Guide to Air-Source vs. Ground-Source Heat Pumps for Canada

Heat pumps are divided into two main types:

  1. Air Source, collect heat from the outside air.
  2. Ground Source aka geothermal, gather heat from the earth below the frostline.
There’s also a third, lesser-known cousin:
  1. Water Source, which collects heat from lakes, rivers or wells.
All types of heat pumps are energy efficient and effective. They have their individual pros and cons though…

Table of Contents

Benefits of Air Source Heat Pumps

Air source heat pumps are by far the most common in Canada and they have some real benefits:

  1. Installation is simplest, and hence cheapest, for air source heat pumps.
  2. Being widespread, it’s easy to find contractors who can service them and replacement parts they need.

Benefits of Ground Source Heat Pump

Ground source heat pumps (aka geothermal) are second to air source units in numbers.

The major selling point for GSHP is that they remain steadily efficient all year round and they handle the coldest of Canadian climates well.

They get their advantages by tapping into the steady year-round temperature of the soil below the frost line. Meaning they don’t have to work extra hard on days that are particularly cold or hot — they remain highly efficient 365 days a year.


Benefits of Water Source Heat Pump

Water source heat pumps can be installed with heat-gathering loops of pipe in a lake, river or even ground water well. 

WSHP have much of the efficiency benefit of ground source heat pump but with lower installation costs as no drilling or excavation is needed.

© Heat Pump Savvy 2023. All Rights Reserved.