Genesis Energy state that over 25% of all New Zealand households now use a heat pump, making them New Zealand’s third most popular heating solution.
Heat pumps are a very cost effective alternative to traditional electric heating options because they move – rather than generate – heat.
They are the most energy efficient and cost effective electric way to keep your home warm and dry during the cooler months. (1)
How a Heat Pump Works
According to McClelland Refrigeration, who are providers of air conditioning in Dunedin, Heat pumps work in the same way your refrigerator does, but in reverse. You may have noticed that the back of your refrigerator is warm. That heat is coming from inside your fridge. An evaporator coil extracts warmth from the air inside, and transfers it out into your kitchen through the condenser coil in the back.
The same things happens with your heat pump.
A heat pump has two units: one inside your home, and one outside. Because it is outside all year long in Dunedin’s harsh conditions, it is critical that you have a heat pump that has been manufactured to last for years.
You will also want the best warranty to protect against any defects in parts, materials and factory workmanship.
The outdoor unit absorbs heat energy from the air outside your home – even on a frosty Dunedin winter morning. Due to dust and other pollutants moving around your home, it is vital that your heat pump has excellent filters to remove all unwanted and unhelpful particles from entering your home – and your lungs.
This heats up the refrigerant within the outside unit which is then transferred to the inside unit. This process uses energy, and not all heat pumps are made equal. You will want a heat pump that has a reputation for being energy efficient.
When the inside unit draws your living room air over the hot coolant, it increases the air temperature. This cycle is repeated until the air in your home get to the temperature you desire.
In summer, the two units switch roles and heat energy is transferred from inside the house to the outside, leaving your room cooler.
Eight ways to save money using your heat pump
According to Genesis Energy, here are the best way to make sure your heat pumps works for you this winter.
- The best way to use a heat pump is to keep the setting low (18ºC or – 20ºC). Don’t set your heat pump to the maximum – it won’t heat the room any quicker, but it will use more energy. Programme it to turn on 15 minutes before you need it instead.*
- Prepare your heat pump for winter. There’s a handy video on how to clean your heat pump filter here.
- Clean both your indoor and outdoor heat pump filter regularly – at least once a year. It’s simple and quick to do this yourself unless the placement of the outside unit is difficult to get to.
- Only heat the space you’re using. Don’t have heat pumps going in bedrooms or in rooms you’re not using.
- Turn off your heat pump when it’s not in use. It can run for as long as you need, but make sure you switch it off when you’re not using it.
- Close doors and curtains to keep the heat in.
- If you can, get your house insulated. The better insulated your home, the better it will hold the heat and the more energy efficient the heat pump will be.
- Use the timer function to heat the space 15 minutes before you use it, or invest in a Smart WiFi controlled heat pump so you can control it remotely using an App on your Smart phone.
* The recommended temperature is 18ºC or 20ºC for children, or the elderly, and 16ºC for bedrooms overnight. (2)
So there you go.