Heat Pumps

Island Futures has been replacing baseboard heaters with a heat pump, something which has the potential to save the average Gabriola homeowner who heats (only) with electricity an estimated 1100 kWh or $1000 per year. An interesting aspect of this is that a bulk purchase arrangement has been set up whereby Gabriolans can acquire heat pumps at a discount off retail in return for a $200 donation to SG. To date (September 2017) over 525 heat pumps have been installed under this social enterprise. To find out more about this initiative contact info@islandfutures.ca.

George and Kit Santo (above) purchased Heat Pump # 400

Helpful documents: 12RLS2 Recommended Settings12RLS3 Recommended SettingsHeat Pump Owners Guide 2017.

Contact Ben for servicing the heat pump or use this do it yourself checklist: Sustainable Gabriola Heat Pump Service Checklist




MODE – Don’t set this to ‘Auto’ – will switch back and forth between heating and cooling and use more energy

FAN – Don’t use super quiet because it makes the unit inefficient. The auto setting picks the most efficient speed for you.

CLEAN FILTERS – Do this every 3 – 4 months. This is the most common reason you are not getting enough heat from the heat pump. Remove and vacuum (don’t wash) filters.

ECONOMY BUTTON – It won’t save you money it just makes less heat.

ENERGY SAVING SENSOR – This is made for motels who have wasteful customers. It detects whether someone is in the room. You don’t need this.

LOW NOISE – This is for condos. It makes the unit run at 10% efficiency. You don’t need this.

TIMERS – These will complicate your life. Just turn it down at night and up in the morning.

MIN HEAT – Useful if you are away. Keeps your pipes from freezing. Reset by turning the unit off and then on and wait for it to reboot.

POWER OUTAGE: After a power outage the unit will return to the settings that were in place before the outage.

MAINTENANCE – it is all about airflow in both the indoor and outdoor units. The cleaner the better.

WATER – The outdoor unit will drop out about a gallon of water a day when in operation. This is normal.

DEFROST – At 4c and below the outdoor unit will freeze. The heat pump temporarily stops working so it can use the heat to defrost (takes around 10 mins). When it is defrosting then lights flash and louvers move – it is OK. You can override the defrost by turning the unit off and on – Please Don’t! – you will wreck the heat pump