1How can a heat pump be cheaper to run than an electric heater?
Electric heaters ‘convert’ electric energy to heat energy and are thereby limited by the amount of electricity used. A heat pump has no such limitation and can transfer three to four times the heat from outside air than can be ‘converted’ from the electricity it uses. A heat pump uses electricity to ‘transfer’ heat by turing the compressor and the fans only, with the refrigerant creating the heating or cooling. It takes the latent heat from the outside and transfers it inside. Its just like your fridge extracts heat to keep your food cold.
2How environmentally sound are heat pumps?
Heat pumps utilise far less electricity than traditional electric heating, with the added advantage of electrcity in New Zealand being a renewable resource generated from water or wind. Heat pumps do not generate any smog or other pollutants, in fact they remove them from the inside of your home or office. Most heat pumps now use the R410A refrigerant. This is significantly more environmentally friendly than the older refrigerants previously used, with strict regulations on capture and disposal.
3Do heat pumps cause stuffiness?
No, unlike fires and glowing electrical elements, heat pumps don’t burn oxygen.
4How much does it cost to run a heat pump?
This depends on the amount of heating required. Assume 6Kw of heating is needed; electric heating is normally 100% efficient, so for 6Kw of heating you pay for 6Kw of electric energy. Heat pumps transfer around three to four times more heat on average, meaning efficiencies of 300% to 400%. In other words, to produce 6kW of heating, a heat pump would only require about 2kW of electrical energy.
5What size heat pump will I need for my home?
Every home is as individual as its owner. The key to selecting the right heat pump for your home is accurate estimation of the heat that will need to be transferred into your home in winter for heating, and out of your home in summer for cooling. A ‘rule of thumb’ would be 45 to 60 watts per cubic square meter, depending on how new the home is, and other variable factors including those mentioned below. Ideally this assessment is carried out by experienced and qualified specialists such as Gavin Lowe Energy Solutions.
6What factors will affect the size of heat pumps suitable for my home?
The amount of heating needed will depend on the potential for heat loss through walls, windows and roofs. To minimise this loss, good insulation is recommended. By insulating first, the size of heat pump selected will be generally smaller and therefore cheaper to run. The aspect of the home is also an important factor as north facing rooms are generally warmer and require less heating.
7How do I decide what type of heat pump I need?
Our sales engineers base their recommendations on the requirements of the area in which the heat pump is to be installed, and on your personal preferences and budget. Requirements of the area take into account the room size, the height of the ceiling, the type of windows & glazing, the age of house, how it’s insulated and the ability to run pipe work overhead, under floor and on the exterior. Positioning of the outdoor condensing unit takes into account space, airflow, proximity to fences, proximity to neighbours and ways of fixing the unit. There are several styles and types of heat pumps, many kilowatt sizes and all sorts of features. Some models are better suited than others to a given situation and all of these aspects, combined with the requirements of the area, play a part in our recommendations. If there’s a style or feature you like, or you have a particular preference for a particular brand, be sure to let us know when we visit your home to prepare our recommendations and quotation. We’ll aim to accommodate your preferences wherever possible, into a system that will deliver the heating and cooling you need.
8Do heat pumps take up a lot of room?
No, they’re designed to be unobtrusive in their size and style, with low noise levels. There are various types of heat pumps Some can be fitted into existing fireplaces or be recessed into walls. Others can be mounted on walls close to the ceiling. Ducted split systems can be hidden in the ceiling. You can see, feel and hear various heat pumps in action at our showroom.
9How big is the outdoor unit and where should it go?
Outdoor units vary in size, but most are about the size of a large suitcase. The outdoor unit is normally located in a position that is unobtrusive, depending on the ability to run pipe work between the indoor and outdoor units. A ‘back to back’ installation, if possible, means costs are kept to a minimum.
10How much will it cost to buy and install a heat pump?
Because each home is unique, the installed cost of a heat pump is different for each home and will depend on the size and type of heat pump. A Hi-wall Inverter single system, suitable for a small area or bedroom, can start from around $2,300.00 for a 3kW unit including installation. A larger open plan living area or a rumpus room will require a single split system of between 5kW and 9kW, with prices starting from $2,800.00. Specials are available from time to time so it is always worth asking about these options.
11Are heat pumps noisy?
No, in most cases they are very quiet. The source of noise in a typical Heat Pump is air impinging on the grille as it is forced out of the unit. Air noise is marginally higher than ambient background noise and is usually not distracting.
12How reliable are heat pumps?
Heat pumps are very reliable – particularly the brands we recommend: Daikin, Mitsubishi and Panasonic. They use the same process as a domestic refrigerator and have the same level of dependability and life expectancy.
13How do I operate a heat pump?
Heat pumps are operated with an infrared remote control that lets you control all features such as On/Off, the temperature, fan speeds, the mode (such as ‘heat’ and ‘cool’) and the timer. Heat pumps can be programmed to turn on when you’re away from home or overnight, ensuring a warm or cool room on your return.
14How long do they take to install?
An experienced heat pump installer will usually take around 6 hours to install a back-to-back system. More complex installations including several single split systems, ducted systems and multi systems take longer.
15Do heat pumps need maintenance?
The maintenance a home heat pump needs is the cleaning of the indoor air filters, which should be done approximately every 6-8 weeks. This is an easy task which you can do yourself, instructions can be found in the manufacturer’s manual which comes with your new heat pump. We also reccomend a Maintenance service check to be carried out every 2 years to fully service the inside of the unit to ensure it runs efficiently.