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Heat Pump Myths from Nanaimo Climate Action Hub

Seven Common Heat Pump Myths

There are so many confusing comments about buying, installing, using, and enjoying heat pumps. Thanks to Larry Whaley and the team at Nanaimo Climate Action Hub for clarifying some myths for BC residents.

Myth #1 - Recent price increases are due to general inflation and supply chain issues.

Reality - Home improvement and other stores offer heat pumps at prices that reflect the real cost although many installers charge much more. (See the examples of real costs on this page.) The rest of the cost is installation and excess profit at the installer level. The prices shown here are retail. Installers pay wholesale.

Myth #2 - Heat Pumps are in short supply.

Reality - The availability of heat pumps in stores indicates that there is no shortage of supply.

Myth #3 - The cost of warranties force the price of heat pumps up.

Reality - Manufacturers supply warranties in their wholesale pricing and if, as is often the case, a consumer can replace the entire system two or three times for the cost of the installers warranty, there is something wrong with that warranty, or it is not a warranty.

Myth #4 - Heat pumps require expensive and difficult connections, such as copper piping. Work must be done by a refrigeration technician.

Reality - Many heat pumps come with pre-charged line sets that are inexpensive, simple, easy to hook up and included in the manufacturer’s price. Any competent handyperson can do the installation. The only special skill that might be needed is that of an electrician.

Myth #5 - Heat pumps are primarily designed for new construction and cannot be easily integrated into existing homes.

Reality - Heat pumps come in various configurations, including ducted and ductless (mini-split) systems, which can be adapted to different home setups. Ductless systems, in particular, are often preferred for retrofitting existing homes, as they provide flexibility and require minimal modifications to the existing infrastructure.

Myth #6 - Larger homes require large expensive systems with a number of indoor air handlers and a powerful outdoor compressor.

Reality - It is often better to install different systems for different parts of a large house, as shorter line sets are easier and less expensive to install. Having more than one system provides the flexibility of being able to cool one part of the house while warming another. In the rare instance where there is a problem with one part of a system you are not left with no heating or cooling in the whole dwelling.

Myth #7 - Heat pumps are not effective in cold climates.

Reality - While it is true that the efficiency of air-source heat pumps can decrease as temperatures drop, advancements in technology have made modern heat pumps more capable of providing efficient heating even in colder regions.​

Canadian Heat Pump Myth Buster from Efficiency Canada.

  • Heat pumps can reduce global greenhouse gas emissions by more than 500 million tonnes in 2030.

  • On average, heat pumps operate three times more efficiently than electric resistance or electric boiler heating.

  • To date, over 840,000 heat pumps have been installed in Canadian homes.

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