With rising energy costs and the coldest months of the year still to come, many homeowners are looking for ways to get more for their heating dollars.
More and more, the answer to that question is a heat pump. And with the memory of the summer heat dome still fresh in our minds, the good news is that a heat pump also keeps your home cool in the warm weather!
Essentially, a heat pump moves heat, rather than creating it, so they’re very efficient. And, since they consume electricity rather than gas, they generate fewer greenhouse gas emissions.
“Heat pumps are very efficient, capable of producing up to four watts of heat for each watt of electricity consumed, and can reduce your heating costs by up to 40 per cent,” explains Allan Lake, president or Surrey’s Good Guys Heating Cooling & Plumbing. “And with natural gas prices expected to increase due to the rising carbon tax, heat pumps may save even more compared to gas heating systems.”
Which kind of pump?
An air source heat pump, the option recommended by BC Hydro, looks similar to a regular air conditioning system, and exchanges heat with the outdoor air. A ground source – or geothermal – heat pump uses a system of pipes to exchange heat with soil below ground. “Although ground source systems are a bit more efficient, we recommend air source units since they are less expensive and easier to install,” Lake explains.
Other considerations include whether a home is ducted or not. A central heat pump system is for homes with a furnace that blows air through ductwork. Only one indoor unit needs to be installed to replace the furnace.
Ductless heat pumps, also known as mini-split heat pumps, are for homes that currently have boilers. ‘The water piping used by a boiler is generally unsuitable for a heat pump system. Instead, indoor units (or “heads”) must be installed in areas where heating and cooling are required,” Lake says.
Recognizing the energy efficiencies heat pumps offer, and their ability to reduce greenhouse gases, a variety of rebates are available to homeowners.
- Federal Greener Homes Grant: Up to $5,000 The federal government’s Greener Homes Grant provides between $2,500 and $5,000 toward heat pump installations. The maximum grant is for a qualifying “cold climate heat pump” that can meet your home’s heating needs even at temperatures well below freezing. The $2,500 and $4,000 rebates have slightly lower efficiency requirements.
- CleanBC and BC Hydro rebates: Save up to $6,000 more. Systems that qualify for the Greener Homes Grant will almost always qualify for the $3,000 CleanBC rebate. Plus, if your home uses electricity from BC Hydro, they’ll add another $3,000 to your rebate. That means up to $11,000 in rebates are available, which in some cases can pay for more than half of a heat pump installation.
Learn more about heat pumps at 604goodguy.com/heat-pumps and call 604-GOODGUY (604-466-3489) to schedule a free in-home quote today.