Do Heat Pumps Really Save Money?


Determine what you stand to save on your energy bill by seeing how heat pumps stack up to the most popular traditional home heating solutions.

Heat pumps have been touted as one of the most efficient and cost-effective ways to heat and cool your home. In addition to the feedback from homeowners on just how much they are saving on their energy bills, there are numerous studies which demonstrate the efficiency of heat pumps over traditional methods of home heating.

How much do heat pumps cost? Learn more here.

There are also other factors to consider that go beyond cost, such as how these various heating methods operate. These factors are important to note as each type of heating method could have specific features that are more relevant to your heating needs.

Electric Resistance Heating

Electric heating with baseboards is a popular heating method in Atlantic Canadian homes. These units are known to operate at 100 perfect efficiency. This means that for every unit of energy going in, one comes out in terms of heat generated.

One hundred percent efficiency might sound good; however, heat pumps operate at much higher efficiencies (around 200-300 percent), even in colder weather. This higher efficiency translates into cost savings for Atlantic Canadian homeowners in the range of 40-60 percent, as noted by CEATI International.

Heat pumps and electric resistance not only differ in their efficiency levels, but how they create and distribute heat. Electrical resistance heating generates its own heat, where heat pumps merely transfer it through running air between inside and outside units.

When it comes to distributing heat, electric heaters (and many other traditional heating methods) often warm an area more quickly, but then shut off once the room reaches a specific temperature. This requires the electric heater to turn on and off frequently, resulting in uneven heat throughout your home. On the other hand, heat pumps heat a room at a slower pace, but it tends to be more consistent and evenly spread throughout the room.

Oil Furnace

Many types of oil furnaces vary widely in their efficiency and their cost to operate. Options range from old cast iron furnaces to higher efficiency condensing furnaces. With more top efficiency oil furnaces operating at a slightly lower cost than electric resistance heat in most areas, you still stand to save substantially on your heating bill by using a heat pump instead.

There is also the issue of environmental impact when discussing burning fossil fuels for home heating. In fact, of personal greenhouse gas emissions in Canada, 28 percent came from heating. With the increased importance of cleaner energy, transitioning to a heat pump system makes perfect sense for those looking to make a smaller carbon footprint.

Natural Gas

Natural gas furnaces have seen slightly better results compared to oil furnaces when stacked up against heat pumps. However, studies on energy-efficient alternatives still show a significant cut in energy usage when comparing natural gas furnaces to heat pumps. In fact, a report prepared by IESO show a 50 percent reduction in energy usage when switching to heat pumps from natural gas.

Using a Hybrid Heating Source

It’s important to note that although most households can use their heat pumps effectively for the majority of the winter, there may be days where the heat pump is too cold to operate effectively. In these cases, a backup heat source will need to kick in.

For many ducted heat pump systems, there is backup electric heat which can take over. In the case of homeowners using mini-splits, it is wise to keep your traditional heating method operational so that it can act as the backup heat source during those freezing days.

How Much Money Will My Heat Pump Save?

Of course, many factors go into assessing your monthly savings that only an in-home consultation with a Daikin Comfort Pro dealer can determine.

However, our cost savings calculator can give you a ballpark estimate as to how much you could save based on your province, current heating cost, and current heating source. Give it a try by hitting the button below.