Heat pumps: The future of home comfort

To state the obvious, Canada’s winters are cold. Some enjoy it, others just accept it. As an immigrant to Canada, I definitely fall into the latter camp. Regardless of which side you’re on, in mid-winter, we all want a warm and comfortable home. Many of us burn fossil fuels like natural gas in our furnaces to achieve those toasty temperatures. Gas furnaces have been around for a long time, and since natural gas is accessible and available at low rates, it’s the primary choice for residential heating.

Sadly, these traditional heating methods leave a huge carbon footprint. In fact, a very high percentage of Canada’s emissions come from burning fossil fuels. Thanks to forced air furnaces, our residential sector is one of the greatest contributors to environmental damage. We’re all concerned about the emissions coming from vehicles, but many Canadians don’t realize that our homes are silent contributors.

There are many ways to reduce carbon emissions, but the focus of this article will be the electrification of home heating. As more and more electricity is pulled from renewable sources, green electricity is becoming more accessible than green fossil fuel.

One alternative/option is a heat pump.

What’s a heat pump?

A heat pump is an efficient heating and cooling system. Unlike furnaces, heat pumps do not generate heat. Instead, they move it from one place to another. In winter, heat pumps extract heat from the cold outside air and bring it into your warm house. During summer, it moves heat from your cool indoor air into the warm outdoors. You could describe a heat pumps as an air conditioner that can also operate in reverse.  There are several different types of heat pumps available in the market: air source, water source, geothermal, and hybrid.

Heat pump electronics and key components

In the heart of the heat pump, one will find the compressor, transformers, safety sensors, valves, motor, wire harnesses, and sensing devices. These all play a crucial role in the operation of the heat pump.

The operation and control of the heat pump is typically handled by a main control board that’s also inside the unit. The control board is the “brain” of the heat pump. It controls all aspects of the heat pump operation and communicates with the main thermostat. Since the heat pump unit is typically mounted behind a wall or in an isolated area of the premise, a device is required to allow the user to control the heat pump. This is usually a thermostat mounted on a wall in a living area which is designed to allow the user to set the desired temperature for their home.

There are different types of thermostats in the market: non-programmable, programmable and Smart. Smart thermostats are very popular these days. They not only allow the user to set sophisticated schedules, but also provide the ability to control the HVAC system from a smartphone – even when they are away from home.

Avnan’s Advantage

Avnan has 25 years of experience designing and manufacturing electronic controls. Our proven development process allows us to achieve the functionality, quality, and cost requirements of any project. We have a seasoned team of qualified engineers and technical designers to see your product through, from concept to delivery, following this proven, industry-standard gated development process. This allows OEMs to concentrate on their core competencies. Our customers also leverage Avnan’s international presence and flexible supply chain options to mitigate tariff concerns and shorten lead times through our stocking programs.

We work with our existing heat pump customers to find ways to bring even more value to the relationship. If you are a heat pump manufacturer and never worked with us before, please reach out and learn how Avnan can add value to your product offerings with our reference design blocks.

In these challenging times, let Avnan show you how we can make things easier for you, and safer for the environment.

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