According to NZ Herald, New Zealanders have been installing cheap air conditioning brands into their home and it never lasts! It does not keep you warm and it drives the cost up the roof. So here is a guide to assist you in making the best decisions when purchasing a heat pump for your home during this chilly season.

What is a heat pump?
A heat pump is a heat transferring device. Warmth transfers from one coil on the outside through the other on the inside of your home. This makes heat pumps energy efficient as it does not require heating elements. Heat pumps can also double as cooler for your home during those summer days.

What is the cost of a heat pump?
A heat pump’s cost varies depending on factors such as the size and model. As technology advances, there is a wider range of models with different new features to choose from. Therefore it is always good to do some research beforehand to find the one that suits your needs. After all it is a long term investment.

Once a heat pump is purchased, you would have to also consider the cost for installing and the cost for it to run.

Factors to consider
Below are some factors to keep in mind when purchasing a heat pump.

  • Size: Consider the size of the room where the heat pump will live.
    When it is too small, it consumes much more energy to fit the room’s capacity and to maintain the temperature of the room. This will eventually increase your billing cost, which is not ideal. Similarly, when it is too big, the heat pump will constantly turn off and on to keep the room’s temperature at the desired temperature.If you are unsure the right system to suit your room sizes, it is best to consult with an expert first
  • Noise: If you value your beauty sleep and want to reduce noise pollution, this is a factor you will have to consider.
    Noise occurs due to the air hitting against the grille when the air is carried out through the pump. With larger heat pumps, they generally have higher noise levels than smaller ones as more air moves through the pump. However, nowadays modern heat pumps do not make as much noise as it used to.
  • Purify: New Zealand have one of the highest levels of asthmatic residents.
    If you suffer from dust allergies or asthma, it is recommended that you choose a heat pump with an air purification feature. One way to identify if the heat pump is asthma and allergy friendly, check if it is certified by the Asthma and Respiratory Foundation NZ.

Installation
There are a couple of things to keep in mind when planning the location for your heat pump to ensure that it operates efficiently.

First of all, the installation process requires electrical work. If you have multiple heat pumps that require piping to connect them together, it will take up longer time to complete the installation, whereas a heat pump or two may only require a couple of hours to set up.

Second, a good understanding of your house plan and condition will help you in purchasing a heat pump. For instance, if your house has poor insulation, it will need larger heat pumps to accommodate for the quick heat loss which will also increase the billing cost.

Lastly is to identify where you would like to have the heat pump installed. Generally, they are installed high up on the walls to increase coverage and efficiency. Another common and popular place is in a hallway facing rooms, heat will be able to flow through the rooms efficiently without having to install a heat pump into each individual room. However, if your wall is covered with shelves, artwork, etc. you can consider placing the heat pumps below, on floor level. Consider installing a duct heat pump which is hidden away from the main living area and it allows heat to travel evenly around the house through ceiling or floor ducts. Keep in mind that duct heat pumps will require a large space for installation and it is usually done during the construction of your home or you can opt to have it retrofitted.

Maintenance
What you can do to maintain the heat pumps by yourself is to occasionally check the filters for dusts which you can easily clean with a vacuum or replace them if damaged. Another good practice is to keep the outdoor coil and unit clean of any obstacles such as rubbish, ice, or snow. The heat pumps should also be clear of any growing shrubs to improve airflow. Other than that, the condensate pan should be clean and drained.

If you have any difficulty or issues which you do not have the technical skills for, contact a professional technician to assist you.

Environmental Impact
It is important to consider your carbon footprint and the impact it has on the environment. These are a couple of energy efficiency measurements you can look for when you are purchasing a heat pump.

  • MEPS: Minimum Energy Performance
    All New Zealand air conditioning and heat pumps have to meet the Minimum Energy Performance in order to be sold.
  • Energy Rating Label: Energy efficiency ratings
    These ratings will help you identify which product is more energy efficient. With more Energy Stars, it means your impact on the environment will be much lesser. Besides, it helps you save on costs as it uses minimal energy to operate.
  • Running Cost Calculator is a great way to compare how different products’ energy ratings affect your running costs.

Specialist
If any of these are too confusing, do not worry! You can always consult with an expert for advice. Get in touch with us today!