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Ac­cord­ing to the gov­ern­ment or­gan­i­sa­tion EECA, heat pumps are one of the most ef­fi­cient forms of heat­ing due to their lower run­ning costs and a smaller car­bon foot­print. For ev­ery 1kW of elec­tri­cal en­ergy is pro­duced 3 to 4kW of heat­ing out­put. This is de­scribed as a co­ef­fi­cient of per­for­mance (COP) of four. Com­pare this to an elec­tric bar heater (COP 1), gas heat­ing (COP 0.85) and wood fires (COP 0.45). In terms of cost, when run­ning a 3.5kW heat pump for a cou­ple of hours in the morn­ing and four hours in the evening you could ex­pect to rack up around $40.50 (in­clud­ing GST) in power us­age per month. Com­pare this to run­ning a sim­i­lar wattage bar heater for the same pe­riod of time, which would cost you $141.75 per month. Do not op­er­ate your heat pump like a ra­di­ant heater! Crank­ing your heat pump up to 27°C is not go­ing to make the room warm any faster. In fact, it will use a lot more en­ergy as the heat pump strug­gles to cal­cu­late how many de­frost cy­cles and how much en­ergy is re­quired to get to this tem­per­a­ture. By set­ting the tem­per­a­ture to what is ac­tu­ally re­quired, say 18-22°C in heat­ing mode (a com­fort­able tem­per­a­ture dur­ing win­ter), the heat pump will re­spond in the most ef­fi­cient way and will reach this quickly and then con­tinue to main­tain it – without fur­ther ad­just­ment. Us­ing a timer to ac­ti­vate this tem­per­a­ture half an hour be­fore you ar­rive home will mean you re­turn to warm, cosy com­fort. For more in­for­ma­tion on how to use your heat pump ef­fi­ciently visit smarter­heat­ing.co.nz

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