Canadian Contractor

Heat loss is a bigger issue in Canada

January 29, 2020
By Rob Blackstien

About a week and a half ago, we documented the issues that Claude Ladouceur was having with his heat pump.

Well, Claude’s concerns caught the eye of Mark Mitchell, who offered up the following insights…

Heat loss is much bigger than the cooling gain in most of Canada. For example, if a house has a 60,000 BTU furnace for heating, it may only have an 18,000 BTU air conditioner (Central Ontario example).

That being said, a three-ton heat pump delivers about 37,000 BTU in heating mode, and unless it’s a Hyper Heat model, loses capacity below 0 deg C.

Even the best air-to-air models start to lose capacity at -20 C. As the outside temperature drops, capacity decreases, which is why most of these systems use some kind of electric backup for really cold weather. In my experience as an HVAC contractor, sizing for the heating loads is the best option, but will result in higher initial costs. With Variable speed technology available in compressor operation, the unit is still able to run efficiently in air conditioning mode, at a much reduced operating cost.

I’m not shilling for Mitsubishi or Daikin here, but they have some really well thought out products.

What do you think, Contractor Nation? Any other HVAC contractors have a similar experience, or do you have a different take on this issue to offer?

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