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By now everyone has heard about the recent Financial Post article concerning the 297% increase in the price of propane and its potential to climb even higher. For some, this may mean a more expensive bbq tank fill-up, but for those who heat their homes with propane, this is devastating news. Thousands of homes in Eastern Ontario rely on propane to heat their homes, particularly those in rural communities where natural gas is not an option.

Some people might be seeking alternatives to propane heating, investing in new equipment rather than sending hundreds of dollars per month in heating fuel right out the window. In recent years there has been a great deal of innovation in the HVAC industry, producing smart options, even in areas where low-cost natural gas heating is unavailable.

One recent innovation in the HVAC industry is the cold-climate heat pump.

Previously, heat pumps were limited to areas with mild temperatures, delivering reliable air conditioning, but only a modest amount of heat. In Eastern Ontario, traditional heat pumps are great in the spring and the fall, slashing electrical bills by as much as 60%, but our winter weather is too cold for them to operate efficiently.

Modern cold-climate heat pumps are an excellent solution for those in our region to reduce reliance on expensive propane. Solving the problem of extracting heat from cold air, a cold climate heat pump is an economical heating solution for temperatures as low as -25°C. In short, your cold-weather heat pump becomes your primary heating and cooling source, with your existing propane system becoming your backup to be used only when the temperatures drop very low.

Heat pumps designed for use in colder areas such as Eastern Ontario are fairly new, only catching on in the last few years. A cost-saving alternative to fossil fuels and a clean energy source, cold-weather heat pumps are especially cost-effective in regions not served by natural gas. Factor in the skyrocketing price of propane, and making the switch becomes an even better idea.

Cold climate heat pumps can be ducted and ductless solutions designed to operate in very low outside temperatures. Efficiently heating down to -25°C or below before any supplementary heating is required, they are a great option for Ontario winters. Using advanced technologies that extract heat from cold air, cold climate heat pumps are an effective and efficient way to reduce your reliance on propane and lower your heating costs. Through control strategies that use multiple stages or variable speeds and more efficient compressor design, this new generation of heat pumps is a great solution for homes facing astronomical heating bills. Through a combination of efficient equipment and the price difference between electric and propane, the potential savings offered by cold weather heat pumps can be significant.

Another alternative to propane heating is Geothermal heating.

how geothermal heating works
Image courtesy waterfurnace.com

Utilizing energy extracted from the earth’s core, these systems can dependably distribute both hot and cold air all year long. While the upfront costs of these systems are higher than other options, geothermal offers significant environmental benefits and will pay for itself over time in fuel costs. Geothermal’s increased efficiency and lower consumption of electricity than conventional systems make them a more cost-effective option in the long run.

If the cost of propane is getting you down, consider making the switch to a new system. You’ll not only reduce your fossil fuel consumption, but you’ll save a bundle over the long run. Each home’s needs are different from the next, and Atel Air would be happy to come by and take a look, and offer you a no-obligation estimate on a new geothermal or cold-climate heat pump HVAC system, making it easy to leave propane behind.

Request a free estimate