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What is a heat pump and how does it work

outdoor HVAC

As the cooler weather begins to set in across Ontario, it then becomes time for your home's heating system to come out of hibernation and start working optimally again. With that said, no matter how well you take care of your heating system, all units have an average lifespan that will one day render them obsolete. With many homeowners looking for more efficient options for their home heating, heat pumps are becoming a more popular choice. But what is a heat pump, and how does it work?

 The team at Boonstra Heating and Air Conditioning is here to answer just that! So if you want to learn more about heat pumps, keep reading!

Do I need to keep my heat pump running all day?

At Boonstra, we recognize that every home and homeowner is different. So, to answer this question truthfully, it really depends on your personal preferences as a homeowner and the type of heat pump you have installed in your home. Generally speaking, if you want to keep an even temperature throughout your home, you might have to operate your heat pump for an extended amount of time.

However, some newer heat pump models include features such as programmable thermostats or clocks, which enable you to program the heat pump to turn on and off at certain times of the day. By merely operating the heat pump when necessary, it is possible to save both money and energy.

If the cost of maintaining your heat pump all day concerns you, you could play around with various settings to see which one works best for you. For example, you might consider operating the heat pump during the day while you're at home, subsequently switching it off or decreasing the temperature at night.

Ultimately the best approach will depend on what you find necessary for your home. However, if you aren’t sure how to move forward, we suggest reaching out to the team at Boonstra as a technician can help you determine your needs and preferences while offering suggestions on how to optimize your energy savings.

How do heat pumps operate throughout the winter?

Heat pumps work during the winter by extracting heat from the outdoor air and moving it inside to heat your home through a refrigerant cycle. This may appear contrary, given that we usually associate cold air with winter. However, even in chilly conditions, there is still some heat energy that exists in the air.

Okay, so how exactly does this work? Well, when you go to turn on your heat pump during the day, the outdoor compartment will draw in cool air from the atmosphere before passing it over coils within the chamber. These coils contain a liquid called refrigerant. The refrigerant soaks up heat energy from the air, causing it to break down and gasify. The gas is then compressed, raising the temperature even higher.

The hot gas proceeds to pass through an additional set of coils inside your home, where the warmth absorbed is released. The hot air is blown through the duct system and into your living areas, increasing the ambient temperature in your home! The refrigerant within the coils cools and returns to a liquid state as the warm air circulates into your home. The process is then restarted by cycling the refrigerant fluid outside to soak up additional heat from the cold air.

Can a heat pump replace a furnace in Ontario?

Yes, in Ontario, a heat pump is capable of replacing a furnace, but it depends on a number of factors, including the type of heat pump system you select, the kind of environment in your area, and the dimensions and arrangement of your home.

Because of their energy efficiency and ability to heat and cool your home, heat pumps are becoming a more popular heating option across Ontario, including homeowners living in Hamilton and the surrounding areas that the team at Boonstra has proudly served for over 60 years!

In general, heat pumps perform best in mild climates with moderate winter temperatures. This means that heat pumps can be used effectively in many areas of Ontario, particularly in southern Ontario, where winter temperatures rarely drop well below freezing. However, in colder climates, like in Northern Ontario, a heat pump might not prove enough as the only form of heating, which would require homeowners to install a backup heating system as well.

What are the benefits of heat pumps?

Are you thinking of installing a heat pump in your home but aren't sure whether it would be worth it? Here are just some of the incredible benefits you can experience with this type of HVAC system!

  • Heat pumps can save up to 50% more energy than conventional heating systems.
  • While the initial investment may be higher, future savings on utility bills can make up for it.
  • Many heat pumps can both provide heating and cooling for your home, saving you money and space.
  • Heat pumps have a lower environmental impact than traditional heating systems because they emit fewer greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

Overall, heat pumps provide a number of advantages that make them an appealing choice for homeowners looking to upgrade their heating and cooling systems. However, before deciding whether a heat pump is right for you, you should carefully consider your specific needs and circumstances. It’s also important to partner with a professional HVAC company in your area so you can rest assured knowing that the unit you choose to have installed in your home will function optimally for you and your family to provide you comfort and savings for the years to come!

Luckily, the team at Boonstra Heating and Air Conditioning is here to help! Give us a call and set up a consultation with us in Hamilton or the surrounding areas! All consultations come with a complimentary new system purchase quote! Home comfort is just a call away!

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