If you’re after any information at all about our heat pumps – how they perform, where they should be located, the right size for your place, how much you’ll pay…anything at all, this is a great place to start. Our FAQ page is constantly being refreshed and expanded with expert advice, helpful tips, and lots of other things you want to know about the best heating and cooling options in New Zealand. Check in often to stay up to date with the very latest about the incredible technology we’re so proud to supply and install.
And if you can’t find the information that you’re looking for on this page, then we’ll give you the answers ourselves! We’re experts in the field of heat pumps for residential and commercial premises, and we want to help you buy the right product for your specific requirements. So we are always available via email or phone to answer your queries. Take advantage of our unrivalled knowledge to make the best possible investment – don’t be afraid to get in touch.
Is it more efficient to leave heat pumps on 24/7 or turn them on when required?
As a rule of thumb, we think it’s best to use your heat pump as required. Ultimately, it depends on how well your house is insulated. If you live in a near-new and air-tight house with no draughts, insulation that exceeds the building code, double glazing and thermal drapes, and a true heat exchanger ventilation system so you never need to open windows, it could be more efficient to leave the heat pump on all day, every day.
However, on the other hand, too many New Zealand houses are poorly insulated with gaps and cracks from which heat easily escapes. This leads us to believe that running a heat pump 24/7 will be wasteful. As an example, in a draughty and uninsulated Victorian villa, you’re wasting energy by moving heat into your house and then letting it escape back to the outside air. The heat pump’s external unit will simply take that heat back out of the air and pump it in again. In a house like this, we advise using the timer to start the heat pump an hour or so before it’s required. When you don’t need it, turn it off. Once you’ve done that, upgrade your insulation to reduce heat loss!
Why does my heat pump stop heating when it’s frosty?
The short answer is that your heat pump is defrosting. The long answer is more complicated. You’ll often see ice form on the evaporator panel in your fridge because it’s a very cold panel in a cool “climate”. Something similar happens on your heat pump’s external unit. On a cold night when temperatures plummet, the air loses its ability to hold water and relative humidity rises. Eventually, the air temperature falls to the dew point, where relative humidity has risen to 100 % and excess water can’t stay in the air any longer. This water is what we know as dew, and it condenses onto everything not under shelter. If the air cools further, to zero or below, frost forms. Your heat pump’s outside evaporator panel is out there in that dewy air, being kept very cold so it can pull heat out of the air. Ice inevitably forms on the panel, and as the ice thickens, it acts as an insulator, limiting the amount of heat that can be extracted. The heat pump senses this and changes to a defrost cycle. While defrosting it won’t deliver heat and this is why we think all heat pumps sold in New Zealand should be tested at 2°C in air that is at the dew point. We also say it should be mandatory to have the tested heat output at 2°C on the energy rating label. Fortunately, later model heat pumps are much more efficient in icy-cold conditions.