Education Hub

Heat pumps: not new, but the latest alternative to furnaces and air conditioners

Whether it’s to save money, reduce your carbon footprint or take advantage of the latest in heating and cooling technologies — and rebates — it’s time to consider a heat pump.


Although they’ve been around for generations, heat pumps in the past decade have become a whole lot better at what they do. According to Peter Messenger, owner of A1 Air Conditioning & Heating in Oakville, heat pumps are quickly replacing the traditional furnace and air conditioner combo in people’s homes.

What are heat pumps? Messenger explains it simply: “A heat pump and an air conditioner are virtually the same thing — they take heat out of your house and put it outside, making your house feel cool. During winter, heat pumps work like an air conditioner running backwards. It takes heat from outside and uses it to warm your home, because even at temperatures like -25 C, there actually is heat outside, so we concentrate it and bring it inside to heat our homes.”

Here are some key reasons to switch to a heat pump:



According to Messenger, heat pumps are efficient, even during winter. “If you put one kilowatt of energy into a heat pump, you can get two to four kilowatts of heat in the house, so it amounts to getting free energy from outside and putting it inside.”



“Ontario’s electricity is very clean, about 95 per cent carbon free. And since a heat pump runs on electricity, it has a relatively low carbon footprint. An average home heated with natural gas will generate two tons of carbon every year. If you replace that with an all-electric heat pump, you would virtually eliminate that,” says Messenger.



The popular ductless systems being installed are, in fact, heat pumps. “You can have one or several of these units that can all connect back to one heat pump system, for more efficient and even temperature control,” explains Messenger.



Most new heat pumps are variable capacity, according to Messenger. “They can run anywhere from 30 per cent to 100 per cent capacity to meet the demand so it’s not simply jumping between blasting full force and shutting off.”



You know the carbon tax we pay on our gas bill and at the gas pump? The government redistributes that money as an incentive to reduce our carbon footprint, including to those who purchase a heat pump.

Admittedly, heat pumps may be more expensive to run on the very coldest of days so some homeowners choose to go with a hybrid system (furnace plus heat pump), so when it’s extremely cold, the natural gas furnace is there as a backup.

What system is most efficient for your home? This is where it’s important to work with a trusted HVAC company that understands heat pump technology and will take the time to listen to your needs. “A1 Air Conditioning & Heating can come in and assess your situation and make an individual recommendation,” says Messenger. “We’ve been working with heat pumps for over 40 years. We understand a lot depends on your house, your lifestyle, your motivation for change. There are a lot of different options.”

A1 services the GTA from Hamilton to Scarborough. Peter Messenger is the third generation of his family to run this family-owned business, which has been around since 1967. “Customers want a company that is reliable, who will do a good job at a reasonable price. Our goal is to give the best value and do the best job. We also have one of the longest warranties at 15 years. Our employees all work for us, they are not subcontractors, so we can control the consistency and quality of our work. Our employees tend to stick around because we believe if we look after them, they’ll look after our customers. That’s our simple philosophy.”


If you would like more information on Heat Pumps or to get a no-cost, no-obligation quote, give us a call at 647-494-4978.
A1 Air Conditioning & Heating – Local Care for Your Air.



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