Are you planning on purchasing a heat pump? If so, you must be wondering how much will a heat pump cost you? What kind of heat pump is most suitable for you? We will be answering all that and more in this article.
As New Zealand heads into summer, the weather gets hotter and many people turn their heat pumps into air conditioning units to cool their homes down. With the rising costs of cooling your home, you should compare energy efficiency ratings between units to make your home more energy-efficient. Heat pumps are the most energy-efficient method of using electricity to heat or cool your home because they are versatile. A heat pump can heat and cool, so regardless of the seasonal changes, it is useful all year round.
How Does A Heat Pump Work?
A heat pump uses evaporator and condenser coils. The coils are connected between the indoor and the outdoor units. These coils have refrigerant that flows through them. The refrigerant is cold when it’s in the indoor coils. As the air gets pulled into the system and passes over those coils, the air cools down and the refrigerant heats up. The heat pump then outputs the cool air into your home, resulting in temperature changes in your home. The refrigerant, which is now warm, goes to the condenser coils where the compressor makes it cool again before returning it to the indoor coils.
Ducted Vs Standalone Heat Pumps
Standalone Heat Pumps
A standalone heat pump consists of having a singular outdoor unit connected to usually one indoor unit, however, they can connect to multiple indoor units. With a standalone heat pump, the warm or cold air is only focused in the room that houses the indoor unit. Although this means the heat pump can be used more efficiently, only heating or cooling a specific room means other rooms in the house will have different temperatures, which can be a downside.
Ducted Heat Pumps
A ducted heat pump is capable of supplying warm or cool air into every room in the house generally through ceiling ducts, occasionally floor ducts are seen in some instances. For the most part, a ducted system is excellent for people seeking a hidden system and wanting to control the temperature throughout the house. As the whole house is controlled through a single control panel, every room will have the same temperature. Ducted systems require a more intensive installation process, and therefore, they generally cost more than a standalone heat pump.
What Size Heat Pump Do I Need?
The heat pump size you need depends on the size of the room you want to heat or how many rooms you want to be heated. If you purchase a heat pump that is too small for the room, often it will struggle to keep the room at the set temperature and will drain more energy attempting to do so. If the heat pump is too large for the room, it will need to cycle on and off regularly to keep the room temperature at the desired range.
Find out more information about heat pumps here to help you choose the perfect system for your home.
How Much Does A Heat Pump Cost?
There are two aspects to consider when purchasing a heat pump. The initial price of the unit and the installation process, and the ongoing running costs.
Not all heat pumps are made equal, some heat pumps are designed to be more energy-efficient than others. When going through the decision-making process, remember to consider the energy efficiency rating.
How Do I Find Out What Heat Pump Is The Most Energy-Efficient?
Look for the EECA star rating
EECA is a New Zealand government agency that works to improve the energy efficiency of appliances in our homes. “The Energy Rating Label applies to certain products under the Energy Efficiency (Energy Using Products) Regulations 2002. These products must display the label when they are offered for sale.”
The more stars that a product has on the energy efficiency label, the more energy-efficient the electrical appliance is. However, energy efficiency is not everything. Factors such as; how big are the room the appliance will be installed in? Is the room well insulated? If so, the pump will require less energy to obtain the temperature level, resulting in greater energy efficiency.
Heat Pump Installation
A heat pump can be installed in most rooms; however, the location of the unit is essential for them to perform effectively. Installing a heat pump will need electrical work, which will require a registered master electrician.
Heat pump type
A back-to-back installation, where the heat pump units are located on either side of the same wall, can be installed within hours. However, a ducted system can be more complicated, where piping is needed to link up the ducts to the system. This installation process can take longer, depending on the size and complexity of the job. Our experts can assess this for you.
Make sure that the room has a high level of insulation before selecting a heat pump. If your room is losing heat from insufficient insulation then the heat pump will need to be bigger and operating costs will be higher to achieve the temperature level and maintain it.
The location of your heat pump can be a vital game-changer when it comes to effectiveness and aesthetic appeal. It’s best to not have them facing directly to areas where people may be sitting, for example facing a couch, as the airflow, whilst gentle, can be annoying. High wall units are usually chosen for this reason.
Alternatively, you can get floor units which can be a good option when wall space is either limited or unavailable.
If the location of the heat pump is facing a hallway or doors to other rooms, they may benefit from this, gaining airflow. However, keep in mind that this can increase power usage as the heat pump is having to work harder to maintain the desired temperature throughout the area. You could instead opt for a ducted system to achieve the heating or cooling of multiple rooms more efficiently.
Factors that will influence the cost of your heat pump installation:
- The size of the heat pump system
- Your 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 to protect them from the elements
- The need for feet and pavers for outdoor units
- The path the drain takes
Maintaining A Heat Pump
Maintaining a heat pump does not require a lot of work. However, doing the tasks below will ensure that your heat pump will continue to operate at maximum efficiency.
- Check the air filters. Remove the dust regularly with a vacuum, and replace it when needed
- Keep your outdoor unit clear of snow, ice, and rubbish
- Keep the outdoor coils clean
- Keep shrubs pruned back from all sides of the heat pump to allow for proper airflow
- Flush the indoor condensate pan and drain it before using the air conditioning
- Have your heat pump serviced by a trained technician in accordance with the manufacturer’s specifications
The outdoor conditions should be taken into consideration when you are deciding on what heat pump to purchase. Certain areas in New Zealand can experience sub-zero temperatures, this means you need to select a larger heat pump. Queenstown and Auckland have very different weather conditions, so make sure you select an appropriate heat pump.
Noise levels can vary between different models of heat pumps. Modern inverter heat pumps are very quiet. The main source of noise in a heat pump comes from the air coming into contact with the grille as it is forced out of the unit; however, this noise is only a little bit higher than ambient background noise. A professional can help you select a quieter unit.
So if you decide to get a heat pump, feel free to call Jenco Electrical and we will be happy to visit your home and make recommendations on what size heat pump to get, where the heat pump should be installed, and whether the system should be ducted or standalone. By getting a heat pump that is suitable for your home and requirements, you can expect the results you desire throughout all seasons of the year.
About Jenco Electrical
We are Registered Master Electricians in Auckland providing electrical services across Auckland Central, West Auckland, North Shore, and South Auckland for all residential and commercial electrical needs.
Our team of Auckland electricians can help you with general electrical maintenance, electrical repairs, full or partial rewires, new builds, switchboard installation and repair, kitchen and bathroom renovations and more.
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