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Should you invest in a heat pump or a fireplace?

As winter and the colder months are coming, you might be thinking about upgrading the heating in your home. Are you wondering whether a fireplace or a heat pump would be the better option for you? Let Lite Energy explain the pros and cons of each method to keep your house warm, toasty and comfortable during the cold.


Fireplaces are a popular and authentic way to keep homes warm in New Zealand. They have a special place in many houses, as a place to relax in front of on a cold winter day while drinking a warm drink. As Fireplaces run independently of electricity, they will keep you warm during a power cut or when you have electrical faults interfering with your electrical system. While they seem like a relatively cheaper option (with the only expense being the wood), there are many factors that need to be taken into consideration.

  • Construction: A fireplace requires a permit and building consent to install, and there are significant restrictions in some regions due to air pollution.
  • Temperature control: You can’t change the temperature on a fireplace or turn it off simply.
  • Efficiency: They are often considered an inefficient heating method, as they only have a single-use, and most of the heat is released through the chimney.
  • Environmental Factor: Soot and particles released from the burnt wood also increase air pollution, making it a relatively environmentally unfriendly option.
  • Fuel: You also need to purchase, store and cut wood to fuel the fire, making having a fire quite a labour-intensive exercise.

Heat pumps

Heat pumps are one of the most efficient and cheapest forms of heating options in New Zealand. Not only do they not need a permit, but they can also be used for cooling during the summer months and used as a dehumidifier when required. You can change the temperature, fan speed and functions at the touch of a button, making it extremely simple for your room to be at the comfort level you wish. With programmable timers, you can even ensure that you don’t have to come home to a cold house after a long day at work.

Hot water heat pumps take this benefit another step further and can also warm your water with a single system. They allow you to set the exact temperature you are looking for and turn off automatically when they reach the desired warmth, working without the need to watch over them constantly. As an environmentally friendly option, they don’t release any additional carbon emissions apart from the small amount of electrical energy required to run the compressor.

Heat pumps are also a safer option, especially around children and pets with no open flames. They can be placed on the wall in various locations and heat your whole home evenly without taking much space. Modern heat pumps are very energy efficient and the cheapest form of heating, costing approximately $400 per year to run. However, they can be less efficient in colder temperatures (below 5 degrees). If you are planning on selling your home in the future, heat pumps can be a great way to add value to your property as they become more and more popular.

So what option should I choose?

At Lite Energy, we are all about providing you with the most energy-efficient options while also supporting the environment. That’s why we believe modern heat pumps are one of the best heating options out in the market. Less air polluting, cheaper, more use, they are a versatile and relatively low maintenance heating method for various places. Fireplaces give you that authentic feel and look but are instead an older and more expensive option than heat pumps. Talk to us at Lite Energy, and we can explain the differences between these two heating methods further.

Contact Lite Energy if you are thinking about getting a new heating option for your home. We love heat pumps for their efficiency and environmental friendliness and can help you select the ideal option for your needs! We are happy to chat and answer any questions you might have about heating options!


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