Posted on 03 03 2021

How to Choose a Heat Pump for Your Home

Installing a heat pump is one of the most cost-effective ways of heating your home. However, all the different options can make selecting the right heat pump confusing.

Choosing the wrong heat pump is an expensive mistake, especially for your heating bills.

It’s important you think carefully about what option would best suit your home, and consider energy efficiency, size, and location.

How does a heat pump work?

Many people buy heat pumps for heating purposes, but they can actually be used year-round.

Virtually all heat pumps in New Zealand are ‘reverse-cycle,’ which means they can be used for both heating and cooling. They work by taking heat from the air outside your house and transferring it inside, using a sophisticated compressor, fan, and refrigerant gases.

Finding the most energy efficient heat pump

Since heat pumps can be used year-round, it is essential that they be energy efficient.

The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) is focused on improving the energy efficiency of homes in New Zealand and has implemented a rating system that helps you make well-informed energy choices.

When selecting your heat pump, pay attention to its EECA star rating. The more stars, the more energy efficient the heat pump. The more energy efficient, the lower your bills.

However, there are also things you can do to make your heat pump more efficient.

Ensuring your home is adequately insulated means your heat pump won’t have to work as hard to heat or cool your home. You should also monitor when and how often you use your heat pump. Only use it in rooms you are actively using or at least only when you are home.

What size should you get?

Size definitely matters when it comes to heat pumps.

Often the size of the heat pump will depend on the size of the room. A heat pump that is too small will have to work harder to get the room to reach the desired temperature and use more energy. A heat pump that is too large will attempt to regulate the temperature by continuously cycling on and off.

Insulation will also play a role in choosing the size of your heat pump. If your room has poor insulation, that means it will lose heat at a faster rate. In that case, your heat pump will need to be larger to make up for that loss of heat.

Where you’re located can also be a determining factor. If you live in a colder area of New Zealand, you may need a bigger unit. For example, a house in Queenstown would probably need a bigger heat pump than one in Auckland.

Location, location, location

Consider where you’re going to put your heat pump.

High wall heat pumps are best if it’s going in a space like a living room. They can be placed up and out of the way so as to avoid blowing directly into your face.

If wall space isn’t available to you (or you just don’t like the idea of a big unit sitting on your wall), floor units are another great option.

Most heat pumps are relatively quiet, but that doesn’t mean they are altogether silent. Installing a heat pump directly above your at-home office desk might not be the best location. Instead, you could consider installing a ducted heat pump, which operates as a central heating system.

Ducted heat pumps are installed either in the roof space or underfloor and force air to flow throughout the ducts in the house. You won’t have to worry about having a heat pump making too much noise, and you get the added benefit of each room of your house sharing the same temperature.

Are You Eligible for a Subsidy?

Depending on your area, you may be eligible to receive a heat pump subsidy of 90% or more.

Search for your address with EECA’s Map Tool and if you’re in a zone that is labelled 8, 9, or 10 you should be eligible. Search your address or contact us to find out if you’re eligible.

The GreenSide team are experts at helping our customers choose the right heat pump for their home.

If you would like to discuss the best option for you, get in contact.


As an Owner-Occupier You May Be Eligible for a Warmer Kiwi Homes Subsidy