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Home Heating: Heat pumps 101

16 April 2015

In moderate climates like ours, heat pumps are more efficient than other heaters because they don’t create heat - they simply round it up and move it from one place to another.  They work best when the temperature outside is over 7OC.  This week the Smart Energy column takes a look at what to look for if you are buying a heat pump and how to use the one you’ve got.

What heat pump do you need?

Unless you live in a shoe-box sized apartment one heat pump won’t heat your whole house.   If making a choice about which areas to heat, put them in the rooms you use most - perhaps the living and dining area - and be sure to choose the right sized heat pump for the space.  The size calculator at is a great place to start.  If you don’t have internet access, measure the size of your room, and ask a friend to check it out.

This website also lists the heat pump brands in New Zealand that have the Energy Star rating, so take a minute to compare the options before you buy.  Remember that the higher the star rating, the more efficient it is and the less it costs to get the same level of warmth.

How to use a heat pump

If you have a heat pump, be sure to clean the filters regularly.  It’s best to leave it set on a comfortable temperature - some websites recommend 18-20oC during the day and about 16 oC overnight.  Don’t leave it on if you are away from home - it is efficient but it still uses energy.  Instead set the timer so it comes on half an hour before you arrive home.

Component Headline Heat pumps 101

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