Not only is The Rotary Health Centre we built at Camp Kawartha in 2020/21 a carbon-storing building, it’s operational emissions (heating and cooling) are also extremely low thanks to the SANDEN high-efficiency climate-friendly heat pump. HATS OFF to Camp Kawartha for making the best possible choice amid the ongoing climate crisis for space and domestic hot water heating. Chris Magwood, who suggested the Sanden (thank you, Chris!), says this may be the first one installed in Eastern Canada. The Sanden uses CO2— a benign refrigerant compared to the highly potent hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) used in most heat pumps, air conditioners and refrigerators.

Sanden Hot Water Tank & Hydronic Heating System

Project Drawdown, the world’s leading resource for climate solutions, lists alternative refrigerants in its top 10! They write that HFCs “have 1,000 to 9,000 times greater capacity to warm the atmosphere than carbon dioxide” ( 

Right now it’s 30 degrees Celsius, again, and we can’t even think about space heating but come winter, the Sanden will take heat from the outside air, top it up to a set amount and distribute it through the earthen floors hydronically. Nothing short of magic both in terms of how that happens and how it’s going to feel on cold feet. 

Thank you, Neal McColl, of McColls Residential HVAC, for designing the system (pro-bono for Camp Kawartha!) and to Brian of Norris Heating and crew (Ricky and Aaron) for installing this very alternative system without any guff about how gas is better.