Ottawa HVAC Specialists Discuss This All-Purpose Heating and Cooling Solution

Ottawa HVAC companies can outfit your home with a number of different heating and cooling options: furnaces, boilers, radiant floor heating, air conditioners, and beyond. Most of these installations, however, serve a single purpose; they either heat, or they cool, but it’s very atypical for one to do both. Then there’s the heat pump. Contrary to its name, it doesn’t just provide heat exclusively, but rather, it pumps heat from one location to another. It’s omnidirectional, however, and can both supply heat to your home, and remove it.

How It Works

Without going too deeply into the laws of physics, the basic principle at work in this type of HVAC system is heat transfer. When left to its own devices, heat will usually move from a warm area to a cool area. What a heat pump does is it throws this process into reverse. Because even an area with a low temperature has some heat in it, it is possible to pull that heat into an area that is already warmer. For example, on a cool day, even when your home doesn’t feel warm enough, it’s still warmer than outside. Your pump would pull the remaining heat from the air or ground surrounding your home (depending on the style of pump), and move it into your home, warming it further.

Heat pumps have a number of distinctive advantages to them. The ability to both heat and cool a home with a single unit is one; another is that they don’t use any fuel, only electricity—making them a very environmentally friendly option, not to mention a cost-effective one. However, Ottawa HVAC specialists would recommend, given our particularly cold winters, that you not replace your existing heating system with a pump system. Instead, however, you can supplement your current heating with the pump, lessening the burden on it, reducing fuel consumption, and saving you money on your winter heating.

Is It Right for an Older Home?

If you live in an older home with a legacy heating system that is inefficient and up for replacement, then you can consider installing a heat pump—but you should do your homework first. Part of this is making sure that your home has compatible ductwork that will work with a pump system. Another recommendation is performing a home energy audit. The older the home is, the more helpful an audit will be. By measuring your home’s ability to maintain heat without allowing it to leak, your Ottawa HVAC installers can better determine if a heat pump would be an effective heating and cooling choice for your home.