Heat pumps work by extracting heat from the air or the ground outside and pushing it inside to heat your home. Even when temperatures are relatively cool, there’s enough ambient heat to allow an efficient exchange. Because heat pumps move heat directly, rather than converting fuel into heat, they’re more efficient than baseboard heaters or furnaces.
But all heat pumps come with a backup heating system that kicks in when the temperature is too cold to allow heat transfer. The backup system isn’t as efficient, so if it’s running constantly, you’ll lose the efficiency and savings that heat pumps can provide.
Should you get a heat pump?
If you’re planning major renovations or upgrades to your heating system, a heat pump can be much more efficient than traditional gas or electric furnaces or baseboard heaters.
But that efficiency can quickly be lost when heat pumps are used improperly, or when their performance isn’t fully understood.
To get a better understanding of it all, BC Hydro has created a wonderful infographic to help you determine whether a heat pump will be right for your needs.