Here in New Zealand, heat pumps are easily the number one choice for heating and cooling residential homes. Not only are they cheap to run, but they are quiet, easy to maintain, and come in many different varieties.

If you’re considering buying a heat pump for your home, we can help. This short article will explain what heat pumps are, their benefits, and what to consider when choosing one. Think of this as your complete guide to heat pumps!

Think of this as your complete guide to heat pumps!

How do heat pumps work?

There are many different kinds of heat pumps, but they all work on the basic principle of heat transfer: the movement of heat from a warm area to a cooler area.

Most residential homes in New Zealand have what are called “air-source” heat pumps. These extract the warm air from the outdoors and pump it into your home via refrigerant coils similar to the ones you find behind your fridge.

In cooling mode, the process is reversed, and the warm air is pumped out of your home while the cool air is pumped in.

This means that heat pumps move heat rather than simply generate it, making them far more efficient and cost-effective than other forms of heating.

floor mounted heat pump

Benefits of Heat Pumps

Heat pumps offer several benefits over traditional heating and cooling systems, covered in our 2023 guide to heat pumps.

Energy Efficiency and Cost Savings

Heat pumps are more efficient than traditional heating and cooling systems because they don’t generate heat; they transfer it. This means they use less energy to heat or cool your home, saving you money on your energy bills.

Comfort and Convenience

Heat pumps can provide both heating and cooling, so you only need one system to keep your home comfortable year-round. They’re also quiet and can be controlled remotely, allowing you to adjust the temperature from anywhere.

Easy to maintain

Keeping your heat pump clean and free from dust and dirt is as easy as quickly dusting and wiping once a week. They still need to be professionally serviced every couple of years, but this will ensure your unit runs in optimal condition for many seasons to come.

Improved air quality

Many modern heat pumps have technology that guarantees cleaner air by removing dust, pollen, dirt, and other allergens as they pass through the unit. This highly advanced and comprehensive technology ensures improved air quality in your home, creating a healthier and safer environment for you and your family. Hence, the air you breathe is always healthy and clean.

Environmental Benefits

Because heat pumps use less energy, they also produce fewer greenhouse gas emissions, making them a better option for the environment.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Heat Pump

Choosing a heat pump is a big decision that shouldn’t be rushed. There are several factors to consider, which we outline in this guide, but for the best outcome, go to your local heat pump expert for advice.

Climate and location

The type of heat pump you choose will depend on the climate and location of your home. Air-source heat pumps work well in moderate climates, but a ground-source unit would probably be better if you’re looking for a unit for your ski chalet halfway up a mountain. Again, with decisions like this, it’s better to speak to a professional installer.

Size of the space to be heated/cooled

The size of your home will determine the size of the heat pump you need. A heat pump that’s too small won’t be able to heat or cool your house effectively, while a heat pump that’s too large will be inefficient and costly. There are also the options of different-sized units for different rooms in the house.

Insulation and window area

The level of insulation and the window area in your home significantly impacts the efficiency of your heat pump and, therefore, the type of heat pump you need to heat your home. Experts estimate up to 42% of household heat can be lost through a poorly insulated roof alone.

Budget and Cost Considerations

The initial purchase and installation of a heat pump can be expensive, but they will save you money in the long run. Consider your budget and how much you’re willing to spend upfront versus how much you’ll save over time.

mini heatpump for bedroom

How much do heat pumps cost to run, and how long will they last?

Heat pumps are easily the most cost-effective heating solution available today, costing between 5 and 15 cents per kilowatt per hour to run. Many people can heat their homes for less than a dollar a day!

Heat pumps also tend to be quite durable, especially if looked after well. With few moving parts, all it takes is a quick wipe once a week, regular filter cleans, and a maintenance check every couple of years by a professional, and your heat pump should last a long time.

What is the most cost-effective way to use a heat pump?

Keep the heat settings above 18ºC (to combat dampness and mould) but below 21ºC (to save power). Don’t set your heat pump to the maximum – it won’t heat the room any quicker but will use more energy.

Set your mode to ‘heating’ or ‘cooling’ – ‘auto’ can make the heat pump waste energy by switching from hot to cold as the temperature fluctuates.

When it’s really cold, set the fan to ‘auto’. ‘Low’ and ‘quiet’ won’t give you as much air.

Clean both your indoor and outdoor heat pump filter regularly – monthly is best.

Only heat the space you’re using. Don’t have heat pumps going in rooms you’re not using unless you are preheating for the recommended 15 mins.

Close doors and curtains to keep the heat in.

If you can, invest in insulation, as this will hold the heat for longer and require less energy to heat.

Use the timer function to heat the space 15 minutes before you use it, or invest in a Wi-Fi-controlled heat pump so you can control it remotely. This means the room will be warm when you walk in, and you won’t be tempted to crank up the heat.

Flocon are your Auckland expert in heat pumps

Flocon supplies, installs, and services residential and commercial heat pumps and air conditioning units from the trusted leading brand Mitsubishi Electric.

We have chosen to align ourselves with this leading brand as we know their product is exceptional and backed up by the best technical support in the industry.

Choosing the right heat pump will depend on your budget, the size of your space, and the technology you require. A good heat pump installer will take you through the options and advise on the most suitable models. You can get an idea of what heat pump might work for you using our online calculator.

If you’re considering installing a heat pump, give us a call. Below is some feedback we received this week, just one of hundreds of happy customers!

Hi Carl,

Way more than 10 out of 10!! Service from the get-g has been awesome.

Please thank the ‘boys’ again and the team who pulled this together.

Thanks, big heaps! After all the shagging around by prior providers, Flocon has been a breath of fresh air – and while fresh air is in the discussion – OMG, it is SO GOOD to have equal temp throughout the upstairs – finally!!!

Thanks again,