Heat Pump Chronicles Vol 5

This is the fifth in a series of posts on our journey to navigate government grants and loans available for home energy retrofits and to replace our natural gas furnace with a cold-climate heat pump. Click here to see all articles in the series.

My wife Dayle and I have been living with our Mitsubishi Zuba cold-climate heat pump for over three months now and are still very pleased with its performance. We survived last week, through several of the winter’s coldest days, minus 16 degrees Celsius at night, minus 22 with wind-chill.

Overall our house has been more comfortable, mostly because the air isn’t as dry as was the case with our previous natural gas furnace. Scientifically, I’m not sure why that is the case. We are still heating the air and adding water through the same humidifier. But during last year’s cold snap, our humidity dropped to about 30%, whereas this year it’s been hovering around 50%. That means no static cling and no painful shock as you touch a light switch. The absence of these things is noticeable. It also means that we’ve been able to lower the thermostat temperature by a full degree without loss of comfort.

Not that the entire experience since installation has been perfect. There are a few things about the process that you should be aware of should you decide to embark on a similar project. I want to start with the energy audit process for that is key to accessing government grants and loans.

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2023, Year in Review

BEA Youth Council

Twelve months ago we optimistically embraced 2023 as the post COVID year, the end of mask mandates and the beginning for economic recovery and environmental optimism. In many respects 2023 did not live up to expectations. Although the markets rebounded of late, inflation and housing affordability remain top issues for many Canadians.

Environmentally we degraded into scandal surrounding the Greenbelt, and carbon pricing carve-outs, while the Supreme Court ruled against the Federal Impact Assessment Act and emboldened Provinces to become even more aggressive in their challenge against Canada’s plans for clean fuel standards and an emissions cap on the oil and gas industry. All of this in a year of unprecedented environmental disasters including floods on both coasts and raging forest fires from New Brunswick to B.C. Continuing conflicts in many parts of the world including Ukraine and, most recently, the middle east, have added significantly to our sense of angst.

In that context, your Brampton Environmental Alliance team worked to maintain positive focus on local environmental issues that matter to Brampton residents and to take actions to move Brampton closer to being a sustainable community. The actions of the BEA fall into four categories, Advocacy, Events, Education/Resources and Collaboration/Networking. Looking back on 2023, the BEA has had a successful year in each of these categories. Let’s review a few of the highlights.

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