Our Guide to Heat Pumps

Are You Looking to Buy a Heat Pump?

With heat pumps now being one of the most popular methods of heating, demand has increased and the range available has grown.  With so many options and sizes to choose from, it can be a daunting task to choose the right heat pump for your home.

  • Should you get a high wall, floor mounted or ceiling mounted heat pump?
  • What size heat pump do you need?

That is where a heat pump specialist like Valiant Electrical and Heat Pumps can help.  With a no obligation quote, they will assess your home and help you choose the right heating solution so you can live in a warm, cozy more energy efficient home.

 

How are Heat Pumps More Energy Efficient?

The main advantage of heat pumps over other heating solutions is that they offer a very efficient form of heat – they are the most energy efficient method of using electricity to heat or cool your home.  The heating output of a heat pump is 2-4 times the energy input.

But energy efficiency isn’t just about the pump. You also need to consider the room in which it will be installed. Is the room well insulated? If so, the pump will require less energy to operate, leading to greater energy efficiency.

You can also achieve greater efficiency by using the heat pump wisely. If you set your heat pump at the highest heat setting to heat your house quickly then this uses a lot of energy. It’s often more efficient to set the pump at a constant desired heat and let the room heat up gradually.

Heat pumps can heat a room quickly, so it’s unnecessary to leave them running all day. Also keep in mind that bedrooms can run slightly cooler than main living areas.

When purchasing a heat pump have a look for the EECA star rating.  EECA is New Zealand’s government agency that works to improve the energy efficiency of our homes. They have implemented a star rating system for appliances to help consumers make good energy choices. The more stars, the more energy efficient an electrical appliance.

 

How Does a Heat Pump Work?

A heat pump is like a reverse refrigerator.  Two coils, one inside your home and one outside, draw warmth from the outside air and transfer it into your house. Because a heat pump doesn’t require heating elements it is energy efficient to run.

It can also be used to cool your house during summer.

 

What Size Heat Pump Do I Need?

 

The size of heat pump you require depends mostly on the size of the room you want to heat. If you buy a heat pump that is too small, it may struggle to keep the room at the required temperature, and will use more energy to do so. Too large, and the heat pump will need to cycle on and off to keep the temperature in the desired range. 

 

How Much Does a Heat Pump Cost?

There are various aspects to consider when it comes to price. The price of the installed unit, the ongoing running costs and the area you wish to heat.

Prices vary depending on the size and style of the heat pump you need, whether you want high wall, floor mounted or ceiling mounted heat pump.

 

Factors that may effect the cost of a heat pump:

  • the size of heat pump system
  • the type of wiring i.e. local circuit or switchboard
  • the length of pipe run connecting both the indoor and outdoor units
  • the length of capping needed to cover pipes in order to protect them from the elements

 

Heat Pump Installation

Heat pumps can be installed in most rooms however they do need to be located correctly in order to perform well. Heat pumps also require electrical work which needs to be undertaken by a registered electrician.  A heat pump expert like Valiant Electrical and Heat Pumps offers a full end to end service through either providing and installing a suitable heat pump, to installing a pre-purchased one. Following installation, you will receive an electrical code of compliance. This certificate confirms that the wiring of your heat pump meets New Zealand’s current safety standards.

 

Types of Installs

A back-to-back installation is where the heat pump units are located on either side of the same wall and can be installed within hours.   A more complex installation, where piping is needed to connect the units can take longer.

The location of the heat pump can make a big difference in terms of effectiveness and aesthetics. It’s best not to put them close to any area where people are sitting, such as directly facing a couch, as the air flow, whilst gentle, may be annoying. High wall heat pumps are usually chosen for this reason.

Floor units are a good option when wall space is at a premium or not available, such as a bedroom or study that may have artwork, planners and shelves covering the walls.

If the heat pump is installed facing a hallway, or doors to other rooms, you may benefit from heat flowing into those rooms. You could also opt for a ducted heat pump which will act like a central heating system flowing air via ceiling ducts throughout the house. This is probably the least intrusive option, with the system hidden away from site.

 

Other Considerations

Outdoor conditions will also affect your heat pump selection. Some areas in New Zealand experience sub-zero temperatures which require larger heat pumps than temperate regions.

Also consider noise levels. Modern inverter heat pumps are very quiet. The main source of noise in a heat pump comes from the air impinging on the grille as it is forced out of the unit, however this air noise is marginally higher than ambient background noise. An advisor can help you select the quietest units.

 

Maintaining A Heat Pump

A heat pump doesn’t require much looking after, but there are a few tasks required in order to keep it running at maximum efficiency.

  • Check the air filters. Remove the dust regularly with a vacuum.
  • Keep your outdoor unit clear of snow, ice, and rubbish.
  • Keep shrubs pruned back from all sides of the heat pump to allow for proper airflow.
  • Have your heat pump serviced by a trained technician in accordance with manufacturer’s specifications

 

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