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Air-source heat pumps

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Buy ENERGY STAR® to save you money!

An ENERGY STAR certified air-source heat pump uses 5% less energy, on average, than a standard model. Air-source heat pumps that have earned the ENERGY STAR Most Efficient designation are the best of the best – they’ll save you even more energy. Saving energy saves money and reduces your carbon footprint.

Air-source heat pumps use the difference between outdoor air temperatures and indoor air temperatures to cool and heat your home. Many homes in moderate climates can rely on these products to heat or cool their homes year-round; however, in colder climates a supplementary heating source is usually needed. Purchasing a “cold-climate” heat pump can help reduce reliance on this supplementary heating source.

Start your research using the searchable product lists for ENERGY STAR air source heat pumps to find and compare product models.


Take control of your energy consumption and expenses through your thermostat. Both conventional and programmable thermostats are available for heat pumps.

Conventional thermostats for heat pumps

Most home heat pumps have an indoor thermostat that the installer sets to the desired temperature. From then on, the unit automatically turns the heat pump on or off to heat or cool the home. It also turns on supplementary heating if it is needed.

Heat pumps may also have outdoor thermostats. There are two types. The first selects the appropriate heating based on outdoor temperature. The second, for an air-source heat pump, shuts off the pump when the outdoor temperature falls below a specified level.

Programmable thermostats for heat pumps

Programmable heat-pump thermostats offer better temperature control than conventional thermostats. They let you set temperatures for specific time periods, helping to reduce energy waste and costs. They also eliminate the need for a second, outdoor thermostat.

Helpful tips

Air-source heat pumps
  • When buying a heat pump, there are two ratings that will help you determine the unit’s efficiency: the Heating Seasonal Performance Factors (HSPF) is used to determine the efficiency during winter, and the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) is used for summer. In both cases the higher the number, the better the efficiency.
  • The best time to service your unit is at the end of the summer, prior to the start of the next heating season.
  • Keep your filters and coils clean. This will have a dramatic impact on the performance of your system and operating life. You usually need to do this every month, but follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the most accurate info.
  • Hire a qualified service contractor do an annual inspection of your unit.
  • Learn more in our booklet, Heating and Cooling with a Heat Pump.

What’s in a label?

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EnerGuide logo

Air-source heat pumps in Canada can have two labels:


All ENERGY STAR certified products are tested to meet strict efficiency specifications and are certified by an independent third party. They perform the same as or better than standard products without compromising performance in any way.

Read about larger units on our commercial heat pumps page.

Regulations set the energy efficiency minimum

Air-source, ground-source and water-source heat pumps are subject to Canada's Energy Efficiency Regulations, which set a minimum performance standard for their energy efficiency. Find details in the Guide to the Regulations.

The ENERGY STAR name and symbol are trademarks registered in Canada by the United States Environmental Protection Agency and are administered and promoted by Natural Resources Canada.

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