Air Source Heat Pumps
– Options and Consideration for Ottawa
When looking at the various options for your home heating and cooling, you may want to consider the benefits of a Cold Climate Heat Pump. Even in the cold climate of Ottawa, a heat pump can provide year-round comfort for your home by supplying heat to it in the winter and cooling it in the summer. A heat pump alone won’t satisfy all your heating needs, but choosing an appropriate model, used in conjunction with a supplementary heating source can provide very reliable heating and cooling at a fraction of the cost of oil, propane or electric heating. If you have an existing oil or electric heating system, installing a heat pump may be an option to reduce your energy costs by as much as 70%. A word of caution though; heat pumps are designed to be operated as a system with the indoor section. The proper matching of air handlers and indoor coils with the appropriate controls can have a large impact on the performance of a heat pump in Ottawa. In Ottawa and most of Ontario, natural gas, where available, is the most economical way to heat a home, however, where options are more limited, a heat pump is the most economical way to heat a home.
How a Heat Pump Works
Heat Pumps and Air conditioners work in exactly the same way, with one difference. A heat pump has the ability to reverse the cycle of refrigerant flow. This means, in winter, the indoor coil is the condenser, and the outside is the evaporator coil. The diagram below illustrates the cycle of refrigerant in simple terms.
- Condenser coil (hot side heat exchanger, gas cools and liquifies)
- Metering Device (liquid expands and cools)
- Evaporator coil (cold side heat exchanger, liquid vaporizes and heats up)
- Compressor (gas is compressed and heats up)
:Red = Gas at high pressure and very high temperature
:Pink = Liquid at high pressure and high temperature
:Blue = Liquid at low pressure and very low temperature
:Light Blue = Gas at low pressure and low temperature
Buying an Air Source Heat Pump in Ottawa
When shopping for a heat pump in Ottawa, it is important to consider the efficiency of both the heat pump, as well as the supplementary heating source. Heat pumps are a bit of a specialized area of heating & air conditioning, so it is wise to seek out a heating contractor that is knowledgeable about the most advanced heat pump technologies, and how they work together. For example, one of the traditional challenges of heat pumps in the Ottawa climate has been an inability to provide higher capacity due to the concern of over-sizing capacity in air conditioning season. Currently, heat pumps are available with multistage operation and inverter technology that dramatically improves the heating capacity, while also allowing the heat pump to operate at a capacity appropriate in air conditioning season.
Heat pumps like the Mitsubishi ZUBA Central Heat Pump use inverter technology to drive efficiency and heating capacity that rivals geothermal. The great part is that is that a ZUBA Central system in Ottawa can be installed for a fraction of the price of a geothermal unit.