Get­ting the best from your heat pump

The Northland Age - - Local Life / Opinion -

Heat pumps are the most ef­fi­cient way of heat­ing with elec­tric­ity, but some are much more ef­fi­cient than oth­ers. The more En­ergy Rat­ing stars, the more en­ergy-ef­fi­cient. And some strug­gle in very cold con­di­tions, so it’s worth ask­ing which op­tion is best, and what size is needed for the room to be heated.

In any event, start by in­su­lat­ing (which will make heat­ing and cool­ing your home cheaper). The look for a qual­ity brand with at least a five-year war­ranty on parts and labour, and make sure it’s the right size for the room.

Check the in­staller com­plies with the EECA guide. Cor­rect lo­ca­tion and in­stal­la­tion is es­sen­tial for op­ti­mum per­for­mance and for avoid­ing draughts and noise nui­sance.

Make sure it’s right for your cli­mate and en­vi­ron­ment. In coastal ar­eas heat pumps need suit­able pro­tec­tion against cor­ro­sion.

Only heat when you need it — don’t leave it on all day if you’re not there. Use the timer to turn it on shortly be­fore you get home, and turn it off when you don’t need it. And only heat the space you’re ac­tu­ally us­ing; shut doors and cur­tains to keep the heat in.

Set the ther­mo­stat to a healthy tem­per­a­ture — aim for 18-20 de­grees Cel­sius. High ther­mo­stat set­tings equal high elec­tric­ity use, while in­ad­e­quate heat­ing can lead to mould and damp­ness.

Us­ing the auto mode has the pump try­ing to main­tain the set tem­per­a­ture by con­stantly chang­ing be­tween heat­ing and cool­ing, as the room tem­per­a­ture fluc­tu­ates. This can waste a lot of en­ergy.

Clean the fil­ter reg­u­larly, as per the man­u­fac­turer’s in­struc­tions.

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