An Energywise report into how a home heat pump compares against other forms of home heating has confirmed what heat pump specialists have been saying for years: in terms of efficiency, ease of use and economy, a heat pump comes out on top.
Energywise is part of the New Zealand Government’s Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA). This agency was established to improve the energy efficiency of New Zealand homes and businesses and encourage the use of renewable energy. As an impartial observer of energy efficiency in New Zealand, including how we heat our homes, their reports make for enlightening and balanced reading. This report on heat pumps vs other forms of heating is no exception.
The report found that wood heating is fractionally cheaper – for 5kw at 10 hours per day, 4 months of the year, a wood burner cost $360 on average, against $365 for a heat pump. That finding has to be considered in context. It doesn’t take into account the transport expenses incurred in collecting ﬁrewood or having it delivered. Then there’s the often arduous task of chopping wood, putting that wood into storage, and constantly having to feed it into a ravenous fire. Of course, the time and expense of getting council consent come into the equation as well.
When it comes to other heating methods, it’s wood burners and heat pumps in a virtual dead heat, and then daylight to other heat sources. According to the report, for 5kw at 10 hours per day, 4 months of the year, diesel central heat costs $868, an electric fan heater $1,095, and a gas flued heater would set you back $1, 157.
As for energy efficiency – or the heat return you get out compared to what you put in – a heat pump heating system is way ahead of the rest. Energywise states that an electric heat pump boasts a staggering energy efficiency of up to 500%; for example, Fujitsu Hi-Wall range returns up to $6.50 worth of heat for every $1.40 spent on power. Conventional wood burners offer just 25% in comparison. Pellet burners, diesel central heating, electric radiant heaters and gas flued systems are all 90% energy efficient, with electric fan heaters coming in at 100%. For getting much more out than you put in, electric heat pumps are in a league of their own
Modern heat pumps are also leading the way when it comes to providing clean air. As an example, gas heating can release harmful gases that have the potential to affect people with breathing disorders such as asthma, while increased condensation is also bad for our health as well as the fixtures we use in our home. On the other hand, technological advances, particularly in filter systems, make the latest heat pumps a safe and environmentally sustainable home heating option. ‘
As an option with all-round benefits, a heat pump for house heating is hard to beat. In fact, when it comes to efficiency, it’s not just hard to beat…it’s unbeatable. When you compare it to other forms of home heating available in New Zealand, it’s difficult to imagine why you wouldn’t invest in an electric heat pump.