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Heat Pump vs Air Conditioner in Nanaimo: Which is Right for You?

Approximately 20% of Canadian families experience "energy poverty." This term refers to a family's inability to afford high energy costs, like heating or cooling. A big cause of energy poverty is energy inefficiency in many Canadian homes.

To learn more about heat pumps and air conditioners in Nanaimo, their associated costs, and how to determine what is the right solution for your home, keep reading below.

How an Air Conditioner, in Nanaimo, Works

For cooling, an air conditioner is used in conjunction with a home heating system. Most homes have furnaces, boilers, or electric baseboards as their primary heat source. With climate change, and hotter summer temperatures, many property owners are now looking at ways to keep their homes comfortable year-round.

Portable air conditioners are a quick and seemingly affordable solution, but they do come with some costs; your energy bill will be much higher during peak cooling season. Unfortunately, portable air conditioners can be visually unappealing, as well as noisy. More permanent solutions for older homes are ductless mini-splits. Like portable versions they are only affective for specific zones in your home.

If you're considering an air conditioner, they work best in homes that have an existing heating system, or no ducting systems. They're also great for older homes.

Types of Air Conditioners

When installing an air conditioner in Nanaimo, you have several options. You can choose from the following popular options based on what your needs and budget look like:

· Central air conditioner

· Window air conditioner

· Ductless (mini-splits)

· Portable (window or floor)

Speak to a trusted HVAC technician at Strategic Mechanical Services to help determine the best cooling solution for your home.

How Heat Pumps, in Nanaimo, Work

If your home has a ducting system, or you’re building a new home, Heat Pumps are a great option for a combined heating and cooling system. Rather than heat up cold air inside, heat pumps collect warm air from outside. Like an air conditioner, they do this through a split system. The outdoor unit collects warm air, while the indoor unit disperses it.

However, when the outside air is below -10 degrees, a heat pump needs a supplemental system to heat the home. This is usually in the form of electric baseboards. Extreme cold can negatively impact the energy efficiency and effectiveness of heat pumps.

It is important to keep in mind that heat pumps are not ideal for extreme weather conditions and generally don't work well when temperatures drop well below -10 degrees, making them perfect for mild climates, like found in Nanaimo and across Vancouver Island.

While heat pumps do have a high initial investment starting around 15K depending on size, brand and quality, however, they're very energy efficient and their upfront cost is offset by very low monthly hydro bills. A drawback of heat pumps is that they can be noisier than a furnace when they kick in for heating (or cooling).

Heat pumps are most ideal for new builds as the internal ducting system is installed at the onset of construction.

Types of Heat Pumps

Heat pumps are generally classified by size. Choosing the right size heat pump is critical for effective home energy efficiency, and effective room temperature control. You’ll need to consider the insulation in your home, the size of your home, how many windows or doors are in the home, the number of people in your home, and whether you’re living in a suitable climate.

The best way to determine the right heat pump size is to speak with a heating and cooling professional at Strategic Mechanical Services.

Air Conditioners vs. Heat Pumps

Upfront cost, as well as ducting systems, are usually the biggest factors when choosing between an air conditioner or a heat pump.

If installing or switching to a heat pump is available to you, there can be financial assistance with the initial up-front cost of installing a new heat pump system. The provincial government offers rebates and grants available to residential homeowners who are looking to switch their heating systems to energy efficient heat pumps. For up-to-date information on credits available visit , or call our experts at Strategic Mechanical Services for guidance.

If a heat pump is not available to you, don’t worry! There is a cooling solution for your home to keep you comfortable during the summer months. We can help you figure out the right air conditioner for your needs and budget.

Choosing the Right Cooling Solution for Your Nanaimo Home

As outlined, choosing between a heat pump or air conditioner in Nanaimo involves considering a lot of specific factors, like the needs of the home, climate, and existing insulation, as well as personal preferences and budget constraints. If you are still not sure what the right option is for you, and your home, it’s best to speak to an expert.

To learn more about Strategic Mechanical Services heat pumps and air conditioners options, share your details with us so we can get in contact with you right away!

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