Why Switching from Oil Furnaces to Heat Pumps Makes Sense in Canada, and Saves You Money

Canada is a country with diverse climates and heating needs. Many Canadian households rely on oil furnaces to keep their homes warm during the cold winter months. However, oil furnaces are not only expensive to operate, but also harmful to the environment. They emit greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change and air pollution that affects human health. Moreover, oil furnaces are vulnerable to price fluctuations and supply disruptions in the global oil market.

Fortunately, there is a better alternative for home heating: heat pumps. Heat pumps are devices that use electricity to move heat from one place to another. They can work as both heaters and air conditioners, depending on the season. Heat pumps are more efficient than oil furnaces, because they do not generate heat, but transfer it. They can also provide cooling and dehumidification in the summer, improving indoor comfort and air quality.

Heat pumps are especially suitable for Canada, because they can operate in cold climates. Cold-climate heat pumps are designed to extract heat from the outside air, even when the temperature is below freezing. They can provide sufficient heating for most Canadian homes, without the need for backup heating systems. According to a federal study, switching from oil to cold-climate heat pumps can save homeowners between $1,500 and $4,700 per year on energy bills.

The benefits of heat pumps are not only economic, but also environmental and social. By replacing oil furnaces with heat pumps, homeowners can reduce their carbon footprint and help Canada meet its climate targets. Heat pumps can also reduce the dependence on oil imports and enhance the energy security of the country. Furthermore, heat pumps can create jobs and stimulate the economy, as they require installation and maintenance services.

To encourage and support homeowners to switch from oil furnaces to heat pumps, the federal government has launched a new grant program: the Oil to Heat Pump Affordability (OHPA) Program. This program is part of the Canada Greener Homes Initiative, which aims to make home energy retrofits more accessible and affordable for Canadians. The OHPA Program offers up to $5,000 for low-to-middle-income households that currently use oil as their primary source of heat. This grant can cover the costs of purchasing and installing a heat pump, upgrading the electrical system, and removing the oil tank. The grant can be combined with other existing federal, provincial, territorial, and utility programs, to provide up to $15,000 in total financial assistance.

The OHPA Program is available across Canada, but it is particularly relevant for Atlantic Canada, where a higher proportion of households use oil heating. The program is expected to help tens of thousands of households make the transition to heat pumps, and save money and energy in the process. The program is also expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 1.5 megatonnes per year, equivalent to taking 320,000 cars off the road.

The OHPA Program is now open for pre-registration through the Canada Greener Homes Initiative Portal. Homeowners who are interested in applying for the grant can check their eligibility and start their application online. The program will run until March 31, 2028, or until the funds are exhausted.

Switching from oil furnaces to heat pumps is a smart and sensible choice for Canadian homeowners. It can lower their heating costs, improve their home comfort, and protect the environment. With the help of the OHPA Program and other incentives, making the switch has never been easier or more affordable.

Contact Gary Gillis at www.beacontron.com sales@beacontron.com 289-635-3164 for more information and advice.

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