This year, Ontario residents have the opportunity to receive up to $5,800 for the installation or replacement of an air-source heat pump. This rebate is available through the Green Ontario Fund, which is a not-for-profit provincial agency dedicated to reducing greenhouse gas pollution.
What is a heat pump?
While furnaces and air conditioners are commonly used HVAC products in Canada, heat pumps remain largely unfamiliar to a large portion of the population. Here is how Natural Resources Canada defines an air-source heat pump:
“Air-source heat pumps draw heat from the outside air during the heating season and reject heat outside during the summer cooling season.” (Natural Resources Canada)
Heat pumps available in Canada:
- Air-to-air heat pumps
This is the most common type of heat pump. Air-to air heat pumps remove warmth from the air and transfers it either indoors or outdoors, depending upon the season.
- Air-to-water heat pumps
Rather than exchanging the heat between two air sources, and air-to-water pump either removes or deposits heat via the home’s hydronic heat distribution system.
- Ductless mini-split heat pumps
These small, wall-mounted units are used to control the temperature in a single room.
- Add-on heat pumps
These pumps are meant to be used in conjunction with your furnace.
- All-electric heat pumps
All-electric heat pumps come equipped with an electric heater.
- Bivalent heat pumps
This Canadian innovation allows heat pumps to be effectively used in colder climates, by supplementing the warm air via a gas or propane burner.
Can a heat pump work effectively in colder climates?
While heat pumps have been hailed as a more energy efficient means of keeping a home’s temperature comfortable, homeowners in the colder regions remain skeptical of the heat pump’s ability to effectively keep homes warm during winter. Understandably, the disbelief always comes down to the fact that it seems illogical for a device to pull any warmth from frigid, winter air.
Some experts will tell you that there is some truth in the thought that heat pumps and cold climates may not be an ideal match. This is due to the fact that the pump’s performance is closely tied to the temperature outside. Meaning, heat pumps can experience reduced efficiency in climates that frequently experience temperatures below -10 degrees Celsius (EcoHome.net).
The solution to this problem is to use a heat pump that comes equipped with a supplemental heat source, such as add-on pumps, all-electric pumps, and bivalent heat pumps. The furnace add-on may be the most practical heat pump for Canadians living in colder regions.
Additional solutions to supplementing the heat pump’s cold weather shortfalls include increasing your home’s insulation and using electric baseboards or other plugin heaters as a back up during the coldest months.
How to take advantage of the GreenON heat pump rebate program
If you are an Ontario homeowner looking to take advantage of this heat pump rebate, you should be advised a few requirements. In order to qualify for this rebate, you must be able to meet the following criteria:
- Work with a GreenON Participating Contractor
- Own a home in Ontario
- The home must be a detached home, townhouse or semi
- Your home must use electricity, propane or heating oil as the existing heat source (no natural gas)
Ready to learn more about the GreenON air-source heat pump rebate program? Click here to visit GreenOn online.