Is a heat pump right for me?
A heat pump is a big investment starting at about $3,000 for a mini-split and up to $20,000 or more for a central-ducted system. To make sure that a heat pump is right for your home, consider these factors:
- Keeping the heat in: Make sure your home is well insulated and draft proof first. We can help with that! Check out our Insulation Program for more details. If your home is air tight, a heat pump may be the next step to help you save energy.
- Payback: A heat pump usually lasts 10-15 years, so calculate how much you need to save to make it worth the investment. Here is a guide to help you calculate payback.
- House layout: For ductless heat pumps, open concept layouts or large rooms yield more savings on your energy bill.
- Expect some maintenance: You will need to clear snow from the outside unit in the winter and clean or change filters regularly.
Choosing an Installer
Heat pumps are a sophisticated technology and are not a do-it-yourself project. You should have your heat pump installed by both a:
- Journeyperson Refrigeration And Air Conditioning Mechanic – List of residential installers that have confirmed their journeyperson certification. Installers on this list have been confirmed by the Department of Advanced Education and Skills to have met the qualification requirements of a Journeyperson Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Mechanic.
- Registered Electrical Contractor (Electrician) working under permit – Service NL maintains a listing of electrical contractors that are eligible to obtain a permit to do electrical work in Newfoundland and Labrador. Visit Service NL for a list of active electrical contractors in the province.
The installer must visit your home to assess your home’s unique characteristics including size, layout, insulation, and air tightness.
DANGERS OF NOT HAVING A PROFESSIONAL INSTALLER:
- Void the manufacturer’s warranty
- Reduce energy savings
- Shorten the unit’s lifespan
- Lower comfort
- Cause safety issues
Your installer should provide you with:
- Instruction on the operation and maintenance of the equipment
- An owners manual
- Warranty information
- Contact information for questions or troubleshooting after installation is complete
Choosing a heat pump
We recommend working closely with your installer to determine what heat pump is right for you.
Efficiency varies widely: some heat pumps are very efficient at -20°C, while others provide very little heat at -10°C. The Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF) can be used to compare efficiencies. Choose these ratings for a unit that will operate efficiently in our climate:
A more efficient heat pump has a higher HSPF.
For the highest level of efficiency and to reduce the chances of flickering lights when the heat pump starts, ask your installer for a unit with a “variable speed drive” or “soft start”. While ductless mini and multi splits commonly use variable speed drive technology, it is not common in central-ducted heat pumps. For central heat pumps soft start options should be used.
Newfoundland Power and Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro offer financing for residential customers to assist with purchasing a heat pump. The unit must be professionally installed and meet minimum eligibility criteria.
After your installer has visited your home to provide a quote, and you know the name of the installer and the unit, contact us to start the financing process.
Newfoundland Power 1-800-663-2802
Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro 1-888-737-1296
NEW Home Energy Efficiency Loan Program (HEELP) – As part of Budget 2017, the provincial government is introducing the HEELP program, which will offer low interest loans towards the purchase and installation of insulation and heat pumps. The program will be implemented by the Office of Climate Change in partnership with Newfoundland Power and Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro, through takeCHARGE. The program is due to launch before the next heating season. Check back, Fall 2017, for details. Both Newfoundland Power and Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro will continue to offer financing on a range of home heating and energy efficiency upgrades for your home.