Heat Pump FAQ's

Heat Pump Frequently Asked Questions

There are many things to know about choosing the right heat pump for your home as well as getting it installed correctly. Below are some of our most frequently asked Heat Pump questions. Please feel free to contact us with your question if it is not listed below.

Q. What is a Heat Pump?
A. A heat pump (also known as a reverse cycle air conditioner) is a very clever device that extracts heat energy from one volume of air and transfers it to another. So one body of air gets warmer, while the other gets cooler.

They can be used to:

  • Heat in the winter
  • Cool in the summer
  • Dehumidify the air
  • Circulate and filter the air

Q. How do Heat Pumps work?
A. Heat pumps do not generate heat but extract it from one body of air and transfer it to another. They use the same principle as your fridge, compressing gas and then allowing it to expand, extracting heat as it does so.

Even if the air outside is freezing, heat pumps can extract heat energy and transfer it inside to keep you warm. In summer the system works in reverse, extracting heat from indoors and transferring it outside leaving you comfortable and cool.

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Q. Why are Heat Pumps better than other forms of heating?
A. Heat pumps offer many benefits over other forms of heating. Firstly they are much cheaper to run giving up to 4 times more heat than you pay for, they can be used all year round for cooling, air filtering and dehumidification. They are safe and easy to use.

Heat pumps produce low density heat which is safe for children and the elderly, unlike fires or electric heaters. They are unmatched for convenience and ease of use (Remote Controlled). They don't pollute our atmosphere as with products for combustion and they use ozone friendly refrigerants.

Q. What is an inverter Heat Pump?
A. Inverter systems save energy by using a variable controlled (speed) Compressor. The output is controlled to only provide the energy required to keep the room to the set temperature. By reducing the output required less power is used and this substantially reduces power consumption. Inverter control not only saves you money but also keeps you more comfortable.

Q. What size Heat Pump will I need for my home?
A. Every home is as individual as its owner. The key to selecting the right heat pump for your home is accurate assessment 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.

This needs to be carried out by experienced and qualified specialists. Click here to arrange a free onsite survey and quote.

Q. What factors will affect the size of Heat Pump I need?
A. 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.

Q. Do Heat Pumps take up a lot of room?
A. No, heat pumps are 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.

Q. What types of Heat Pump Systems are there?
A. There are various heat pump systems available:

  • Single-split system (one indoor unit and one outdoor unit) suitable for an individual room.
  • Multi-split system (multiple indoor units connected to one outdoor unit) suitable for multiple room situations.
  • Ducted systems. One outdoor unit connected to one or more concealed indoor units with the heat distributed via ducting tubes to individual rooms. Suitable for whole house solutions.

Q. How much does it cost to run a Heat Pump?
A. This depends on the amount of heating required. Heat pumps transfer heat from outside air and in this way produce three to four times more heat. Its efficiency is 300% to 400%. This means for every 5kW of heating you pay for around 1.5kW of electric energy. Heat pump heating is roughly one quarter the cost of electric heating and about one third the cost of gas heating.

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Q. How quiet are Heat Pumps?
A. Modern inverter heat pumps from the top manufacturers 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.

Q. Are Heat Pumps reliable?
A. Yes. Heat pumps are extremely reliable. They use the same process as a home fridge or freezer and have the same level of dependability and life expectancy. The top brands come with 5 Year manufacturer's warranty or more.

Q. What is a Heat Pump Energy Star Rating
A. All Heat Pumps that are sold in New Zealand are required to have a star rating and must meet a Minimum Energy Performance Standard (MEPS).

The MEPS (Minimum Energy Performance Standard) for New Zealand is a COP (Coefficient of Performance) (Heating) and EER (Energy Efficiency Rating) (Cooling) of 2.3. All appliances that reach this level are awarded 2 stars. For every .3 increase in either the COP or EER the appliance receives another star.

All Heat Pumps have two star ratings, one for heating and one for cooling. The more stars the more energy efficient.

Q. How much will it cost to buy and install a Heat Pump?
A. 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 and the position of the outdoor compressor unit.

As a guide, a properly installed heat pump should cost as follows:

  • A hi-wall inverter single system, suitable for a small area or bedroom, starts at around $2,000 for a 3kW unit including installation.
  • A single hi-wall type system for a medium sized living area starts at around $2,500.00 including installation.
  • A larger open plan living area will require a single split system of between 5kW and 9kW. This type of unit costs between $3,000 and $4,500 including GST and installation.

A multi room split system with one outdoor unit and: 2, 3 or 4 indoor units will cost from $4,500.00, $6,000.00 and $7,000.00 respectively.

Whole house Ducted system start at about $12,000.00

Q. Do Heat Pumps cause stuffiness?
A. No. Unlike fires and glowing electrical elements, heat pumps don’t burn oxygen.

Q. Are Heat Pumps any good for allergy & asthma sufferers?
A. Yes. Heat pumps have a range of filters that clean and purify the air:

Catechin Filter: Dust, mold spores and micro-organisms are absorbed onto the filter by static electricity and growth is inhibited and deactivated by the polyphenol ingredient extracted from apples.

Ion Deodorizing Filter: The filter deodorizes by powerfully decomposing absorbed odours using the oxidizing and reducing effects of ions generated by the ultrafine particle ceramic.

Plasma Filter: High performance electronic air cleaner removes dust and odour, improving indoor air quality.

Q. How long will the Heat Pump On-site Survey take?
A. In most cases our visit will take about half an hour. We may be able to give you an on-the-spot quotation if your planned installation is straightforward. Otherwise we will provide you with a quotation taking into account various possible options so you can make a choice based on your design needs and budget.

Got a question? Email us, and we will be happy to help if we can.

Next: Heat pump warranty

Want to speak to someone? Call us toll-free on 0508 247 737