# What is the Cost to Operate a Heat Pump in Nova Scotia?

The cost to operate a ductless mini split heat pump in Nova Scotia varies from home to home and winter to winter. However, it is possible to create an example situation, which we’ll do in this post, to illustrate what you might pay per month in a given winter.

During ideal outdoor operating temperatures (-5 to -10 degrees) a heat pump will run 60-70% of the time to keep a properly sized room at around 20 degrees.

So based on this number we can quickly calculate how much it will cost per day to run this heat pump.

We’re going to get a bit mathematical here, but stay with me the final number will make sense.

First, we need to figure out how many watt hours that heat pump is going to be using per day.

We can figure this out by taking 24 hours in the day and multiplying it by the 60% of the time the unit is on.

24 hours x 60% = 14.4 hours

Next, if we know the unit draws an average of 960 watts then we can figure out how many watt hours the heat pump uses during those 14.4 hours.

14.4 hours x 960 watts = 13,824 watt/hours

Next, we’ll convert those watt-hours to kilowatt-hours because that’s what Nova Scotia Power charges us by on our bill. To get that number we divide the watt hours by 1000 because there’s 1000 watt/hours in 1 Kilowatt/hour (KwH).

13,824 watt/hours / 1000 = 13.824 KwH

Finally, we’ll multiply that number of KwH by the current rate as of the writing of this post Nova Scotia Power is charging it’s customers.

Currently as of Feb 2015 the rate is 14.947 cents.

13.824 Kkw x \$0.14947 = \$2.07 per day

Assuming a month has 30 days that’s \$62.10 per month.

And that’s how we figure out what a heat pump will cost you to run each month.

What Factors Can Affect Cost to Run a Heat Pump?

There are four factors that can increase or decrease the cost to run a ductless heat pump in Nova Scotia. They are:

• Heat loss from your room/home
• Size of room/floor in your home
• What temperature you want your room set to
• Outdoor temperature

Heat Loss affects Cost to Run a Heat Pump

When we said above that a heat pump runs an average of 60-70% of the time at -5 to -10 degrees that’s because the other 30-40% of the time your home is cozy warm.

If for instance, your home has poor insulation, a lot of drafts or old windows then your home is going to cool down much faster than a home with newer windows, no drafts and lots of insulation.

The amount of heat your home loses will increase or decrease the cost for you to run a heat pump in your home.

Size of Area Affects Cost to Run a Heat Pump

If you have a smaller area to heat than I do then it’s going to cost you less (everything else equal) to run that unit. Why? Because my room will get to temperature faster than yours will be based on the size.

An important point to note here. If the heat pump is not sized properly and then the opposite can be true here. Too small a unit is going to have to run constantly to get a room to temperature.

Temperature Set for Your Room Affects Cost to Run

The target temperature of your room will affect the cost. If you want the room to reach a higher temperature than the heat pump will need to run longer to reach temp. If you are aiming for a lower temperature than the opposite is true and you will likely pay less.

Outdoor Temperature

The final factor that affects the cost to run a heat pump is the outdoor temperature. In our video and example above we mention a temperature range of -5 to -10. As it gets colder outside two things happen.

1. Your home loses heat more quickly and requires the heat pump to come on more frequently to keep the indoor temperature
2. The heat pump has to work harder as it gets colder to extract heat from the outdoor ambient temperature

In all fairness, we don’t often have that many days below -10 here in Nova Scotia. However, it’s important to note that when it does dip down below – 18 to -20 it can be worth while turning on your backup heating source to supplement the heat pump.

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