This depends on a few factors, including the size and layout of your home. Ductless systems tend to be slightly more efficient than ducted systems due to the integration of variable speed compressor technology. Also, ductless heat pumps are not impacted by air leakage that can occur along ductwork.
What’s a heat pump?
Heat pumps use a single system to heat, cool, and dehumidify your home. In the winter, a heat pump transfers heat from outside of your home to the inside. In the summer, they work in reverse, transferring heat from inside your home and pushing it outside—turning it into an air conditioner and dehumidifier. Put simply, they use compression, copper coils, and liquid refrigerant to “move” heat in one of two directions.
Heat pumps are much more efficient than traditional heating methods - twice as efficient as traditional oil systems - and they provide the added benefit of air conditioning.
Benefits of heat pumps
If you make one addition to your home heating setup, many experts agree that a heat pump offers the most benefits.
Learn more about the benefits of heat pumps
Types of heat pumps
Today, there are many different types of heat pumps available. The type of heat pump you choose will depend on your home, the type of heating system your home currently has, and if you’re building new.
Find the right heat pump for you
Using your heat pump
Like all heating and cooling systems, proper maintenance is key to getting the most out of your heat pump.
Learn more about using your heat pump
Savings and installation costs
Switching to a heat pump is often easier and less expensive than you might think.
Learn more about savings and installation costs
how to Find a contractor
Other Products of Interest
Q4 Heat Pump Contractor Winner
Congratulations to ARL Mechanical
The Q4 2020 winner is ARL Mechanical. In 2017, we established our Heat Pump Contractor Recognition Program. Each quarter, an award is presented to an eligible contractor that exemplifies customer satisfaction, safety, quality installation, and attention to detail.
See our past winners
Heat Pump FAQS
Ductless heat pumps require some basic maintenance to ensure optimum performance. In most cases keeping the filters and coils clean is all that’s needed and this can be performed easily by the homeowner. Keeping the outdoor unit clear of snow and ice is also important to ensure the heat pump is working as efficiently as possible. Snow should be cleared from the front, sides and back of the outdoor unit. It is also very important to clear snow underneath the unit, so it does not cause ice buildup when it goes through its normal defrost cycle. Click here for more information on heat pump maintenance.
A ducted heat pump system would be installed along with an integrated backup heat source – either electric, oil, propane or natural gas. A ductless system could rely on any previously existing heat source as the backup.
The heat pumps are the primary heat sources, the backups would only supplement them in colder temperatures. When you choose an ENERGY STAR® rated heat pump, some ductless units can still produce heat when the outdoor temperature is as low as -27° C.
When the outside temperature dips below the balance point, then your other fuel system kicks in. The balance point is the temperature at which the amount of heating provided by the heat pump equals the amount of heat lost from your house. At this point, the heat pump capacity matches the full heating needs of your home. Below this temperature, your supplementary or backup heat would be required.
Ductless heat pump systems are sized to meet the heating and cooling needs of individual zones in the home. There is a great deal of flexibility when it comes to system sizing as one indoor unit can provide between different levels of heating and cooling depending on its BTU capacity rating. Some common capacities for indoor units are 9K, 12K, 15K, 18K, 24K, and 30K BTU. Units are sized to meet the combined load of all heating/cooling zones. More than one outdoor unit may be necessary for multi-zone systems.
Ducted heat pumps have an integrated backup heat source and are designed to meet the needs of heating your whole home. The ducts are sized to ensure efficient heat distribution throughout. Your installer will measure the BTU capacity of your home and help you choose accordingly.
Trusted contractors in our network offer rebates and promotions on their heat pumps. See all current offers here: Contractor Rebates.
In addition, EfficiencyOne, the independent, non-profit organization that oversees energy efficiency programs in Nova Scotia, offers incentives for ENERGY STAR® rated heat pumps in electrically heated homes. For more information visit www.efficiencyns.ca or call 1-877-999-6035.
The average cost of an installed ductless heat pump with one indoor heating/cooling zone is between $3,500 and $5,000. Additional heating zones and greater heating capacities will increase the cost of the system. Other factors that will affect the cost of an installed system include: the brand, model, warranty, and installation requirements. We recommend you get at least three quotes from our network of trusted contractors.