Heat pumps are great. They are efficient and quick to work. In fact, GenLess says that a heat pump is the most energy-efficient way of using electricity to heat your home.
However, a lot of people are wasting money by either incorrect installation or poor maintenance.
Ok, you’ve already got a heater installed. When was the last time you looked at the filters?
The filters get rid of the majority of dust and pollen from the outside (most NZ heat pumps are single-split heat pumps; getting air from the outside). This is obviously important but means that the filters can easily become clogged. When this happens, the motors have to work harder to push the air through (or it simply doesn’t go through as much).
For most heat pumps, you should be able to easily access the filters. If in doubt, google the exact make and model of your heat pump and add the term “pdf manual”. This should find the manual which will walk you through the process of removing the filters.
From there, a quick vacuum is enough to get the majority of the dirt from the filters. You’ll see the change immediately. Replace the filters back and restart your heat pump. You should notice a 2-3 degree increase in heat from when the filters were clogged.
Now that your filters are clean, it’s time to get the correct setting. It’s generally agreed that a setting between 18 – 20 degrees is the best. Any higher and your heater will be using too much energy to get the air that warm (particularly if it is very cold outside).
Because the heat from a heat pump is so efficient and quick, there’s not much need to heat rooms that you aren’t in. If you decide to move rooms, just open the door and the heat should flow through. Heating a 30 or 40sqm room is much more efficient than heating a whole house!
An underpowered heater will not heat the entire house which will just lead to disappointment. We’re aware of a few companies offering special deals on heat pumps but they tend to be the lower-powered units. Seek out advice on the correct power requirements for your particular house. As with all things, a little extra money can mean a significantly better experience.
The best time to save yourself some money is during installation. Correct placement of the heater is key to getting the air distributed and circulating throughout your house. A reasonable price for installation is around the $1,000 mark (can be $300, either way, depending on difficulty) but is well worth the price you are paying. The money you save for good installation over the lifetime of the appliance will more than cover the extra installation costs.
We realise that the outlay costs of a heat pump are high but the ongoing electricity savings are good for your wallet (and the environment). Get the correct model for your house, get it positioned correctly, and check the filters every 2-3 months in winter (less often in summer).
For some great information on energy efficiency and conservation, check out Unity Home Group's blog here.
You can talk to our advisers if you need help with financing a heat pump for your home.
... We’d love to get your vote for the People’s Choice Award at the Westpac Business Awards. Mortgage Lab is focused on helping our clients, supporting our people, educating Kiwis and being socially and environmentally responsible. So vote for Mortgage Lab. It’ll only take 15 seconds with no registration required. Pity votes and protest votes are welcome.
For many of us, the game Monopoly informs our earliest understanding of how investment property works. And so we are given to believe that it’s fairly straightforward to grow from…
Surrounding yourself with property experts is not just a good idea; it’s absolutely necessary. And while it sounds expensive, you don’t need to be rolling in cash. In fact, in…
When you think about mortgage broking (okay, you probably don’t think about mortgage broking but stay with us) you probably think about it in the context of buying a house.…