A recent report by the Canadian Climate Institute demonstrates that heat pumps are the lowest-cost option for heating and cooling most homes in Canada. Switching from gas furnaces and air conditioning to heat pumps is an important step to reducing fossil fuel consumption and to decreasing greenhouse gas production from residential buildings. This research provides additional motivation for making this shift by showing that the lifetime cost of a standard heat pump with electric backup is 13 per cent lower than a gas furnace and air conditioning, considering both capital and operating costs.
Heat pumps are energy-efficient heating and cooling systems that work by transferring heat between the indoors and outdoors, depending on the season. During the colder months, they extract heat from the outside air, ground, or water and use it to warm buildings. In the warmer months, they reverse the process, removing heat from indoor spaces and releasing it outside. This versatile technology not only supports climate control year-round, but also consumes significantly less electricity than traditional heating and cooling systems. As well as being environmentally friendly, heat pumps are also typically more cost-effective than traditional heating or air conditioning systems for maintaining a comfortable indoor climate.
The Canadian Climate Institute has launched an online calculator comparing the costs associated with different heating and cooling systems. Based on economic analysis from the five Canadian cities surveyed in the report, it provides a useful way for individuals to estimate their potential savings from with a switch to heat pumps.