Heating & Cooling

Heat Pumps – Ground-Source

Space heating accounts for about 60 per cent of the energy used in the average Canadian home. If your home is electrically heated, you can reduce your heating costs by up to 50 per cent by installing an electric ground-source heat pump.

Ground-source heat pumps, also known as geothermal heat pumps, use the earth, groundwater or both to heat your home in the winter and cool it in the summer, and supply hot water. Ground-source heat pumps are more effective at heating homes during Canadian winters and provide greater energy savings than air-source heat pumps because in the winter underground temperatures are higher than air temperatures.

Ground source heating produce less CO2 than other forms of space heating systems.

What to Look For

  • Find a qualified, licensed contractor who can access your home and your needs.
  • There are two important energy efficiency ratings: the Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF) indicates its efficiency in the winter, and the Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER) indicates efficiency in the summer. In both cases the higher the number, the higher the efficiency.

Things to Consider

  • Ground-source heat pumps are expensive and the installation process requires significant work and disruption to your garden, but they have a long life expectancy. The indoor components (the heat pump) typically last for 25 years, while the ground loops can last for more than 50 years.
  • Ground source heat pumps will generally heat your unit at a slightly lower temperature than a traditional gas or electric unit
  • Pair your heat pump with a smart thermostat, to better manage energy use.
  • Service your pump at the end of the summer, before the next heating season.
  • Get a home energy evaluation to help you understand how your home uses energy and identify all improvement opportunities.
  • Check with your municipality, utility or retailer to see if rebates are available.


$20,000 – $40,000, including installation.

Source: Natural Resources Canada