While Atlantic Canadians are familiar with oil furnaces, many of us know a lot less about heat pumps and how they work. At the same time, many people have heard that heat pumps are a more efficient and economical alternative. So how do furnaces and heat pumps compare?
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If there’s one question we hear most often about heat pumps, it’s whether or not they’re an appropriate method of home heating in Atlantic Canada. Homeowners with furnaces are used to being able to crank up the heat as high as necessary, even during the coldest parts of the winter.
Heat pumps, however, work by moving heat from outside of your home to the inside. It’s reasonable to wonder whether this will work well in the winter. After all, when it’s the coldest out is when you need home heating the most.
Daikin has high efficiency Cold Climate technology, so their heat pumps can perform even when its -27° C outside.
Atlantic Canada’s relatively mild winters (for Canada) make heat pumps an ideal source of home heating for most of the year. Heat pumps can certainly handle low temperatures, but on extra cold days your preexisting heat source (e.g. oil furnace or baseboards) may need to supplement the heat pump temporarily until temperatures outside climb a few degrees. Learn which heat pump models work best in cold weather in our blog post.
The most significant difference between furnaces and heat pumps is that furnaces create their own heat to raise the temperature in your home, while heat pumps move existing heat from elsewhere for the same purpose.
This difference has a lot of implications for how heat pumps and furnaces function. Furnaces need to burn some kind of fuel in order to generate heat, while heat pumps just use electricity to move heat from one place to another.
Because furnaces don’t depend on external temperatures, they can function in any kind of climate or weather. No matter how cold it gets outside, you can always turn your furnace on and get reliable heat.
Concerned with efficiency?
The need to burn fuel makes furnaces much less efficient, and the cost of running a furnace can change drastically, depending on the price of oil. The reliance on fossil fuels and relatively poor efficiency also makes them a fairly environmentally unfriendly option.
Furnaces switch on and go full blast until they reach the set temperature, creating hot spots in your home. Heat pumps, on the other hand, consistently measure, cycle, and react to existing temperatures—making for a more even warmth while using less energy.
Heat pumps are much more efficient, so even if your electricity comes from a fossil fuel source, the carbon emissions will be significantly lower. In most cases, that increased efficiency also means that they are significantly cheaper to run.
Atlantic Canada’s relatively mild winters mean that it’s rarely cold enough to affect heat pump operation. However, in extremely low temperatures, it may be necessary to have another heat source. A popular option is to keep a furnace as a backup heat source. Hybrid heat pumps are another option.
Pay Less Per Month and Get More Comfort With a Daikin Heat Pump. What Will You Save?
If you’re asking how much a heat pump costs, the answer is usually, “It depends.” (See How Much Do Heat Pumps Cost? for more information.) However, there are a few generalizations we can make when comparing the cost.
Sometimes (but not always), the initial installation cost of a heat pump can be higher than the initial installation cost of a furnace. Depending on the configuration of the heat pumps being installed, it can sometimes be a more complex job than simply replacing a furniture.
On the other hand, heat pump operation is generally significantly less costly than fueling a furnace. After switching from a furnace to a heat pump, many homeowners find that their monthly heating savings pay for the cost of the heat pump installation in as little as a few years.
You can replace any existing home heating method with a heat pump. There are several different types of heat pumps and all Atlantic Canadians should be able to find an option that will work for them, their homes, and their families.
Depending on your current heating system, you may just be able to just directly replace your furnace. Heat pumps and furnaces use the same kind of air ducts to move air through your home, so if you already have ducts installed, it makes it very easy to switch to a ducted heat pump model.
In some cases, existing ductwork may be too outdated and too small for a heat pump to work with. Your Daikin dealer can discuss options with you to upgrade these ducts or install ductless heads instead.
If your home has additions that do not have ducting, you can also choose to go with a Daikin VRV system instead, which allows one system to have both ducted and ductless equipment.
Get the Daikin Atlantic Heat Pump Product Catalogue Today!
Choosing between a heat pump and a furnace often initially seems like a difficult decision. But with the wide variety of heat pump options, most homeowners find that they will come out ahead financially.
Save money with Daikin
If you’re building a new home or looking for a replacement for an old, failing furnace, a heat pump is a great choice that could potentially save you an enormous amount of money every month.
If you have a relatively new furnace in your home and you’re simply looking for a way to lower your monthly heating bills, a heat pump is still a good choice. Most homeowners will recoup their initial investment in a heat pump within a few years.
The best way to determine how much you would save is to find a dealer near you and book a no-obligation heat pump consultation. Every home is different, and an authorized Daikin dealer has the know-how to evaluate your home, determine the best heat pump for the construction, and estimate your monthly costs of operation.