Air source heat pumps are not new – there are millions in use around the world. What is new is that they are now much better equipped to meet the needs of homes in cold climates and can keep you toasty warm at -30 C. We explain all the ins and outs of heat pump technology – which operates on the same principle as your refrigerator or AC – in our heat pump primer.
And because heat pumps use electricity instead of fossil gas, they can also cut the greenhouse gas emissions from your home dramatically. That cut would be even deeper if Ontario shifts to a zero-carbon electricity system instead of ramping up gas plant use.
Buildings are a big source of climate-destabilizing emissions, so we need to accelerate the uptake of heat pump technology while improving the energy efficiency of our homes. Fortunately, there is now help to do that through the federal Greener Homes program. You can get a $5,000 grant toward the cost of an air source heat pump and, even more importantly, zero interest financing.
Because of the fantastic efficiency of heat pumps, you could end up paying lesseach month in loan payments and utility costs than you are currently paying for the fossil gas and electricity you currently use for heating and cooling. (Those of you in the City of Toronto, Ottawa, Kingston and Durham should also check out these cities’ programs that can help even more.)
Still don’t believe us? We’ve posted the full economic analysis as an Excel file for anyone who wants to crunch the numbers for themselves.
And if you think meeting your heating needs with an air source heat pump sounds like a fairy tale, tell that to the 1.3 million Norwegians who have them installed in their homes. Our American cousins, meanwhile, have invoked the Defense Production Act to speed up manufacturing of heat pumps (and solar panels) in recognition of both the economic and climate importance of these technologies.
So here’s the bottom line: Heat pump technology is real, it works and it will save you a pile of money.