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Heat Pumps In Queenstown Homes: Convenience and Efficiency


Heat pumps are the most efficient way of using electricity to heat your home because it doesn’t depend on heating elements.

Instead, it operates a little like a refrigerator in reverse by drawing warmth from the air outside via a coil within a unit installed outside then transferring it into your house through another coil in the unit placed inside the house.

Advantages of Heat Pumps:

  • Produce fewer emissions, safe, and easy to use. 
  • Very efficient, especially in a well-insulated house. 
  • Will provide heat quickly as needed, as well as cool in summer. 
  • Some can be operated remotely via an app, making them ideal for holiday homes or vacation rentals.

Disadvantages of a Heat Pump:

  • Heat pumps blow pollen and dust around, especially when the filters are not cleaned frequently, which can affect allergy sufferers.
  • Heat pumps create zones of heat that may make a room feel stuffy because as the heated air rises, the air around your head will be several degrees warmer than the air near your feet.
  • Without mechanical ventilation or dehumidifier, condensation will often develop.

Choosing the Right Heat Pump For Queenstown Homes

Some heat pumps are much more efficient than others. When shopping for heat pumps, or any electrical appliances for that matter, look for the energy rating (EECA) label. The more stars, the more energy efficient the appliance is. For appliances you will use regularly, such as a heat pump, the difference in energy efficiency could make a significant impact on the running costs of the house.

Heat pumps are available ceiling mounted, high wall mounted, or floor mounted, so it’s best to incorporate them into your floor plan early on to maximise effectiveness and be as unobtrusive as possible. They also come in a variety of sizes and choosing the most efficient size depends on the volume of the area you need to heat and how well insulated the room is. Areas that expect sub-zero temperatures regularly, including Queenstown, require larger heat pumps than temperate regions.

The heat pump’s heating capacity declines as the outside temperature decreases, especially if there are exposed pipes. Typically, heat pumps are sized to be able to provide heat for 80-90% of your seasonal requirements. When the temperatures are below freezing, heat pumps are far less efficient and depending on the quality of your heat pump, you may need a secondary heat source.

Create central heating using heat pumps

Multi-split heat pumps are designed to heat multiple rooms. They consist of one outdoor unit serving multiple indoor units installed in different rooms of the house.

Ducted heat pumps provide central heating by blowing heated air through ducts into multiple rooms of a house. While some can only be controlled centrally, others allow you to choose which rooms, or groups of rooms, you want to heat at any given time (known as zoning). For example, you may only want to have your bedrooms heated overnight or not heat guest rooms that are not in use.

Popular single-split systems are designed to heat single rooms

Single-split, air-to-air systems are the most common type of heat pumps in New Zealand. There is one indoor unit connected to an outdoor unit. However, these cost-effective systems are designed to heat just the room that they are installed in, not the entire house. While leaving internal doors open may allow some of the heated air to travel into other rooms, in most houses, this does not work very well. Trying to use a single-split heat pump to heat multiple rooms is a particularly poor strategy if there are high ceilings, the house needs a lot of heating due to poor insulation, or if the heat would need to travel across a hallway.

This was Part 6 of the Smarter Home Heating for Queenstown Series