When it comes to discussing savings from a heat pump, numbers get tossed around somewhat ambiguously, such as: “Cut heating costs by up to 50%” or “Reduce Home Energy Consumption by 40% or more”.
The truth is it’s very difficult to tell you exactly how much you’re going to save. We can explain where the savings come from so that you can make your own educated guess at potential savings in your home.
Let’s get started.
1. What are you spending now
Everything has to start with what you’re spending now. If you aren’t spending much to heat your home currently then there aren’t big savings to be had.
Determine what your annual heating cost is
If you’re electrically heated then look at your consumption difference between October and March and the rest of the year. That will give you a snapshot of how much of your electricity consumption is heating and how much are lights, appliances, and other household items.
Currently, the cost per Kilowatt hour is $0.169 plus HST. So reviewing your NSP bills you can likely come up with a Kilowatt hour number you’re spending on heating. If you’re on budget billing review the consumption numbers on the right-hand side of your bill.
If you’re currently heating with oil, and also have oil hot water, then look at what your consumption is during the spring and summer months. This will be your hot water consumption for about half the year. Then multiply that by two to get the full year’s oil hot water consumption. The rest of your oil all goes towards heating.
2. Is your home zoned?
By zoned we’re talking about thermostats in your home. Is the temperature in different areas of your home regulated by separate thermostats?
Unless you have a hot air furnace then your home likely is zoned. This is good news. It means a ductless heat pump can offset one or more of your zones if installed properly.
If your home is not zoned then it does make installing a mini split heat pump slightly more challenging. Why? Let’s look at an example split entry home that has one thermostat on the upper floor that controls the temperature of the entire home.
If you install a heat pump on the upper level that keeps the entire top floor warm then the thermostat is never going to come on. This will cause the lower level to get very cold.
There are workarounds for this. If your home falls into this category then we suggest you give us a call to discuss your options.
3. What area(s) of the house will you install a heat pump?
Do you primarily live in the upper level? The lower level? Where do you spend your time? We ask this question because the place where you spend your time is also the area you most often will use the heat pump.
If you split your time between two levels than possibly a multi-zone with an indoor unit upstairs and downstairs is the solution.
By putting these three pieces together (cost, zoning, and the area you spend the most time) we can determine what your potential savings could be.
An Example: Determining Your Potential Savings
Let’s use an example of an electrically heated home to illustrate how you can estimate your potential savings from installing a mini split heat pump in your home.
Let’s assume you spend $3,000 a year on electricity of which half is your lights and hot water. That leaves $1,500 a year for heating expenses.
Let’s also assume you spend most of your time on the main level which is where your family room, kitchen and dining area is. We’ll say that 70% of your space heating cost goes towards keeping that main level warm and comfortable, so that’s $1050.
You install a 15,000 BTU mini-split heat pump on the main level. Adequate sizing to heat the entire living, dining and kitchen area on this floor. This now means you won’t have to turn those thermostats up on the main level as the heat pump will be doing the job.
On average it might cost $450 – $600 a year to run your heat pump. This leaves you with savings of $450 – $600, which is the difference between our estimate of what it costs to heat with electric baseboards and what it will cost to heat with a heat pump.
These savings numbers are very realistic. Many homeowners in Nova Scotia have seen much more than that.
Well, if the numbers make sense give us a call to arrange an in-home consultation on what model and size of machine will work best for your home. You can reach us by completing the form on this page or giving us a call at 902-895-0246.