Heat Pump Essentials - Everything You Need To Know
Updated: Mar 8
Are you new to the idea of installing a heat pump? Not sure if its the right solution for you? You're in the right spot. In this blog, you'll learn everything you need to know about heat pumps and how they can be an effective, energy efficient solution for your home or commercial property.
HOW DOES A HEAT PUMP WORK?
First things first, what are they and how do they work? A heat pump is a type of HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) system that can provide both heat and cooling to your property. They work by moving heat from one place to another, rather than generating heat from scratch like a boiler or furnace. A heat pump works by transferring heat from the air or ground outside, and releases it inside. Even during the coldest months of the year, a heat pump can effectively transfer warm air into your home or business. During the warmer months, this process can be reversed by pulling warm air from inside the property and exchanging it with cool air absorbed from outside.
The warm or cool air is dispersed into the space through what is commonly referred to simply as the "head", which is typically mounted high on a wall inside your property, somewhere out of the way where it can effectively transfer air and push it throughout the entire space.
What are the advantages of a heat pump?
There are a number of advantages to installing a heat pump:
Cost Effectiveness - The most common question, understandably so, is the cost involved with using a heat pump vs other methods of home heating and cooling. Heat pumps are one of the most efficient ways to regulate temperature, as they actually move heat around rather than generating it. Combining this with the unpredictable and constant price change involved with oil and gas, a heat pump is a great way to save on your home heating and cooling bill.
Versatility - If you live in an area where the climate changes drastically depending on the time of year, such as here in Nova Scotia, a heat pump might be the solution for you. In addition to heating your property during the cold winter months, it can also keep you cool and comfortable during those warm, humid summer months.
Environmental Friendliness - It's no secret that the environment is an important issue in the modern day. Heat pumps are far more environmentally conscious by operating with electric power rather than burning fossil fuels.
what are the disadvantages of a heat pump?
There are some other considerations to keep in mind when choosing a heat pump:
Upfront Cost - The initial installation of a heat pump can be costly. However, over time, most customers report an overall net-savings when factoring in the savings vs oil, gas, or other heating methods. There are also a number of rebate and grant opportunities available in Nova Scotia that some customers may be eligible for, allowing you to significantly reduce, or even eliminate this upfront cost entirely. To learn more about these opportunities, you can contact Clean Air Atlantic.
Installation Location - Some customers aren't fond of the idea of installing a heat pump unit because of how it looks. However, you can often find subtle locations to install your unit, both indoor and outdoor, to ensure that your heating and cooling needs are being met without introducing an eyesore to your home. Additionally, most units are quite compact, meaning they won't take up too much space.
How do I keep my heat pump operating smoothly?
A heat pump is a highly effective machine, but in order to ensure it is always operating at peak efficiency you need to take proper care of it. Here are some simple recommendations for keeping your machine healthy:
Have your heat pump cleaned regularly. For personal residences, we advise having it professionally cleaned 1-2 times a year. For commercial, industrial or businesses (such as restaurants or workshops), we advice having it professionally cleaned at least 2-4 times a year.
Don't block your outdoor condenser. Things like dirt or snow blocking your outdoor unit can impact the effectiveness of your machine, and potentially cause long term issues. Make sure to keep a clear airway. In the winter months, a common issue is blowing or shoveling snow in the direction of the compressor. Try your best to avoid this.
Install a surge protector. This will protect your machine's circuit board in the event of a power surge. Machine's without surge protector's are left defenseless in the event of a power outage which could cause electrical problems and long term defectiveness. In many cases, electrical failure due to power surges are not covered by warranty. We always recommend having one installed on your machine.
I WANT A HEAT PUMP, BUT HOW DO I PICK THE RIGHT ONE?
This is where your HVAC professional comes in. At Clean Air Atlantic for example, we can visit the site of which you are interested in having a unit installed and effectively work out what works best based on your unique situation. The size and layout of the home are two key things to consider when determining what solution is best for you, as well as how much of the space you are looking to heat. For example, perhaps you don't wish to heat your basement - no problem! These are all things that you can discuss with your trusted HVAC professional.
Still not sure if this is the right solution for you? Feel free to check out our FAQ, or give us a call at (902) 562-1031 to talk to a Clean Air Atlantic professional. We're always happy to help you determine the best path forward.