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The last thing you may think of when hearing about a heat pump is cooling, but they are more than capable of doing that! Heat Pumps are a reliable and proven technology to combat the harsh weather in Southwestern Ontario. They can provide heat in the winter and cooling in the summer.
What is a heat pump?
A heat pump is an electrically driven device that takes heat from low temperature places and delivers it to a higher temperature place through refrigeration. To better understand this, think of riding a bicycle over a hill. There is little to no effort to go from the top of the hill to the bottom. However, going up the hill requires a lot more work. Just like heat naturally flows from places with higher temperatures to places with lower temperatures (ex. In the colder months, heat from inside a building is lost to the outside). A heat pump will use additional electrical energy to counter the natural flow that heat and pump the energy in a colder place to a warmer one. It is likely that you interact with heat pump technology daily. Units like refrigerators and air conditioners use the same principles and technology.
Why are heat pumps more efficient?
When comparing Heat Pumps to other equipment like boilers and furnaces you may wonder how a heat pump is more efficient. Furnaces and boilers provide heat by the combustion of fossil fuels such as heating oil or natural gas. While these types of units have had continual improvements, they remain below 100%. This means that not all the available energy is used to heat the air. Heat pumps, on the other hand, use electricity to transfer thermal energy from one location to the next. This allows the heat pump to operate with typical efficiencies well over 100%, more thermal energy is being produced than the amount of electricity used to pump it.