Can The Air Source Heat Pump Really Help Save You Money?
With the rise of fuel costs this past winter, and the current gas prices, everyone is looking for cheaper heating and cooling. The question is…is an air-source heat pump the answer?
Most of us have heard of the legendary heat pump. In fact, many know it as the system that can provide heating and cooling seemingly out of thin air!
But will a heat pump really help lower your energy consumption and save you money in the long run?
Let’s find out!
Our HVAC experts at Campeau Heating are here to answer all your questions about the air-source heat pump.
What Is An Air-Source Heat Pump? How Does it Work?
An air-source heat pump is currently the most popular type of heat pump in Canada. They can effectively heat and cool your home by transferring thermal energy.
Here’s how that works!
During the winter, an air source heat pump uses the thermal energy from the outdoor air as a source of heat. It transfers the heat energy found in the outside air and uses that energy to heat the home!
This process makes the outdoor air the source and the indoor air the sink.
During the summer, heat energy transfers from the indoor to the outdoor air - effectively cooling your home and releasing excess heat outdoors.
This reverse process makes the outdoor air the sink and the indoor air the source.
Want a more in-depth look? Visit our recent blog post where we talk all about the 2-in-1 heat pump and how it works!
Heating and Cooling Distribution:
How is this heating or cooling distributed throughout your home?
Well, that all depends on which type of installation you choose!
Like any other type of air conditioner, you have options. You can install a ducted or ductless heat pump!
Ducted Air-Source Heat Pump
A ducted heat pump distributes heat or cool air throughout the home using a network of ducts. This allows the system to heat/cool each location at an equal temperature.
If you have existing ductwork installed in your home, installing a ducted heat pump is simple! But, if you don’t have ductwork installed, you may want to consider your second option - the ductless heat pump!
Ductless Air-Source Heat Pump
You’ve heard us talk about the ductless air conditioner quite a few times in our recent blog posts:
We explored whether a ductless air conditioner is best for your Sudbury cottage. And we’ve also identified four common culprits of a leaky ductless air conditioner and how to fix them.
But today, we’re not talking about the ductless air conditioner per se…
We’re talking about the ductless heat pump! And interestingly enough, this system uses the same technology as the ductless A/C in distributing heating and cooling to your home.
Instead of using ductwork to carry air throughout your home, the ductless heat pump directly heats and cools the space it’s located in.
If you don’t have existing ductwork, going ductless makes the installation process much easier, faster and cheaper!
This leads us to our next question…
How Much Does It Cost to Install, Run and Maintain an Air-source Heat Pump?
When looking for the cheapest heating and cooling system, you must consider these four cost factors:
The upfront cost of an air heat pump largely depends on the size of the system. During your consultation with an HVAC professional, you can determine your home’s specific heating and cooling needs and the needed load capacity of a heat pump. You’ll also want to explore different features and efficiencies.
The installation cost of an air heat pump depends on the system you choose to install.
As mentioned above, a ducted heat pump is an excellent choice if you have existing ductwork.
But remember! Even though you may have ductwork installed, it may need some modifications to support your new heat pump installation.
If you don’t have existing ductwork installed in your home and don’t plan to install it in the future, a ductless heat pump might be the better and cheaper choice.
The maintenance costs of an air source heat pump depend on how well you take care of it. The longer you go without proper maintenance, the more expensive the repair bills!
But as long as you take good care of your heat pump with annual maintenance checks and regular filter changes, there should be very few repair bills in the future!
Heat pumps need annual maintenance to ensure:
- High Efficiency
- Longer Life Span
And this maintenance appointment should always be with a professional HVAC technician.
The operation costs of an air heat pump depend on the energy rates of your region. Heat pumps still use electricity but require much less than a central air conditioner or furnace.
We’ll explore this factor in more detail in the next section below.
The Energy Efficiency of an Air Source Heat Pump
Now that you know all about the air source heat pump, let’s find out if it can really help lower your energy bills!
As we mentioned above, heat pumps still use electricity to operate. However, they use much less than a traditional heating and/or cooling system.
At 8 degrees Celsius, an air source heat pump’s COP (coefficient of performance) can range from 2.0 to 5.4!
A COP of 5.4 means that 5.4 kWh of heat transfers for every kWh of electricity used to power the pump.
That’s over 500% efficiency!
Cold Climate Heat Pump
However, as temperatures begin to drop, these systems do become less efficient. The colder it gets, the more power your heat pump uses.
In fact, most air heat pumps can't operate once they hit between -15 and -25 degrees!
That’s why many Canadians up north choose cold climate air heat pumps. These systems use variable capacity compressors and advanced heat exchanger designs and controls. This provides as much heat to your home as efficiently as possible.
As you can see, there’s an incredible opportunity to lower your energy costs with an air source heat pump!
However, it’s important to mention that your specific energy savings will heavily depend on your:
- Local climate
- System size and type
- Control strategy
- Local energy rating, and
- Specific system efficiencies.
We encourage you to speak with an HVAC professional before making your decision.
Is An Air-Source Heat Pump The Right Fit For Your Sudbury Home or Cottage?
Selecting a new heating and cooling system can be confusing and tricky. But at Campeau Heating, our experts want to make it as easy as possible for you!
Give our qualified heating and cooling team a call at (705) 560-2441 or book your FREE QUOTE online!