A man in a blue t-shirt installs a heat pump on a beige wall.

Photo Credit: Ryan Benyi / This Old House

A Machine that Keeps Your Summer Cool and Your Winter Warm

It's an air conditioner that also works in reverse

And the government will even give you money to install one

The Great Heatwave of 2021 is over, but you won’t forget how sweaty you were. Especially if you were one of the 3 million people in BC who don’t have an air conditioner.

But did you know there’s a machine that will keep you cool in a heat wave and heat your house in the winter?

They’re called heat pumps.

I know. It’s a stupid name. But they’re actually really useful.

When it’s hot outside, they work the same as an air conditioner. But in the winter, they just take heat from outside and transfer it inside. They even work when it’s below freezing, though that doesn’t happen too often on the Island.

The cool thing about heat pumps (sorry, that was a terrible joke) is that they’re really energy efficient. They don’t make their own heat, so they don’t use much electricity.

Best of all people who have a heat pump in their house pay way less for hydro in the winter.

They’re also cleaner than oil furnaces and baseboards.

That’s why the BC government is giving people money to install them in their homes. They don’t make air pollution like oil furnaces, and they’re good for the climate.

You can get a rebate of $1,000–$3,000 if you put one in your house. You can even call someone who will answer all your questions for no charge: 1-844-881-9790. It might be the most useful free advice you ever get.