Why make the switch to an electric heat pump for space heating?
Efficient: A heat pump can be three times as efficient as a natural gas furnace or electric baseboards for heating, and up to 50% more efficient for cooling compared to a typical window A/C unit.
Save money: A heat pump saves you money on operating costs when switching from oil, natural gas, or electric baseboards.
Climate-friendly: if you use natural gas or heating oil, dramatically reduce your home’s greenhouse gas emissions by getting your home off fossil fuels and onto a climate-friendly heat pump that runs on renewable, low carbon electricity
Heat pumps work like a refrigerator does to concentrate and move heat from one space to another. A condensing unit extracts heat from the outside air. The heat is absorbed by a refrigerant, which is compressed to increase the temperature. Warm air is, then circulated through your existing duct work or by using indoor units to heat different zones in your home.
Video (26 seconds) climate-friendly homes – home heating
Learn about the benefits of heat pumps from this short video from the City of Victoria and the District of Saanich.
Since heat pumps are so efficient, you will likely save on your energy bills when upgrading from oil, natural gas, or electric baseboards, especially if your home has good insulation, air sealing, and windows and you don't use inefficient supplementary heating systems (such as gas fireplaces). See the Make the Switch page for more information about cost savingg when switching from gas heating to a heat pump, and this report from the Canadian Climate Institute.
This guide provides an overview of best practices for installing heat pumps to minimize noise, including how to determine an optimum outdoor location, select a quiet heat pump system, properly maintain your heat pump, and control and prevent noise travel (2 pages, City of Vancouver).
Regardless of where you are in your home retrofit journey, there are plenty of free support programs and available incentives to help you take the next step to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase energy efficiency. The Home Energy Navigator provides free support along your retrofit journey, including:
A free virtual home energy consultation
Enhanced retrofit decision-making and technical support
Customized retrofit roadmap
Free retrofit resources, testimonials and special offers such as webinars and workshops
Where to start for multi-unit residential building upgrades?
Video (3:54 minutes) Top 10 Tips for Heat Pump Bylaws for Stratas
Prepared by Vancouver Island Strata Owner’s Association (VISOA), this video is a quick guide to for strata corporations on how to prepare for heat pump requests from residents, including electrical panel upgrades, noise levels, indemnity agreements, alterations approvals, and more!
Video (55:55 minutes) Cooling Systems for Strata Owners VISOA https://youtu.be/vNznv8-TK4g
Hosted by Vancouver Island Strata Owner’s Association (VISOA), guest speakers Christy Love and Grant Liang of RDH Building Sciences Ltd. review solutions to overheating, including heat pumps, rooftop units, things for strata councils to consider (aesthetics, energy performance, electrical service capacity, noise), passive measures to keep your building cool, and more.
This guide provides an overview of electrification options in multi-family buildings. The summary report by FRESCo Building Efficiency for Landlord BC (7 pages) was written with rental apartments in mind but is relevant for stratas and co-ops as well. It outlines the benefits and challenges, specific considerations, estimated costs, and potential emissions reductions of different electrification upgrades in multi-family buildings.
This report assesses the implications of climate-induced warming on thermal comfort in multifamily buildings and identifies cost effective design measures to maintain thermal comfort in warming temperatures (158 pages, RDH Building Science, 2020).
This report provides recommendations for defining thermal comfort and overheating risks in multifamily buildings; modelling risks; design strategies to mitigate overheating (mechanical and passive); and potential changes to BC Codes and requirements (49 pages, RDH Building Science, 2021).