Frequently Asked Questions - Heating

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  • I’ve submitted a rebate application some time ago but have heard nothing back?

    The average processing time for rebates is 6-8 weeks. If the rebate is approved, your electricity account will be credited and the next bill will be noted with the rebate program, and amount of the rebate. If the rebate is not approved, we will notify you in writing, either by mail or email depending on how the rebate was submitted.

  • How much money can you save for each degree that you turn down the thermostat?

    How much you save depends on how warm you keep your home and therefore on how much energy you consume for heating. Generally you can expect to save about two percent on your energy bill for every degree Celsius you set back your thermostat.

  • What does the term “R-value” mean?

    R-value is a measure of how well a material resists the passage of heat. The higher the R-value, the slower the rate of heat transfer through the insulating material and the more effective insulation is in keeping the home warm in winter and cool in summer. Insulation should always be judged by R-value rather than inches, as different insulation materials have different R-values per inch of thickness.

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  • Is there a rebate for heat pumps?

    takeCHARGE does not offer a rebate on heat pumps, but customers of Newfoundland Power can apply to finance the cost of purchasing and installing electric home heating systems, including heat pumps.

    Once you have been given a quote for the cost of installation, there is a loan application process which can be completed online or by calling one of our Customer Account Representatives at 1-800-663-2802. Learn more about Newfoundland Power’s financing.

  • Should I set back the temperature of my heat pump at night?

    Unlike baseboard heaters, the thermostat for a central heat pump should be set at a comfortable setting and not readjusted. This is because frequent temperature adjustments will increase the use of the less efficient backup electric resistance heating system, reducing overall system efficiency.

    A ductless mini split system can be set back at night or during the work day if the home is vacant for an extended period of time as it does not have a built in, back up heating system. Just ensure your original heating system – be it electric baseboards or oil heat – is on a lower temperature setting than the heat pump.

  • Who should install heat pumps?

    The heat pump should only be installed by an experienced installer; specifically, a certified refrigeration and air conditioning mechanic and a certified electrician. The installer should perform a full heat load analysis to ensure the unit selected is properly sized for maximum efficiency and performance. You should only hire reputable contractors that will provide written contracts to do this type of work. Here is some more information on hiring contractors.

  • What are the different types of heat pumps?

    The most common type of heat pump in Newfoundland and Labrador is an air source heat pump. This could be either a ducted unit designed to heat an entire house through the use of air ducts, or a ductless mini-split heat pump, which is designed for zoned heating. Ground source heat pumps, designed to heat the entire house are less common, requiring a significant upfront investment, albeit with a greater efficiency than air source heat pumps.

    For homeowners interested in installing a heat pump in an existing home, the ductless mini split heat pump is the least expensive and most common choice. A ducted air source heat pump makes more sense for new builds or homes with existing duct work.

  • How efficient are heat pumps compared to baseboard heaters?

    Baseboard heaters are 100% efficient, converting 100% of the energy used to heat. Heat pumps can be as much as 200% to 300% efficient, supplying the same amount of heat for much less energy.

    The efficiency will vary depending on a number of factors including the type of heat pump, the specifications of the individual unit, and the outside temperature. Correct sizing and installation of the heat pump is essential to achieving maximum potential energy savings, so be sure to hire a professional installer.

    In Newfoundland and Labrador, because of our heating dominated climate, one of the most important things to look for in a heat pump is a high Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF). We recommend a HSPF of 10 or higher for mini-split heat pumps and 9 or higher for multi-split heat pumps.

  • Are there benefits to using “smart” internet connected programmable thermostats that can be controlled by a mobile device or computer for my baseboard heaters?

    Yes, although more expensive than regular programmable thermostats, these devices are often easier to program and provide details of the energy used by individual heaters.

  • What rooms in my home should have programmable thermostats?

    The main living areas of your home that are most frequently occupied such as the family room, living room, or kitchen will receive the greatest benefit from programmable thermostats. For less used areas, such as the laundry room, hallways, porches and spare bedrooms, non-programmable electronic thermostats are often sufficient.

  • Should I install energy efficient electronic or programmable thermostats?

    Absolutely.  Conventional dial thermostats can cause large temperature swings that can make your home too warm or too cold.  Energy efficient electronic thermostats will reduce the temperature swing in your home to less than 1° Celsius.  And don’t forget, rebates are available on your purchase of electronic and programmable thermostats.

  • Is there an “ideal” temperature setback recommendation?

    It is recommended that reducing the temperature by 5 degrees Celsius at night or when nobody is at home will provide optimal comfort and efficiency, without a high risk of moisture problems.

  • Should I turn my thermostats down at night?

    Yes, turn your thermostat back by five degrees Celsius at night and whenever you are away from home for more than eight hours.

  • How much money can you save for each degree that you turn down the thermostat?

    How much you save depends on how warm you keep your home and therefore on how much energy you consume for heating. Generally you can expect to save about two percent on your energy bill for every degree Celsius you set back your thermostat.