Why Heat Pumps Still Work So Well in the Winter

heat pumps in winter in atlantic canada

We’ve seen a rapid increase in Atlantic Canadians’ interest in heat pumps as more and more homeowners in the region look for more energy-efficient and environmentally sustainable home heating options. The first question we hear, as soon as people learn how heat pumps work, is whether they work in the winter—and if so, how?

How Heat Pumps Work

Heat naturally flows from warmer areas to cooler areas, in the same way that water naturally flows downhill. Just like how water pumps reverse water’s natural tendency by moving water up against gravity, heat pumps reverse heat’s natural tendency by moving heat from cooler areas to warmer areas using a chemical refrigerant.

Since heat pumps only move heat from one area to another and don’t actually produce heat themselves, this makes them much more efficient than other methods of home heating. However, this also means that they depend on an external source of heat to keep your home warm.

Naturally, the first question people have, once they learn how heat pumps work, is how can they work in cold winter weather, when the air outside definitely doesn’t feel like it contains much heat.

Daikin Heat Pumps are Built for Winter Weather

While it may be hard to believe when you’re putting on layer after layer to go outside and shovel the driveway, there’s still usable heat in the air when the air temperature is well below freezing.

Even when the air feels cold on your skin, there is still a large amount of thermal energy in the air that your heat pump can use to keep your home warm. In fact, when the temperature drops below 0 degrees Celsius, there is only 15% less usable thermal energy than there is on a hot summer day—in other words, there’s still plenty of heat available to keep your family comfortable.

Daikin heat pumps are designed to work efficiently in outdoor temperatures as low as -27 degrees Celsius. On extremely cold days, the kind that we rarely experience here in Atlantic Canada, it may be necessary to have a backup heat source in place, and this is where hybrid heat pump systems can help.

How Hybrid Heat Pumps Work

Hybrid heat pump systems are a combination of a heat pump with a more traditional heating system, such as a furnace or boiler. At most temperatures, a hybrid system functions exactly like any other heat pump system—the heat pump keeps your home warm by transferring heat from outside air to the air inside your home.

The only difference is that at very cold temperatures, if the heat pump begins to struggle to keep your home warm, the backup heat source will kick in. Where these kinds of freezing temperatures are unusual in our region, Atlantic Canadian homeowners with hybrid systems will be relying on their heat pumps alone the vast majority of the time.

A hybrid heat pump system enables you to reap all the benefits of a heat pump, including the cost savings, while also having the peace of mind that comes with knowing your home will be warm, even in the coldest weather.

Want to learn more about the various types of heat pumps? Check out the Daikin Heat Pump Catalogue!

There’s a Reason Atlantic Canadians are Switching to Heat Pumps

It’s no secret that homeowners throughout Atlantic Canada are making the switch from ageing furnaces to heat pumps. With our region’s relatively mild winters (compared to some other parts of the country), heat pumps make an extremely economical and effective method of home heating.

If you’re still weighing your options, contact an authorized Daikin dealer near you. They’ll be able to answer any questions you have, and can provide you with a free in-home assessment to help you determine the best model for your home and your family’s needs.