Panasonic has launched a new residential heat pump system in Canada, where heat pumps make up less than 10% of the market.
Canada is cold in the winter, because duh. So it’s not shocking that Canadians have been a bit slow to adopt heat pump technology – it’s a little nerve-wracking to spend thousands on a heating appliance you’re not familiar with if you spend months in below-freezing temperatures.
It’s also because natural gas has been the prevalent choice to date in the Great White North due to availability. More than half of all households in Canada use natural gas as their main heating source, followed by electricity at 37%.
Enter Panasonic’s just-launched ENERGY STAR-certified heat pump series, INTERIOS. The company asserts that this pump, the latest addition to the Japanese electronics giant’s Breathe Well lineup, “promises to change how Canadians affordably heat and cool their homes.”
Panasonic says that compared to traditional gas or propane systems, heat pumps offer up to 300% greater efficiency and potentially 30% energy savings.
The INTERIOS series offers “Central Heat Pumps” – an all-electric system – and “Cold Climate Central A-Coil Heat Pumps” – a hybrid system.
The Central Heat Pump is comprised of an outdoor heat pump unit and an all-electric air handler that provides year-round heating and cooling. Panasonic says the system can be fitted with an available backup heater for really cold days. But this system works to -15C (5F) without backup heat and has a coefficient of performance – the ratio of heating capacity and total power input – of 2. For perspective, NEEP requires a COP at 5F to be greater than or equal to 1.75 at maximum capacity operation to meet performance standards.
I’m intrigued by Panasonic’s bold decision to launch in a market where heat pumps have yet to establish a foothold, but it’s great that they’re doing it. I’ll be interested to see how quickly they’re adopted. Now, bring those models to the US, too, folks.
Do you own a central heat pump in Canada? Let us know how it performs in the winter in the comments below.
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