One of the main appeals of a heat pump is the energy saving potential it brings. But finding out just how much you will save can be a little more complicated than many homeowners expect.
You will hear tantalizing numbers laid out to the tune of “Cut your heating bill in half” or “Save 40% or more on Energy Usage”. While these numbers are not unobtainable the truth of your savings is difficult to predict without knowing the specifics of your home. And don't forget about the upfront cost of a heat pump, though there are excellent programs in place to help offset this cost.
Let’s take a look at what factors into your projected savings so you can get a more accurate estimation.
How Much Is Your Heating Bill Now?
The first step to determining savings is to determine what you are spending. If your heating bill is fairly low to begin with then there isn’t going to be a very big margin for savings.
How do you determine your heating bill?
If your home runs on electric heating, then a good estimate is to compare your power bills from between October and March, to the bills from the warmer month between April and September.
The difference in the amount you spend in the colder months is your cost for heating, with the rest of the bill being made up of your lights, appliances, electronics, etc.
As of the time this article was written, the cost per kilowatt-hour is $0.15063 plus HST. Comparing this to the amount spent on heating your home, you can get the number of kilowatt-hours per year. If you are on budget billing you can find your consumption numbers on the right-hand side of your bill.
If your home is using oil heating and oil hot water then you just need to look at your consumption during the April to September period, giving you your hot water consumption for six months. Double this to give you your hot water cost for a full year, with the rest of the oil going to heating.
Get In The Zone
Is your home fitted with thermostats to control the temperature in different zones of the house?
This likely the case unless your home is heated by a hot air oil furnace, though there are always exceptions. If your home is zoned, that is good news. A ductless heat pump can cut heating cost in one or more zones effectively when properly installed.
If your home is not zoned then it is certainly more challenging to get effective results from a ductless heat pump. Let’s say for example that you have a typical split entry home with a thermostat on the upper level that regulates the whole house.
If a heat pump is installed upstairs and is keeping the top level warm, your thermostat will never kick in causing the lower level to stay very cold.
There are still options for such a home, and if you feel this applies to you then please give us a call to discuss what options are available.
Where will the heat pump be installed?
The heat pump should be installed in an area of the home where you spend the most amount of time. Often this tends to be a relatively open kitchen, living room, dining room area. You want to put your heat pump wherever you will get the most use of its cost-saving potential.
If you feel your time is split evenly between multiple levels then you may want to look into the multi-zone heat pump, with indoor heads on separate levels.
Once you have your current energy cost, your home’s zoning, and a selected area, then you can calculate your potential savings.
The Good Bit (Savings)
For purpose of illustration let’s say that you have an electric baseboard heated home, and in this home, you are spending $3000 a year of electricity. By reviewing your bills you determine that half of this cost is hot water, light, appliances, etc with the other $1500 going to heating.
Most of your time here is spent on the main level in the living room, kitchen, dining room area, and as such approximately 70% of your heating bill is spent on keeping the main level comfortable. This works out to $1050 spent on heating this area.
In this main area, you install a 15,000 BTU mini split heat pump, an appropriate size unit to heat that area. Now you no longer have to turn up the thermostat in this section, as the heat pump is doing most the heating instead.
For a heat pump such as this, it might cost $450 - $600 to run, saving you $450 - $600 a year when compared to the previous heating bill with electric baseboards.
These are very realistic saving projections and many Nova Scotians are enjoying savings far in excess of this.
Where to go from here?
If you think that you could benefit from a heat pump, or want to know more about potential savings. Give us a call or book your free in-home assessment here, to find out what sort of heat pump will work best in your home.