Your Energy Efficient Answer to Year Round Heating and Cooling! The 2-in-1 Heat Pump!
It’s that weird time of year again. Spring is peeping out just around the corner, yet winter is holding on with all its might. Is there an affordable way to begin preparing your home for the warmer months ahead, while still keeping your heating top of mind?
A heat pump is your quick fix for the best year-round heating and cooling! It does the job of both systems while lowering your energy consumption at the same time.
Who wouldn’t love to lower their carbon footprint and save money at the same time?
Keep reading to learn more about heat pump technology from our Campeau Heating experts!
What Is a Heat Pump and How Does it Work?
After the frigid Canadian winter we just experienced in Sudbury, Ontario, the last thing we want to think about is cold air conditioning. But if you’re looking for a way to maximize your year-round heating and cooling efficiency, now is the time to start looking. Especially with heat pump technology becoming increasingly popular!
Between 2000 and 2016, heat pump installations in Canada went from 400,000 to 700,000! And not just for homeowners. Business owners have also seen the obvious benefits of heat pump technology - quickly adopting this form of heating and cooling within their commercial locations. Why? To lower their energy costs and provide cleaner air for their staff and customers!
But, before we get into all the benefits, let’s talk about the system itself. What is a heat pump and how does it work?
A heat pump essentially moves energy from one place to another - “pumping” it either inside or outside your home. It does use electricity to operate, but, it does so in a much more energy-efficient way - relying mainly on renewable energy sources.
To better understand how a heat pump operates, think of it as having two main components.
- The source, and
- The sink.
The source is where the heat energy comes from while the sink is where the heat energy is going.
Heat pumps function by:
a) Removing the heat energy found in a low-temperature location and,
b) Delivering it to a higher temperature location.
This process can also be reversed by simply flicking the switch. This will effectively swap which area is the source and which is the sink.
Here’s how this process works from season to season.
During the winter: Heat pumps take heat energy from the ground, air or water and use it to heat your home.
During the summer: Heat pumps remove heat energy from within the home and “pump” it outdoors. (You might notice that this process is very much like that of a traditional air conditioner system).
The 2 Main Types of Heat Pump Sources Used in Ontario:
Air-Source Heat Pump
An air-source heat pump is currently the most popular heat pump in Canada. It operates by either drawing heat from the outside air or rejecting heat to the outside air.
2. Ground-Source Geothermal Heat Pump
A ground-source heat pump, also called geothermal heating and cooling, uses the ground or groundwater as its source. It either takes heat energy from the ground or rejects heat energy towards the ground.
Ground-source heat pumps aren’t quite as popular as air-source heat pumps. But they are steadily becoming more widely used across Canadian provinces.
The 2 Main Types of Heat Pump Sinks Used in Ontario:
1. Indoor air is heated using a central, ducted heat pump system or a ductless heat pump system.
A central ducted heat pump uses ductwork to deliver consistent heating and cooling throughout the home.
A ductless heat pump, or mini-split heat pump, is a more modern form of technology that offers zoned heating and cooling. This heat sink uses many heat pump heads throughout the house in order to deliver its heat.
Zoned heating allows the homeowner to control the temperature of individual rooms in their home. This prevents your HVAC unit from working to maintain equal temperature throughout your entire house.
2. Indoor water is heated using a hydronic heat pump system (ie. radiant floor heating).
As the name implies, a hydronic heat pump system uses water to deliver the heat to its sink. Some of the common hydronic sinks include radiant floor heating, radiators or fan coil units.
Benefits of Heating and Cooling With a Heat Pump
- Increased Energy Efficiency
- Lower Energy Costs
- Reduced Carbon Footprint
- Dual Heating and Cooling
- Safe Operation
- Long-Lasting (approximately ten years longer than a fossil fuel heating solution)
- Improved Indoor Air Quality
- Increased Home Value
- Low Maintenance
Why Are Heat Pumps More Efficient Than Traditional Furnace and Air Conditioning Technology?
As we mentioned before, heat pumps do use electricity. But this electricity is used in the most efficient manner possible. And the system relies much more heavily on renewable energy to operate.
The electricity used to operate a heat pump is only used to transfer thermal energy. And the thermal energy created by this process exceeds the amount used to operate it. For every 1kW of electricity consumed, a heat pump can produce 3-4.5kW more!
In fact, heat pump technology can produce five units of heat energy, with four of these units being entirely free!
With these savings, you’ll be lowering your heating and cooling bills in no time!
Does a Heat Pump Work in Colder Climates, Like Sudbury Ontario?
Although it might seem improbable for heat pumps to operate in colder climates, modern technology says otherwise! Both air-source and ground-source heat pumps are now designed to work in the cold Canadian regions.
Ground-Source (Geothermal) Heat Pumps
Geothermal heat pumps use the more reliable temperatures of the ground as their heat source. Since their network of underground piping is below the frost line, the system has less chance of losing efficiency when temperatures go far below freezing.
Air-Source Heat Pumps
Air-source heat pumps rely on the heat energy found within the outdoor air. But they lose efficiency once temperatures reach between -3.8-4.4 degrees Celcius. Why? During winter, the outdoor air holds much less heat energy. Which makes the heat pump have to work extra hard to bring in enough heat for the home.
Cold Climate Heat Pumps
If you are looking to install an air-source heat pump, we recommend considering a Cold Climate Heat Pump (CCHP). This newer air-source heat pump is designed for the cold climate of Canada. It allows the heat pump to maintain its efficiency even during frigid temperatures by using:
- Variable-capacity compressors and,
- Improved heat exchanger designs and controls.
If you are looking for a more winter-friendly heating solution, you can also invest in a hybrid heating system - both a heat pump and a furnace!
By using a heat pump as your main heating service and a furnace as your backup, you can still lower your heating bills! But you'll be ensuring that your home is protected from the unpredictable cold at the same time.
Learn More About Heat Pump Technology With Our Campeau Heating Experts!
Heat pump technology is an incredible invention! Our Campeau Heating team is very excited to explore this opportunity with our Sudbury homeowners and business owners.
If you’re interested in learning more about heating and cooling with a heat pump, let us know! You can contact our HVAC experts at (705) 560-2441 or Request a Free Quote Here!