Heat Pumps


How will using a heat pump help the Climate Emergency?

Houses are one of the greatest contributors of greenhouse gases (GHGs) in Canada.  The majority of houses in Canada are heated with GHG-emitting fossil fuels like oil, natural gas and propane. Converting to electrically operated heat pumps is one of the single best ways to reduce GHGs from our buildings because few GHGs are created or released in Ontario through the production of electricity.  Many heat pump systems are paired with fossil fuel furnaces which provide backup heating in very cold weather.  Nevertheless, the dual system results in significant reduction in GHG production.  Furthermore, many air-to-air heat pumps now on the market use electric resistance heating as their back-up system, resulting in very little production of GHGs. A complete list of Lanark Installers is below.

How do Heat Pumps work?

Refrigerators and air conditioners are good examples of heat pumps in familiar usage. They use heat pumps and refrigerants to transport, or pump, heat from inside the refrigerator or building to the outside, keeping everything inside cold. A house heat pump does the same thing, and can work both ways, taking heat from outside (the ground, water, or air) and pumping it inside, where the heat is needed. Or it can be used in reverse, providing air conditioning inside, and pumping the heat outdoors. A key advantage is they use about ⅓ of the electricity used by the conventional electric heating systems such as baseboards and furnaces. In fact, the heat they provide is free, the electricity is only used for the pumping, condensing and moving the air.

Do all Heat Pumps work the same way?

Most heat pumps in use today are air-to-air; they pump energy from the outside air into the house, or vice versa.  An alternative type is the ground source heat pump. These use a medium, either water or a refrigerant, to transport the heat between the ground and the inside air running through pipes in the ground or wells or surface water.

How do I know what type of heat pump I should buy?

There are several types of heat pumps:

  • Ground source heat pumps (GSHP).
  • Air source heat pumps (ASHP)
  • Heat pump water heaters (HPWH)

GSHPs (or Geothermal systems) are the most efficient. While they are the most expensive to purchase they are the least expensive to operate.  They use the ground below the frost line as their source of heat in winter and a place to dump heat in summer. Since the temperature of the ground below the frost line remains much closer to the yearly average than the air does, this type of heat pump is the most efficient.  On the other hand, they are more expensive because part of the device must be buried.  They may use water and wells or surface water to transfer the heat in an open-loop system, or refrigerant in a closed-loop system in the ground or water.

ASHP The most common type of heat pump used to date for heating is the air source heat pump.
There are two general types.  Both locate their condenser, which looks like a central air conditioner, outdoors:
Ducted – the heat pump is located in ductwork, either existing or new.
Ductless – often called mini or multi-splits – the heat pumps are wall-mounted and there may be more than one in a house.
ASHP are often paired with and linked in with conventional heating systems, so the conventional natural gas or propane furnace, or wood system, takes over when it becomes too cold for the heat pump to work efficiently. These are called hybrid or dual-fuel heat pumps (DFHP). Still other ASHP have electric resistance heaters installed with them, as the back-up system when the temperature drops below the capacity of the heat pump to generate heat (often around approximately -15 degrees C). Technological improvements mean there are now cold-temperature ASHP that can provide heat down to -30 degrees C.

HPWHs are heat pumps which work to pump heat from inside the house to the hot water reservoir.  They are much more efficient than the standard electric hot water heater. A particular benefit of HPWHs is that they produce, as a byproduct, cooled, dehumidifier air. This is a particular asset when located in a basement and used during the summer months.

I want to see what this looks like. Is anyone using heat pumps locally?

Many, many people in Lanark County and Smiths Falls have now installed heat pumps. Ask your neighbours for any leads. As well, you will often see mini-split systems on walls in doctors’ and dentists’ offices.  Many builders are now using them instead of central air conditioning and unit heaters in apartment buildings because of their efficiency, their benefits to GHG reductions and their lower operating costs. The recently completed apartment block at 79 Beckwith St. E. in Perth contains 12 such units,, one for each apartment.  They have a further innovation in that the heat recovery ventilator (HRV) is part of the heat pump package.

Will this save me money? Cost me money?

One of the great advantages of heat pumps is that they use ¼-⅓ the amount of electricity used by electric resistance heating systems such as baseboards, furnaces or portable heaters; that translates into reduced costs.

Aside from GSHP, heat pumps generally cost about the same as any other heating system. The best time to install them is when you need to replace an existing heating system, are looking to add or change air conditioning, are building a new home, or want to take substantial and fast action to cut your GHGs.

I’m interested, but I would like a bit more information

Natural Resources Canada explores the topic of heat pumps even further.


Is my space appropriate for a heat pump?

Heat pumps require a 200 Amp service.  For some this will be an added expense.  Having an Energy Audit is a great first step to determining your heating and cooling options and the size of unit you may need. As well, the audit will explain where you can make cost-effective efficiency improvements that will reduce the size, and therefore the cost, of the new unit. Next step is to invite a few installers to provide quotes.

Where can I find an installer?

Below you will find a list of all the local installers, as well as what type of pumps and brands they sell

Heat Pump Abbreviations
DFHP (Dual fuel air source heat pumps – fossil fuel used on the coldest days)
ASHP (Air source heat pumps and cold temperature ASHP – electrical resistance heating used on the coldest days)
GSHP (Ground source heat pumps)
HPHW (Heat pump water heaters)

All listed companies service heat pumps as well as supply and install




Type of pump Residential or ICI also? What brands do they sell
Bangs Fuels, 343-341-0459 Perth DFHP

Rheem, Fujits, Samsung (splits)


Carleton Refrigeration, Heating & AC, 613-257-8282 Carleton Place DFHP
Both York, WaterFurnace
Comfort Pro, 613-253-1318 Carleton Place DFHP
Residential only Mitsubishi, Nordic and Bryant
CorCann Heating & Cooling, 613-256-2226 Almonte DFHP
Both Keeprite, York, GeoStar (geothermal)
Dr Comfort Heating & AC 613-259-2335 Lanark DFHP
Residential only



Hastie Service Heating & Air, 613-253-2213 Ashton DFHP
Mainly residential Frigidaire
J & C Gas Heating & Cooling, 613-264-8800 Perth DFHP
Residential only

Keeprite, Comfort Air (mini-splits), Navien and Bradford White


McNamee Plumbing & Heating, 613-267-2378 Perth DFHP
Both York, Fujitsu (ductless) and WaterFurnace (ground source)
Source Energy Mechanicals, 613-880-8315 Smiths Falls DFHP
Both Nordic, Climatemaster, Daikin, WaterFurnace
Thake Home Comfort, 613-273-2062 Westport DFHP
Both Fujitsu (ductless), York, Keeprite, Continental,           WaterFurnace (ground source)
TJC Technical Ltd, 613-284-7696 Smiths Falls DFHP
Solar Heating
Both LG
Valley Plumbing & Heating
Perth DFHP
Residential Luxaire, Continental, ICP, Ouellet


Who is already doing work around promoting heat pumps in Lanark County and Smiths Falls and how can I join them?

Join CNL’s Buildings and Transportation Working Group


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