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Heat pumps are very efficient, and climate friendly heating systems that are used to heat the home.In Canada, air-to-water heat pumps are an alternative to the more common air-to-air heat pumps.

Unlike an air-to-air heat pump, an air-to-water heat pump does not use forced air to heat the home. Instead, this type of system uses a hydronic distribution system to heat the home with a series of radiators or in-floor heating, much like a boiler does.

They work by compressing and expanding refrigerant to transfer heat from the outside air to water, which is pumped through the system of hydronic radiators.

Air-to-water heat pumps are a good option for homeowners who want the comfort of radiant heating without the greenhouse gas emissions associated with using an oil or gas boiler.

Did you see a building science or energy efficiency term you did not understand? Check out our glossary.