Heat pumps are continuing to grow in popularity with Nova Scotia homeowners and it’s not hard to tell why. Offering a comfortable in-home climate year round is a great selling point on its own, but saving on energy bills the whole time too? Almost sounds too good to be true.
Trying to tell how much you will save with a heat pump can be difficult. There is lots of talk about cutting your energy bill in half, but what can you really save? Though the savings are often spectacular, it’s impossible to tell how much you will benefit without knowing the particulars of your home.
Let’s go through a few steps to help you estimate your potential savings.
First and foremost to figuring out your potential savings is to find out how much you are spending on heating and cooling your home. The less you spend on these bills, the less room there is going to be for possible savings.
If you have electric baseboard heating then an easy way to estimate your heating costs is to compare your electricity bills from October to March, to the bills from April and September.
The increase in cost during the colder months can be attributed to the electric heat being used, with the rest of the cost coming from lights, appliances, etc.
Electricity is charged by kilowatt-hours. Currently, the rate per kilowatt-hour is $0.15063 plus HST. If you compare this to the amount spent on heat, you will get the number of kilowatt-hours used per year. If you are on budget billing, your consumption can be found on the right-hand side of your power bill.
If your home is heated with oil and uses oil for hot water as well then simply take a look at oil usage from April to September to get an idea of hot water cost for six months. Double this to get a full year. The extra amount of oil used in the colder months is going to heating.
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No, you won’t need to rent out a room or open a small business. What you need to know is what are the heating zones of your home.
If your home has multiple thermostats for controlling separate areas of the home, then you are in luck. This is the ideal scenario for installing a ductless mini split heat pump. When your home is split into heating zones, the heat pump can effectively offset the cost of heating in one area.
If your home is not zoned, one thermostat for the whole house, then it is more difficult to get effective results from a ductless heat pump. For example, let’s say you have a split entry home with a single thermostat on the upper level that controls the entire house. If you install a heat pump on the upper level and the temperature stays warm upstairs, the thermostat will not turn on and the basement will remain cold.
In the case of a single zone home such as this, there are still options that allow you to benefit from a heat pump. If this is the case in your home, give us a call or book an in-home assessment and we will discuss what options are available to you.
You always want to put the heat pump in the area of the home where you will be spending the most time. Quite often this ends up being an open living room, dining room, kitchen area or sometimes a smaller unit will be installed in the bedroom. You want the spot where you will get the highest use of the cost-saving capabilities.
Should you feel that your time spent equally between levels, or on opposite side of the house, you may want to look at getting a multi-zone heat pump with two or more indoor heads attached to a single outdoor unit.
After you have determined all these pieces, energy cost, zones, and area of installation, you can get an idea of how much you could be saving.
To get an idea of how it works, let’s say you have electric baseboard heat in your home. On average you spend a total of $3000 each year on electricity. After examining your bills you estimate that half of this cost is from heating with the other half being lights, electronics, etc.
You figure you spend most of your time in the living room area of the main level, and approximately 70% of the $1500 spent on heating is going to this area. This gives you a total of $1050 spent on heating this zone.
You decide to install an appropriately sized 15,000 BTU heat pump in this zone. Now the heat pump is taking care of most of the heating in this area, so the thermostat stays down. Operating costs on this size unit are usually between $450 – $600 a year. Comparing this to the heating bill with electric baseboards you are looking at potential savings of $450 – $600.
These results are quite typical, and in many cases, homeowners are benefiting from savings well in excess of these projections.
If you want to start saving with your very own heat pump, or just want to know more about the energy-saving potential, give us a call or book your free in-home assessment online. There’s no obligation to buy and we will answer all your heat pump questions.