Why you should install a heat pump in your home
Heat pumps are extremely efficient at both heating and cooling a home, and with an environment like New Zealand’s where you can easily need both functions on the same day, that makes them a popular choice for Kiwi homes.
If you’re considering installing a heat pump or still considering your options for heating a home or rental property, it’s important to understand the costs and return on investment at each stage.
Here’s everything you need to know about the cost (and the ROI) of installing a heat pump in New Zealand.
How much does it cost to install heat pumps and other heat sources?
The purchase and installation of a heat pump is its greatest expense, and often the price point is what puts people off.
It depends on the type and size of heat pump you need for the space, but you can typically expect to spend $2,500 to $3,500 for a standard hi-wall style heat pump in a medium-sized living area, including the cost of installation.
Under the Healthy Homes Heating Standards, all rentals must have one or more fixed heaters that can directly heat the main living room.
To put the cost of heat pump installation in perspective with other options, the cost of installing a wood burner is approximately $2,000-$3,000 (including the burner, installation, and council permit). However, this estimate can vary greatly depending on the home, location, and fire.
Electric heating options, such as panel heaters, oil columns, and fans, are much more affordable to install. However, they are more expensive to run than other options and are less powerful. For that reason, electric heating is only usually best for smaller rooms, rather than main living areas.
What are the running costs for heat pumps?
Heat pump running costs are extraordinarily low – in fact, they are the cheapest form of heating the home. Burning wood or pellets, using gas, or paying for an electric heater are all more expensive than a heat pump.
According to the Energy Efficiency & Conservation Authority (EECA), a heat pump costs anywhere from about 3 cents to 16 cents per kWh of heat released. An electric heater, by comparison, costs approximately 18 cents to 40 cents per kWh of heat released. An unflued gas heater (LPG) is even more expensive, ranging up to roughly 53 cents per kWh.
According to Gen Less, an NZ government energy-efficiency organisation (formerly EnergyWise), running a heat pump for 6 hours per day for 6 months of the year costs approximately $400 per year to run. The equivalent electric heater would cost around $900 for the year, resulting in huge savings every year you use a heat pump rather than a less efficient technology.
How long does it take for a heat pump to pay itself off?
Even though heat pumps can cost more to install, their low running costs mean that they also pay themselves off in a relatively short space of time.
It has been estimated that standard heat pumps will pay themselves off within 5 to 10 years. The more you require heating and cooling from your heat pump, the faster it will pay itself off.
Other heat pump installation considerations
It’s not all about initial cost versus running costs, either. There are plenty more reasons why a heat pump can be the best solution for your home or rental.
Not only does a heat pump also offer cooling capabilities in summer (unlike an electric option such as a panel heater, for example), it can also dehumidify the home for healthier, drier air.
Heat pumps offer long lifespans, low long-term maintenance, and an increased home value when it comes time to sell.
And importantly, a heat pump is simply a great choice for the environment. By using energy more efficiently, a heat pump can greatly reduce the overall emissions from a home. Gen Less highlights that simply choosing a heat pump with a 7-star energy rating will generate 77% less emissions than a heat pump with a 2-star energy rating.
At Lite Energy, we love heat pumps for their high efficiency and kindness to the environment. We’re always happy to chat about heat pump options and their benefits for Kiwi homes, so get in touch here or give us a call on 0800 LITE NRG (548 3674) to find out more.