Heat Pumps

Heat pumps are heating and cooling systems that operate by transferring heat from one location to another. They are designed to extract heat from indoor or outdoor air and provide cooling or heating to your home.

There are a few factors to consider when purchasing a heat pump:

  • The type of system available
  • Your existing system
  • Limitations due to Saskatchewan's climate
  • How to prepare your home for installation

Types of Heat Pump Systems

Hybrid Heating

Hybrid heating can be a more reliable and economical option for the Saskatchewan climate compared to an all electric system. It relies on an electric air source heat pump during moderate temperatures, and on a supplemental heating system such as a natural gas furnace when temperatures drop. These heating systems cannot operate at the same time. Once the heat pump reaches its temperature shutoff point, the furnace will operate on its own to produce heat. Your contractor can help determine when the system should switch over to the supplementary heat source. 

Gas Heat Pumps

Natural gas heat pumps for residential homes are now available. This type of system can function as a standalone heating system without the need for supplemental heating.

Learn more about gas heat pumps from the manufacturer. 

Annual Costs and Emissions Comparison 

According to the table below, a 95% furnace is the best heating option in terms of emissions reduction and annual cost savings. When considering the lifetime emissions and energy consumption, a hybrid heating system paired with a high-efficiency natural gas furnace can outperform an electric forced air heating system. 

Heating System

Annual GHG Emissions* (Tonnes CO2e)

Annual Heating Costs* ($)

95% AFUE Natural Gas Furnace



95% AFUE Natural Gas Furnace + Cold Climate Air Source Heat Pump



Electric Resistance Baseboard/Central + Cold Climate Air Source Heat Pump



The emissions and costs calculated are based on the 2023 energy rates and carbon intensity, and the following assumptions:
1. Heat pump operates above -25°C.  
2. Based on a 1980 2-Story detached home size with an annual heating load of 118 GJ. 
3. Energy costs include all-in with taxes as they are directly correlated to usage.  
4. Carbon tax is not included: Saskatchewan to Provide Families with Relief from Federal Carbon Tax in New Year | News and Media | Government of Saskatchewan
5. Annual costs are based on current residential rates.  

Preparing Your Home for Hybrid Heating 

Before installing a heat pump it is best to consult with a professional to assess the best option for your home or building. Other factors to consider before installing a heat pump include:

  • Building envelope – tighten up your home by adding insulation and air sealing to help maximize energy savings and increase comfort. 

  • Ductwork – consult with your local Network Member or licensed contractor to ensure the current ductwork is suitable for a heat pump.

  • Thermostat – upgrading to a smart thermostat helps optimize the operation of your heat pump and has many benefits, such as controlling the temperature remotely and energy saving settings. 

  • Electrical panel – it is important to check with your Network Member or licensed contractor that a heat pump can work with your current electrical panel.

While hybrid heating may provide energy savings, the extent of the benefits will vary based on individual circumstances. With any heating and cooling system, proper maintenance and operation of the system is the best way to help maximize the overall energy efficiency. 

Ways to Save