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The Decarbonization Gold Rush: Canadians Embrace New Air and Water Heating Options

Sponsored by:
Sponsored by:

Ed Carney

President, Kilmer

Johan Martensson

President, Transom

Designed for Canada’s harsh climates, new air-source heat pump water heaters offer Canadian buildings the chance to maximize efficiency, while considering environmental impact.

We all want to be better corporate citizens. Choosing to prioritize decarbonization and electrification is one of the most effective ways Canadians can play a role in helping reach Canada’s net-zero goal. Shifting from traditional gas-burning heating systems to water or air-source heat pump water systems, which use electricity, is one simple way to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, without compromising efficiency.  

Ed Carney, President of Kilmer Environmental, and Johan Martensson, President of Transom understand this better than most, having worked in the HVAC industry for over 30 years. For both, the shift from gas-burning devices to heat pump systems has gained recent traction as clients begin to better understand the benefits of swapping to energy-efficient devices.  

What impact are decarbonization and electrification having on the HVAC industry? 

Ed: The main heating source for much of Ontario is natural gas, but when you burn natural gas, you’re creating CO2. By moving to an electric device, assuming your electric supply is coming from non-fossil fuel burning sources – like air – it’s a simple but effective way to cut down on CO2 emissions.  

What is an air-source heat pump system? 

Johan: An air-source heat pump extracts heat (or energy) from the cold air outside, and transfers it inside a building, using electricity to increase the temperature of the heat extracted.  Despite the name, heat pumps can also be used to cool air.  

Ed: A heat pump is essentially a refrigeration loop, recycling refrigerant inside the unit. As a result, they improve efficiency even in Canada’s cold climate. For gas-burning systems, a Coefficient of Performance (COP) of one (100 per cent) is considered maximum efficiency. With a refrigeration compressor system, you can see COPs closer to three and four, which means for every one unit of energy you generate, you’re taking two or three ‘for free’ from the environment you’re in. This is how they play a role in solving the CO2 crisis. 

Why make the switch from a gas-burning to heat pump system?

Ed: It’s a total reduction in energy, in a good way! They help reduce energy consumption and are cheaper and more efficient to operate long-term. 

Johan: It’s the gold rush of decarbonization. Everyone is trying to understand how to get more out of their systems and increase efficiency while contributing to a better environment. They are also fairly easy and cheap to install overall, especially in a commercial setting. Those who are embracing this technology are industry leaders; they want to be on the cutting edge, and they want their building portfolios to be up to date. 

What about Canada’s cold winters?

Johan: Most hours — even in winter — are spent in what we consider to be ‘warmer’ temperatures. For example, if it’s above -23 °C, while that may feel cold to the average person, it’s not cold for an air-source heat pump. New systems, like the ones created by Transom, have embraced new technology. They are designed for Canadian winters and operating in these cold climates — it’s just considered ‘normal’ now. 

To learn more about Air-Source Heat Pump Water Heaters, and how your building can capitalize on switching systems, visit

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