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Heat pumps are efficient, heating and cooling, systems for the home or office.

Heat pumps keep you cool too

Heat pumps are efficient, heating and cooling, systems for the home or office.

In the midst of BC’s record-breaking heat wave, we have been getting a lot of questions about heat pumps and how they can help keep you safe and comfortable at home and at work.

An electric heat pump is a super-efficient heating and cooling system for a home or office. It works in much the same way as an air conditioner, with a quiet outdoor fan unit and an indoor air handling unit. The true advantage of a heat pump, however, is that it can heat your house in winter as well as cool it in summer.

A heat pump accomplishes this by reversing the direction of the cycle that moves heat from the inside of your home to the outdoors. A heat pump can extract energy from the outside air and use it to heat your home, even when it’s -20C outside.

All of this is accomplished using far less energy than a traditional heating system like a gas furnace or baseboard heaters. In fact, since a heat pump moves energy from one place to another, rather than creating heat directly, it can be up to 400% efficient. Even the very best gas furnaces, at 98% efficient, can’t come close to that.

If you’re switching from baseboard heaters, get ready for big savings. You could see your heating bill reduced by two-thirds or more.

And if you’re switching from natural gas, you can rest easy. For similar annual heating costs you’ll gain the benefit of air conditioning while reducing your carbon pollution by over a tonne per year — which is the same as taking one passenger car off the road every two to three years. You’ll also avoid the risks that come from burning natural gas in your home, including indoor air pollution, the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning, and the higher chance of a house fire.

Right now, both the federal and provincial governments offer rebates for installing an electric heat pump, which means you could save $8,500 or more on your installation. Heat pumps come in a variety of configurations and can utilize existing ductwork (if switching from a furnace), or distribute air through wall-mounted units, just like an air conditioner.

See for yourself what a heat pump can do for you. There’s no better technology to keep you comfortable and safe during BC’s hot summers and cold winters, and you could save a bundle on your heating bills. Plus, if you’re switching from natural gas, you’ll be doing your part to reduce carbon pollution and reduce the risk of future heat waves and wildfires.

For more resources visit Better Homes BC and Greener Homes.

Click here to see how Ecotrust Canada is tackling energy poverty and climate change by supporting BC communities as they make the switch to heat pumps.