How Does Heat Pump Installation Work

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How Does Heat Pump Installation Work

Don’t worry, I’m not going to get too “jargony” here. The science behind heat pumps is actually quite straightforward.

The best way to explain how a heat pump works is by imagining an air conditioning unit or refrigerator, in reverse.

If you’re into your thermodynamics, because who isn’t, right? The second law states: “heat will flow from hot to cold until the temperature of the systems becomes equal”.

In other words, it is impossible for heat to transfer from somewhere cold to somewhere hot. UNLESS, you use a bit of extra energy and reverse the refrigeration cycle.

A heat pump has one coil inside your home and one outside, drawing warmth from the outside air,  into your house.

So, that’s a heat pump in a nutshell.


Benefits Of A Heat Pump

Because they don’t require heating elements, they are very easy to maintain, extremely energy efficient and highly cost-effective.

They are also versatile. Cooling your home in the summer and heating it in the winter.

So basically, they save you money, are easy to look after and can be used all year round.


Picking The Right Heat Pump

There are quite a few different heat pumps out there and, as with most products, some are better than others.

Generally, your decision should be influenced by two things: size and energy efficiency.

The size of heat pump you’ll need depends on the size of the room you want to heat.

Buying one that is too small will require it to work “harder”. Too big and the heat pump will need to cycle on and off constantly in order to keep the temperature in the desired range.

As both of these will use more energy in the process, it is defeating the purpose of having the heat pump.

You will also need to consider: the positioning of the heat pump, the electrical wiring required, location of switchboard, the length of pipe needed and the path the drain takes.

There’s no “easy answer” here. Your circumstances are very much unique to you. 

Never attempt to do a homemade version, or one that you saw in a “lifehack” video on YouTube. Leave it to the professionals.

Secondly, check out the The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) star rating of the pump. The more stars, the more efficient the pump.

More stars also means more expensive, but think of it as an investment. You will be saving money in the long run.

Once again, an expert can help you choose the right pump.


Maintaining A Heat Pump

So, you have had your heat pump installed by professionals, how do you look after it?

Luckily, they don’t require much maintenance. But, there a few things you’ll need to do in order to it running at maximum efficiency and effectiveness.

  • Check (and replace) the air filters.
  • Keep your outdoor unit clear of overgrown plants or shrubs, snow, ice, and rubbish.
  • Keep the outdoor coils clean.
  • Flush the indoor condensate pan and drain it before using the air conditioning.

It’s also a good idea to get a heat pump expert out once or twice a year to inspect the unit.


There you have it, a warm or cold home as and when you need it. Efficient, effective and completely stress-free. There’s no “considering” to be done here, installing a heat pump in New Zealand is a no-brainer. Good luck!


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