Air Heat Pumps
These are becoming more popular in Canada but they have been around for a few generations. Heat pumps operate similar to a refrigerator but in reverse; they take heat from the outside air and distribute it throughout the home. In the summer they can be reversed used as an air conditioning system. An important thing to know is that most air heat pumps will only work to -10˚C and require a backup system. In our geographic location, this isn’t normally a problem.
Geothermal Heat Pumps
Since the temperature of the ground in Canada four feet below the surface averages around 12˚C these systems are not normally affected by the drastic changes in weather. Using either groundwater or loops of pipes buried underground, heat pumps provide a steady supply of heat in the winter.
Either type of heat pumps can be used in a forced-air or a hydronic heating system.
Find out more about these topics in our Energy Conservation Section.