Question and Answer

How does a heat pump work?

A heat pump simply transfers heat from the air outdoors into the air in your home. It uses the same refrigeration cycle as the fridge in your kitchen, but in the opposite direction.

How much does it cost to operate a heat pump?

A heat pump is a money-saver. We can summarize the savings: 1 unit of electricity purchased from Hydro Québec + 2 units of free energy from the outdoor air, equals 3 units of total heating. This is compared to an electric furnace which would cost you 1 unit of electricity purchased from Hydro Québec, totalling only 1 unit of total heating.

How do I maintain my heat pump?

Be sure to have a proper filter in the air vent (furnace) at all times. A dirty filter will cause operational problems for the heat pump.

 Question & Réponse

Why should I heat my house with a heat pump ?

A heat pump will allow you to heat your home economically, all the while benefitting from air conditioning. Furthermore, installing a heat pump raises the value of your property.

Until what outdoor temperature is my heat pump effective?

Every residence has a balancing point to establish according to the heat pump’s performance as well as the home’s energy performance. The heat pump will only meet heating needs insofar and for as long as that balancing point is not met. When the outdoor temperature lowers to the equilibrium temperature or lower (balancing point), the heat pump needs support from the auxiliary system (furnace).

Is it recommended to use a programmable thermostat with a heat pump?

No, it is not recommended to use a programmable thermostat while using a heat pump. For more information, consult the information on the Office of Energy Efficiency website, part of Natural Resources Canada.

What is the best heat pump on the market?

A quality heat pump is one that has been installed properly. A high quality heat pump that is badly installed will not provide the performance you have paid for, while a lower quality heat pump that is installed properly will perform as it was designed.

The coolant pipes of my heat pump are frozen. Is that normal?

No. There are several possible causes to this problem. Have your heat pump checked by a NOR-CAN technician.

The heat pump should be able to handle my heating needs. Is it normal that the furnace is also working?

Yes, the heat pump is in defrost mode so will not provide heat to the interior of the home. During the defrost it is possible that the auxiliary will work. The other possible cause is that the balancing point or equilibrium has been met.

How does the heating system handle the coldest temperatures?

In extreme cold, the heat pump automatically activates an electric heating coil to keep your home warm. The coil is usually located in the furnace or in the air handling system. If the heat pump is added to your oil furnace, the oil furnace will provide the additional heat. In most cases, the heat pump will turn off when the oil furnace or the electric furnace is working.

The furnace will work until the desired interior temperature is met. The combination of the two units gives you a back-up system in the event the heat pump fails.

My heat pump is not heating or cooling well?

Possible cause

Solution :

dirty filter

clean or replace filter

air does not circulate freely

check if the dampers and valves are not blocked

outdoor coil blocked

remove leaves and other foreign bodies

My heat pump does not work?

Possible cause

Solution :

unit power is off

check that the main switch is ON

open circuit breaker or blown fuse

reset the breaker or replace the fuse

heat pump is set wrong

check the settings, adjust the thermostat

How do I keep my heat pump working like new over time?

Clean the heat pump’s enamel finish with water and regular soap. For any stubborn grease stains, use a household detergent. Paint thinners or other synthetic solvents could damage the finish. Important: If your unit has a cooling coil, the condensate drains must be checked and cleaned regularly. This will ensure that the condensate flows freely from the coil to the drain.

Why should I entrust my heat pump's maintenance and repairs to professionals?

A heat pump is not a simple appliance, but represents a complex system.

All do-it-yourself attempts to repair a heat pump may void any remaining warranty on the unit.

Apart from the simple recommended regular maintenance, you should not be attempting to make any adjustments to your heat pump.