2017 Heat Pumps
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Compare heat pumps in New Zealand at Canstar Blue. Mitsubishi Electric, Daikin, Fujitsu General, Hitachi, LG and Panasonic were compared on value for money, reliability, ease of use, functionality, quietness and overall satisfaction.
Canstar Blue research finalised in August 2017, published in September 2017.
See our Ratings Methodology.
Mitsubishi Electric Pump up the Heat in our review
Mitsubishi Electric have once again secured the Canstar Blue Customer Satisfaction Award. Scoring a maximum five stars in four out of five categories as well as five star for overall customer satisfaction they take the award for the third time following wins in 2013 and 2014.
In New Zealand, we are used to getting four seasons in one day which can be a bit of a problem when it comes to regulating temperatures in our homes but for many, heat pumps provide the answer. Relatively easy to install (with the help of professionals), heat pumps can provide instant and continuous heat without bleeding your wallet dry with hefty power consumption. In fact, in our recent survey, nearly two-thirds of people thought that heat pumps where cheaper to run than individual heaters and nearly one-quarter of people had actually seen their power bills reduce after installing a heat pump. What’s more, when the summer sun shows its face, a heat pump can provide a cooling respite from the heat by keeping your house at a comfortable temperature day and night. Half of the people surveyed said they did this too.
With low running costs, using a heat pump shouldn’t break the bank, although initial costs for a wall mounted unit will be few thousand dollars to buy and have installed. For people on lower incomes, there are government subsidies available to help with the cost of installation and additional insulation (that is always recommended to increase the efficiency of your heat pump).
Heat pumps are an increasingly popular option for many Kiwis and 54% of the people we spoke to said they were a ‘must have’ in any house they live in in. This is up from 47% last year. But, as with any household appliance, it’s a big purchase so we recommend you do a bit of research before you purchase.
If you are one of the 41% of people who has researched heat pumps before purchasing (which is probably why you’re reading this!), then well done you! Finding out how other people have rated their appliance can be a great way to gauge what you think you need. For our survey we asked people to rate against six key criteria – value for money, reliability, ease of use, functionality, quietness and most importantly, overall customer satisfaction. The results can be seen on the table at the top of this page.
What should you think about when buying a heat pump?
As well as our customer ratings, there may be a few other key things you want to consider before you commit to buying a heat pump:
Size and position of your heat pump
Heat pumps are usually measured by how powerful their output is and can range from 2 to 14 kW. Getting the right sized heat pump for the space you want to warm is critical. An undersized unit will have to work a lot harder, use more energy and may still struggle to heat or cool your space. It really is worth talking to an expert either taking room measurements yourself or having someone visit you in your home. As we said earlier, initial costs are thousands of dollars so you need to get it right.
Heat pumps are generally more energy-efficient than most cooling and heating appliances. However, efficiencies do vary across different models. A great tool for calculating how much it could cost to run heat is the energy wise running cost calculator. All you need to do is select the heat output and energy rating of your unit (usually found in the ‘specs’ for your machine), the number of hours a day you will have your pump running and approximately how many months of the year you will need it. As an example, we selected a 6kW heat output (pretty middle-of-the-rows), with a 3-star energy rating running eight hours per day. The cost was $66 per month. Opting for a maximum six star energy rated unit would reduce the running costs to around $47.50 per month.
Some heat pumps have inbuilt air filtration systems which can be important for people who suffer with Asthma, allergies or similar conditions. Indeed, 15% of the Kiwis we surveyed said their health had improved since installing their heat pump. If air quality is something particularly important to you, keep an eye out for the blue butterfly logo, a sign that the heat pump has been approved by the Asthma Foundation NZ Sensitive Choice Program.
Heat pump output usually ranges from 2 to 14 kW and indicates how powerful the unit is in producing cold or hot air. It’s important to get the right size – if the pump is too small for the room, it will have to work harder and use more electricity in order to be effective. Your supplier will be able to give you more information specific to the model you’re interested in.
Types of heat pump
Air source heat pumps are by far the most common type of residential unit in New Zealand but geothermal and absorption heat pumps are also available for more niche climates and purposes.
Sticking with air source heat pumps, there are three main models:
- Split heat pumps havetwo main components – one inside and one outside of your home. The indoor unit can be mounted just about anywhere, be it wall, floor or ceiling. Without going too deeply in to the science, the outside unit absorbs heat using coils and refrigerant. This heat passes inside through pipes where the heat is released. Reverse cycle pumps use the same method for cooling, just the other way around.
- Multi-split heat pumps are basically the same as the split heat pump but with a larger single outdoor unit serving multiple indoor units. This enables one system to provide heating and cooling across multiple rooms or even an entire house.
- Ducted heat pumps systems provide heating and cooling to your entire home without the need for noticeable indoor units. A ducted system includes a large outdoor unit and flexible ducting that runs through your floor and/or ceiling to provide heating and cooling through vents in your home. As you might be able to guess, ducted heat pumps are generally more expensive than the other types mentioned.
Whatever type of heat pump you’re looking for, we hope you find this review helpful.
Frequently asked questions
Canstar Blue commissioned I-view to survey 2,500 New Zealand consumers across a range of categories to measure and track customer satisfaction. The outcomes reported are the results from customers who have purchased and used a domestic heat pump in the last two years – in this case, 605 New Zealanders.
Brands must have received at least 30 responses to be included. Results are comparative and it should be noted that brands receiving three stars have still achieved a satisfaction measure of at least six out of 10. Not all brands available in the market have been compared in this survey. The ratings table is first sorted by star ratings and then alphabetically. A rated brand may receive a ‘N/A’ (Not Applicable) rating if it does not receive the minimum number of responses for that criteria.