Electric Heat Pump Cold Climate Guide
When the cold weather comes, it is time to ensure that the cold winter
becomes warmer through a reliable and economical heating system. Compared with
traditional systems, electric heat pump cold climate has important advantages
such as more flexible positioning, lower heating costs, and simpler settings.
Even in extremely cold conditions, advanced inverter technology can ensure
continuous comfort and efficiency. Cold climate heat pumps can maintain 100%
capacity at 0°C and can operate at temperatures as low as -25°C.
There are two main types of cold climate air source heat pumps.
1.Centrally ducted heat pump
The central ducted heat pump looks like a central air conditioner. It
has an outdoor unit and a coil located in the domestic plumbing system.
In summer, the heat pump operates like a central air conditioner. The
circulating fan passes air through the indoor coil. The refrigerant in the coil
absorbs heat from the indoor air and then pumps the refrigerant to the outdoor
coil (condenser unit). The outdoor unit discharges any heat in the home into
the outdoor air and at the same time cools the home.
In winter, the heat pump reverses the direction of refrigerant flow, and
the outdoor unit absorbs heat from the outdoor air and transfers it to the
indoor coil in the piping system. The air passing through the coil absorbs heat
and distributes it to the home.
2. Mini split (ductless) heat pump
The working principle of the min split heat pump is similar to that of a
central pipe heat pump, but it does not use a piping system. Most mini split or
ductless systems have an outdoor unit and one or more indoor units (machine
head). The indoor unit has a built-in fan that can move air to the coil to
absorb or release heat from the coil.
A system with multiple indoor units is usually required to heat and cool
the entire home. The mini split heat pump system is most suitable for homes without
piping systems, such as homes with hot water boilers, steam boilers or electric
skirting heaters. The mini split system is also very suitable for homes with
open concept floor plans, as these homes require fewer indoor units.
Cold climate heat pump maintenance
1. Check the air filter every 3 months to see if it needs to be replaced
2. Routine inspections to ensure that the supply air outlet and return
air outlet are unobstructed
3. Regularly check and clean the outdoor coil to ensure that it is free
of leaves, seeds, dust and lint
4. Annual system inspection by qualified service professionals
5. A licensed refrigeration technician can inform you of other operation
and maintenance details of the system
Heat pump working temperature
Air source heat pumps have the lowest outdoor operating temperature. As
the outdoor air temperature drops, their heat production is significantly
reduced. Air source heat pumps usually require auxiliary heat sources to
maintain indoor heating temperature in the coldest weather. The auxiliary heat
source for cold climate units is usually electric coils, but some units can use
gas stoves or boilers.
Most air source systems shut down at 1 of 3 temperatures, and your
contractor can set this temperature during installation:
1. Thermal equilibrium point
At this temperature, the heat pump does not have enough capacity to heat
2. Economic balance point
The temperature when one fuel becomes more economical than another. At
colder temperatures, using supplemental fuels (such as natural gas) may be more
cost-effective than using electricity.
3. Low temperature cut
The heat pump can be safely operated to this minimum operating
temperature, or the efficiency is equal to or less than that of the electric
auxiliary heating system.
Heat pump control software:
We recommend using a thermostat control device to run the air source
heat pump and auxiliary heating system. Installing a control will help prevent
the heat pump and the backup heating system from competing with each other. The
use of a separate control can also allow the auxiliary heating system to
operate while the heat pump is cooling.
1. High efficiency:
Compared with other systems such as electric furnaces, boilers and
skirting heaters, energy-saving cold-climate air source heat pumps are more
2. Environmental protection
The air source heat pump transfers the heat from the outdoor air to the
heat generated by the electric compressor to heat your home. This reduces your
home’s energy use, greenhouse gas emissions and harmful effects on the
The air source heat pump can be heated or cooled as needed. Families
with cold climate air source heat pumps do not need a separate air conditioning
Is it suitable for my home?
Keep these factors in mind when considering an air source cold climate
heat pump for your home.
1. Costs and savings
Compared with electric heating systems, cold climate air source heat
pumps can reduce your annual heating costs by 33%. If you switch from propane or
oil burners or boilers (depending on the seasonal efficiency of these systems),
savings of 44% to 70% can be realized. However, the cost is usually higher than
the natural gas heating system. Read our annual space heating cost comparison
table (PDF, 176 KB).
The cost of installing an air source heat pump depends on the type of
system in your home, the existing heating equipment, and the plumbing system.
It may be necessary to make some modifications to the piping system or
electrical services to support your new heat pump installation. Air source heat
pump systems are more expensive to install than traditional heating and air
conditioning systems, but your annual heating costs will be lower than
electricity, propane or fuel heating. Home energy efficiency loans can be used
to help pay for installation costs.
2. Local climate
When buying a heat pump, the Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF)
can help you compare the efficiency of a unit in mild winter weather. The
higher the HSPF number, the higher the efficiency. Note: The manufacturer's
HSPF is usually limited to specific areas with much milder winter temperatures
and does not represent its performance in Manitoba weather.
When the temperature drops below -25°C, most cold climate air source
heat pumps are not more efficient than electric heating.
3. Installation requirements
The location of the outdoor unit depends on airflow, aesthetics and
noise considerations, and snow blockage. If the outdoor unit is not
wall-mounted, it should be placed in an open area on the platform so that the
defrosting melt water can be discharged and snow cover can be minimized. Avoid
placing the equipment near sidewalks or other areas, as the melted water may
cause the risk of slipping or falling. Follow the manufacturer's installation
Looking for high-quality heat pumps
Leomon Technology is a professional manufacturer of air source heat pumps. We have more than 20 years of experience in the production of heat pumps. Reliable quality. If you need a cold climate heat pump, please feel free to contact us.