Heat pumps aren’t just an option for keeping toes toasty in winter. As they offer the ability to cool air, as well as heat it, more people across the country are turning to heat pumps as their air conditioning solution for summer, too.
But with so many models to choose from, picking the best heat pump for your home can be a daunting task. And given that heating can account for over 35% of a winter power bill, choosing the right option to heat your home is vitally important.
Buying a heat pump: what Kiwis value
Finding the right heat pump can be a difficult task if you don’t know the important factors to consider. Recently, as part of our 2020 Heat Pump awards, our research team undertook a survey to find out what drives consumers’ heat-pump satisfaction levels in NZ. Our survey found that reliability and quietness were viewed as the two most important factors for those buying a heat pump:
- Reliability: 40%
- Quietness: 17%
- Value for money: 16%
- Ease of use: 15%
- Functionality: 12%%
Based on same criterial, we also assessed customer satisfaction across all brands in the market. And coming out on top, Mitsubishi earned our award for Most Satisfied Customers | Heat Pumps 2020, scoring an impressive 5 Star rating across the board. The award is the seventh accolade for the heat pump manufacturer over the past ten years, which is a remarkable achievement. Not far behind, Daikin and Fujitsu also rated highly, both scoring 5 Stars for Reliability and Value for Money.
What size to consider
One of the first steps when choosing a heat pump is looking at the area you want to heat, as this will determine the size of the unit you require.
If you buy a heat pump that is too small, it will likely struggle to keep the room at the required temperature and will burn through more power than necessary.
If the heat pump is too large, it will have to cycle on and off more frequently to keep the temperature in the desired range.
A heat pump expert can let you know exactly what size you require and help you choose the right system for your home.
Heat pump’s energy efficiency
The main advantage of a heat pump over other heating solutions is that it’s a very efficient form of heating. Heat pumps are the most energy-efficient method of using electricity to heat or cool a home.
The heating output of a heat pump is between 250%-500% times the energy input. This is because a heat pump doesn’t actually create heat, like a regular panel heater. Rather it collects, concentrates and pumps heat from outside into your home.
Even though all heat pumps are energy efficient, it’s always a good idea to pay special attention to a heat pump’s energy rating. For while a more energy efficient model might cost more, it could lead to considerable savings on electricity over the life of the unit.
For more information on star ratings, check out our story: Energy-efficient Appliances: the True Costs of Energy Star Ratings Revealed!
Weighing up the cost
When it comes to keeping cool, it’s not just about finding the cheapest heat pump, but also one offering the best value. Remember, you must also take into consideration installation costs.
Also, do you want a heat pump that simply blasts warm/cool air at you, or do you want one that provides a bit more in the way of features, energy-efficiency and usability?
While it might mean paying a higher price initially, the additional benefits could pay off in the long-term, especially in terms of your electricity bills and user experience.
Style & appearance
While appearance isn’t a huge factor when it comes to heat pumps, as most share very similar designs, it’s still worth looking out for styles that match your home decor.
Several brands tap into the black appliance trend, including Mitsubishi Electric. While others have silver or coloured finishes, if white is too ordinary for you. Additionally, brands like Daikin feature curved front panels for a stylish and elegant design.
Brands are constantly boasting about a variety of smart features. A popular example is wi-fi connectivity, which allows you to control your heat pump via a phone, tablet, online or as part of a smart home system.
While this might not be high on your priority list, the functionality certainly adds to the convenience of owning a heat pump, especially if you can turn on your heat pump remotely on your way home from work.
Do heat pumps really save money?
Using a heat pump can save you money compared to other forms of heating, if you use it wisely. A heat pump’s running costs depend on how long you use it and its energy output.
A heat pump used six hours per day for six months of the year with an energy output of 6KwH will cost around $400 per year to run. So, if you use a heat pump instead of an equivalent electric heater in your living space, you can expect to save around $500 a year. In Canstar Blue’s latest survey, 22% of respondents said their power bills had lowered once they swapped to a heat pump.
Can I use my heat pump for air conditioning in summer?
Yes, heat pumps are also highly efficient air conditioners for those muggy, hot days. Judging from Canstar Blue’s survey, plenty of Kiwis are making use of their heat pump this way in summer: 56% said they use the air-con function for cooling in warmer months.
Save money with a better power plan
If you’re thinking about heating your home and saving money, make sure you’re on a great power plan. You could be saving more than you think. Compare your options easily with Canstar:
Canstar Blue’s latest review of NZ power companies compares them on customer satisfaction and value for money. The table below is an abridged version of our full results. Click on the big button below for more details!
^ By clicking on a brand or 'details' button, you will leave Canstar Blue and be taken to either a product provider website or a Canstar Blue NZ brand page. You agree that Canstar Blue NZ’s terms and conditions apply (without limitation) to your use of this service,to any referral to a product provider from our website, and any transaction that follows. Canstar Blue may receive a fee for referring you to a product provider. See How we are funded for further details.
Canstar Blue NZ Research finalised in April 2021, published in June 2021.
See Our Ratings Methodology
What is the best heat pump brand for me?
As winner of Canstar Blue’s award for Most Satisfied Customers | Heat Pumps, Mitsubishi Electric certainly delivers on the functionality, reliability and value for money consumers expect.
And with 4 Star Overall Satisfaction ratings apiece, Daikin and Fujitsu General also deliver quality across the board.
But, as with any major purchase, it’s still important to compare a wide range of brands and models when choosing the right heat pump for your home. Heating capacity and energy-efficiency are perhaps the most important factors to keep in mind when comparing models.
And, ultimately, there’s no point buying a system that’s too large, or too small, for your property’s requirements. For the full results of our latest heat pump research and award, click the button below:
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