With winter well underway, many Nova Scotians are thinking about how to keep their homes warm and cozy, and still keep bills affordable. A heat pump is a great option for almost every home. We spoke with Wally Myalls of Kings Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Ltd. to learn more about how a heat pump can keep homes comfortable and save money.
A: A heat pump is an efficient heating and cooling system. Nova Scotia has one of the best climates for a heat pump, as it is fairly moderate year-round. When it’s cold, a heat pump absorbs heat from the air, water or ground outdoors and brings it inside to warm a home. In the summer, it works in reverse, absorbing heat from the air inside the home and releasing it outside.
Q: Is a heat pump right for me?
A: Probably! The technology is very versatile, and we can find a solution for almost any home. They’re one of the least expensive ways to heat your home. The option for air conditioning is a major benefit to customers as well. Whether you’re in an older home with an existing heating system, planning to renovate, or building a new home and considering your options, there’s a heat pump system that can work for you.
Q: How will a heat pump help save me money?
A: Heat pump technology is remarkably efficient. For every watt of electricity needed to run a heat pump, you get up to three watts of heat transferred into the house. Because of this, they help increase the EnerGuide rating on homes. They are much more efficient than traditional ways to heat a home like oil, and customers can save a lot on their heating costs. Plus, with the ongoing fluctuation in oil prices, you can’t always predict what the cost to heat your home will be; but with a heat pump, you won’t have any surprises.
Q: What should I consider before getting a heat pump?
A: The best thing people can do is talk to an expert – one of Nova Scotia Power’s participating contractors. They’ll be able to think about your home as a whole, and recommend the right system for you. It’s important to understand how energy efficient your home is already, since that could impact the size or kind of system we’d install. We also always recommend that a customer get more than one quote for a system, and ask their contractors any questions they might have.
Q: How does installation work? Are they harder to install in older homes?
A: Installation will vary depending upon the type of system you choose. Some systems require ductwork installation, and others do not. Most heat pumps are very simple to install, and the disruption to a family is very small, usually just a day or two of work and they’re up and running. Your contractor will work with you to take care of all the details.
Q: Are there other benefits people might see with a heat pump?
A: Other than cost savings, the biggest benefit is removing the need to burn fuel in a home. It’ll mean that pollutants are removed from your home, and many people gain quite a bit of space removing an oil tank. Removing the oil tank also means eliminating the general risk associated with having an oil tank. Heat pumps can also help improve the air quality in your home by dehumidifying in the summer and removing unwanted allergens from the air. When the system is used as an air conditioner it dehumidifies the air in your home, which can eliminate the need for a stand-alone dehumidifier in many cases.
Q: How can people find out more about heat pumps or talk to someone about their specific project?
A: Get in touch with an experienced professional if you want to learn more.
You can visit HeatPumpsSetYouFree.ca for a list of heat pump contractors across Nova Scotia.