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Navigating the Heat Pump Market: Essential Factors to Consider

Embarking on the journey to purchase a heat pump can feel overwhelming. With a myriad of brands, models, and features available, selecting the most suitable unit for your needs can be challenging. To help you navigate this process, we've outlined eight crucial factors to consider when buying a heat pump.

Size Matters

The size of your heat pump, denoted by its heating and cooling output in kilowatts (kW), is one of the most critical factors to consider. It's essential to have accurate measurements of the space you plan to heat or cool to ensure you select the most efficient unit for your needs. If your unit is too small, it will struggle to maintain the desired temperature, resulting in increased costs. Conversely, a unit that's too large will emit excessive heat quickly, wasting power and reducing the lifespan of your heat pump.

Consider Your Climate

The climate in your region can significantly impact the performance of your heat pump. For instance, a heat pump in Tekapo, where winter temperatures often dip below freezing, will need to operate at full capacity in sub-zero conditions. However, a heat pump installed in Auckland, primarily used for cooling, won't require the same features.

Insulation is Key

The level of insulation in your home can influence the size of the heat pump system you need. A fully insulated home retains heat more effectively than a home with only ceiling insulation, meaning a larger heat pump system may be necessary to compensate for heat loss in less insulated homes.

Noise Levels

The noise from an indoor heat pump unit comes from the fan pushing warm or cool air into the space. While some brands advertise 'whisper quiet' heat pumps, these levels are often only achieved on the lowest fan setting and with their smallest unit. A larger unit will likely produce more noise, particularly when first turned on as it works to reach the set temperature.

Smart Features

Many modern heat pumps come equipped with WiFi control, allowing you to operate your unit remotely using a mobile app. This can significantly improve energy efficiency by enabling you to turn the unit on before you arrive home or switch it off if you forgot to. However, be aware that 'WiFi enabled' may require an additional purchase to activate this feature.

Aesthetic Appeal

While heat pump units can be bulky and detract from your home's aesthetic, many brands now offer stylish options designed to enhance your room's look. Indoor units are available in various colours, and outdoor units can be disguised with a heat pump cover or strategically placed.

Professional Installation

Having your heat pump installed by a qualified professional is crucial. This not only ensures correct installation but also maintains the manufacturer's warranty. Your installer must provide an electrical code of compliance within 24 hours of installation, which is necessary for insurance claims related to the heat pump.

Price and Quality

Like most electronics, heat pump prices and quality vary. Cheaper units often have fewer features, a shorter lifespan, and may require more frequent maintenance and repair. On the other hand, higher quality units may cost more initially but often include additional features and a more comprehensive warranty. Before making your purchase, it's essential to do your research and establish a realistic budget for both the unit and its installation. For expert advice tailored to your needs, consider scheduling a free in-home consultation with a professional

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