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What Is An Air Source Heat Pump?

Almost every day, when it comes to questions about heating services, we are asked about what a Heat Pump is. And our first response is simply that it looks just like your air-conditioner! From there, we explain that it actually works as an air conditioner during the hot seasons, and reverses the heat transfer process in colder seasons to provide heating to your home.

For homes that have an existing furnace and air ducts, a heat pump can be added to the system (or can replace an existing air-conditioner.) It will provide cooling in the warm seasons and supplement furnace heat when the temperature dips.

Heat pumps can also be added to houses that have no existing air ducts, such as houses with hot water radiators, in-floor heating, or electric baseboards. In these situations, the heat pump is described as “ductless”. Like ducted systems, it will have a compressor located outside, but with a heat transfer head(s) located somewhere in the living space instead of inside the duct work.

How Does A Heat Pump Work?

An electrically powered compressor is used to compress refrigerant gases, which are then allowed to expand. The compression and expansion process results in a transfer of energy (heat). At first glance, given the current high electricity costs in Ontario, this would seem to be an expensive way to heat. However, up to three units of heat can be produced by a single electrical unit input (this is measured by COP – Co-Efficient of Performance).

When it comes to heating services, the technical side is perhaps a bit boring, but the bottom line for homeowners is that Heat Pumps are often an economical way to provide cooling and heating.  This is especially true when the heat pump is replacing oil or electric heating systems. Also, Ontario GreenON rebates (up to $5,800!) make the installation of a heat pump especially attractive right now.

I personally believe in the economic value of heat pumps. Four years ago, I replaced the oil heating system in my house with a Lennox XP-17 and a CBX electric air handler; my heating bill is now about 1/3 of what it was. The co-owner of Toshack also has a Lennox heat pump in her home, although it is coupled with a propane furnace instead of an air handler. Simply put, we believe in the value of heat pumps!

Contact Us For a Free Estimate

Toshack provides all kinds of cooling and heating services to clients in Kingston, Brockville, and surrounding areas. To find out more about air source heat pumps and other products, contact our team today.

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