeowners, especially those living in regions with mild to moderate climates. They offer significant energy savings, reducing your heating costs by up to 50% compared to traditional heating systems. Additionally, heat pumps are more eco-friendly, emitting less carbon than traditional heating systems. 

What Is the Best Heat Pump to Buy in Canada?  

The best heat pump for you depends on your needs, budget, and climate. Generally, you’ll want to choose a heat pump with a high seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) and heating seasonal performance factor (HSPF) to maximize your savings. When choosing a heat pump, make sure to work with a professional to properly size and install the system. 

How Much Does a Heat Pump Cost?  

On average, a heat pump system in Canada can cost between $4000 to $10,000, with installation costs ranging from $1,000 to $6,000. However, keep in mind that investing in a high-quality heat pump can save you money in the long run by reducing your energy bills. 

What do I need to know before installing a new heat pump? 

Heat pumps are one of the best options for heating and cooling on the market. However, you will need to consider the following to ensure you get the most out of your unit: 

  • Consider winter efficiency: Depending on your climate, you may need a backup system for cold weather.  
  • Ductwork considerations: Don’t have central HVAC? Ductless mini-split options are ideal for homes without ductwork or limited space.  
  • Proper sizing: Ensuring you get the right-sized heat pump for your home is crucial for comfort and energy efficiency. 

What Size Heat Pump Do I Need?  

The size of the heat pump you need depends on the size of your home, your insulation, and your climate. A professional HVAC contractor can properly size your heat pump by conducting a heat load calculation, which takes into account these and other factors. 

Contact Advantage Airtech ClimateCare today to run a heat load calculation and determine what size heat pump will work best for your home!

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What Are the Pros & Cons of Air-Source Heat Pumps?  

Air-source heat pumps offer several benefits, including high energy efficiency, lower operating costs, and eco-friendliness. They are also easy to install and don’t require ductwork. However, they may not be as efficient in cold temperatures, and they can be noisy if not properly installed. It’s also worth noting that air-source heat pumps may require a backup heating system in cases of extreme cold. 

How do I protect my heat pump from ice and snow in the winter? 

It’s common for heat pumps to ice over in the winter. And, while a bit of ice on the heat pump is relatively normal, a totally covered unit may leave your home without heat. Here are some tips to keep your heat pump snow and ice-free: 

  • Ensure the defrost cycle timer activates every 30-90 minutes to prevent excess ice buildup. 
  • Inspect the thermostat or sensor for any issues. 
  • Gently brush off any snow after storms.   
  • Rinse ice off with water from a hose instead of using sharp objects that could damage the unit.

How Efficient Is a Heat Pump Compared to an Air Conditioner?  

Heat pumps are generally more efficient than air conditioners. They pump out more cool air in volume per unit of energy used than most standard air conditioners. And while air conditioners can only provide cooling, heat pumps can provide both heating and cooling. This means that a heat pump can reduce your heating and cooling costs compared to using separate systems for each. 

What Maintenance Is Required for an Air-Source Heat Pump?  

Air-source heat pumps require regular, basic maintenance to ensure optimal performance and longevity. This includes changing air filters, cleaning the outdoor unit, and checking refrigerant levels. It’s also important to have your heat pump inspected and serviced by a professional HVAC contractor at least once a year. 

Are There Any Government Heat Pump Rebates in Ontario?  

Yes. The Government of Ontario offers several rebates for energy-efficient upgrades, including heat pumps. The Clean Home Heating Initiative provides rebates of up to $10,000 for electric heat pump installations in select municipalities. Additionally, homeowners may be eligible for federal rebates through the Canada Greener Homes Grant program. 

Can You Run a Heat Pump 24/7? 

Yes, heat pumps are designed to run continuously to maintain a comfortable indoor temperature. Heat pumps are highly efficient and use less energy than traditional heating and cooling systems, so running a heat pump 24/7 can actually save energy and money on utility bills. 

How Long do Heat Pumps Typically Last?  

Heat pumps can last between 15 to 25 years with proper maintenance. The lifespan can vary depending on usage, climate, and the quality of the heat pump system. 

Make a Greener Choice With a Heat Pump Today 

Heat pumps are an excellent choice for homeowners in Canada who want to reduce their carbon footprint and save on energy bills. By choosing the right type and size of heat pump and performing regular maintenance, you can enjoy the benefits of a reliable and efficient heating system for decades.  

Contact Advantage Airtech ClimateCare today to learn more about heat pump options and installation in Pickering, ON.  

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