Heating & Cooling

Heat Pumps – Air Source

Space heating accounts for 60% of the energy used in the average Canadian home. For electrically heated homes, you may be able to reduce your heating costs by up to 50 per cent if you install an all-electric air-source heat pump.

An air-source heat pump is an electrical device that uses the difference between outdoor air temperatures and indoor air temperatures to cool and heat your home.

Acting as a high-efficiency air conditioner in the summer, and a heater in the winter, an air-source heat pump uses a refrigerant that responds to temperature. In summer, a heat pump will move heat out of your home and release it outdoors. In fall, it brings heat into your home from outside, even when it’s chilly (0°C). Many homes can rely on these products to heat or cool their homes year-round.

What to Look For

  • In Ottawa, a supplementary heating source is usually needed. Purchasing a “cold-climate” heat pump can help reduce reliance on this supplementary heating source.
  • For installation, hire a professional heating and cooling technician who can determine the proper size and right product for your home and climate.
  • Service your heat pump at the end of summer before the start of the next heating season.
  • Clean your filters and coils every month, as this will impact on the performance of your system and operating life.

Things to Consider

  • Pair with a smart thermostat, to better manage your home’s energy use.
  • When buying any heat pump, two ratings will help you determine the unit’s efficiency:
    • the Heating Seasonal Performance Factors (HSPF) that determines the efficiency during winter; and
    • the Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER) is used for summer.
  • In both cases the higher the number, the better the efficiency.
  • An ENERGY STAR® certified air-source heat pump which use on average, 5% less energy than a standard model.
  • Before you buy, get a home energy evaluation and check with your municipality, utility or retailer to see if there are any rebates available.


$2,500 to more than $5,000 per unit, including installation.

Source: Natural Resources Canada