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Air Conditioner Vs Heat Pump in Ottawa (2022)

As a culture we are moving towards more environmentally sustainable options for almost every aspect of our lives. Heating and Cooling our homes is one of the ways that a regular homeowner can lower their carbon footprint. In this article we explore whether a heat pump or an air conditioner is the way to go for an Ottawa Homeowner.

How Central Air Conditioners and Heat Pumps Work

Most homeowners in Ottawa are familiar with standard air conditioners. These units go by many names such as Central AC’s, Split Air Conditioners and Central Air. They work by removing heat and humidity from the home and moving that heat to the outdoors. Central AC’s have a coil installed above your furnace with copper lines connecting it to the outdoor unit. Your furnace fan then blows air over the indoor coil which sends conditioned air throughout your home, creating a comfortable living environment.

Central heat pumps work in the same fashion, they have an indoor coil installed above the furnace that removes heat and humidity when running in cooling mode. The difference between a heat pump and an air conditioner, is that the heat pump can run in reverse. In heating mode, the pump will remove heat from the outdoor air (even in the middle of the winter!) and deliver that warm air into the home.

Is a Central Heat Pump Right For My Ottawa Home?

-Heat Pumps come with a higher upfront cost than an air conditioner.  On average we tend to see homeowners spending at least $2,000 more for a heat pump.  Many times people buy high end heat pumps (in order to deal with our harsh winters) as opposed to more entry level AC’s (that deal with our relatively short summers).  Furthermore, often times heat pumps require infrastructure upgrades such as electrical panels, ductwork upgrades and improved outdoor stands, all of these factors add to the costs.

-For homeowners that are heating with electricity, propane or oil, they may see some great return on investment. With high heating bills due to these certain fuels, customers can reduce the cost with cold climate heat pumps.

-Due to the fact that most homeowners purchase high end heat pumps, they benefit from having incredibly efficient cooling. These homeowners see decreases in hydro costs over the summer VS a standard air conditioner.

**It is important to note that heating your home with natural gas (especially with a high efficiency furnace) is substantially more cost effective than with a fully electric heat pump system.


-Using a heat pump as opposed to a fossil fuel burning appliance is a much more environmentally friendly option! As the majority of our electricity comes from hydroelectric power, it is an earth friendly choice in your home heating.

-As stated above, the cooling on a high end heat pump is very efficient. Sometimes twice as efficient as a standard air conditioner, this means


-In order to figure out whether an air conditioner is right for you an in home consultation is imperative. Not every home is the same, electrical infrastructure, current ductwork, home size and insulation are all important factors in determining if an air conditioner or heat pump is better for your home.
In the end, there are many factors in deciding whether a heat pump or AC is right for you. A free in home consultation will allow us to guide you towards the best decision for your family and home.
author avatar
Taylor Lewis Vice President
Taylor Lewis is a highly accomplished HVAC professional with over a decade of experience in the industry. He graduated from Queens University, and since then has dedicated his career to the field of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning.
Ottawa central AC installation in 2022 by AirZone HVAC


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