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What is a Heat Pump?

What is a Heat Pump?

A ductless heat-pump is much more efficient than almost any other form of electric heating and much more efficient than electric baseboards. For example, when your electric baseboards consume 1,500 W of electricity they only output 1,500 W of heat (Coefficient-of-performance {COP} of 1:1). Ductless heat-pumps on the other hand, can output up to ten times the electricity they consume! (COP of 10:1).

In addition to amazing COP numbers, ductless heat-pumps can provide comfortable and efficient heating even when it’s -25°C and below. Heat-pumps work by transferring heat from outside to inside through the use of refrigerant, usually R-410A. The refrigerant in the outdoor condenser coil will be below the temperature of the outside, which will then absorb heat. This heated refrigerant will be heated even more by the compressor until eventually it is transferred to the indoor coil. Once at the indoor coil, powerful fans will transfer the heat from the refrigerant to your space. From here, the refrigerant will travel through an expansion valve where it will once again be flashed into a temperature that is lower than the outdoor ambient.

All of this might sound complicated, however you can remember that ductless heat-pumps will ALWAYS be more efficient than baseboards as their COP always remains above 1:1 no matter what the temperature outside. Ductless heat-pumps are so efficient that it costs less to heat your home than with natural gas at -5°C and above. The numbers are even better if you use oil or propane.

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