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Thread: Heat Pumps

  1. #1
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    Default Heat Pumps

    Any Press F1 ers out there have any experience with heat pumps? Our old solid fuel burner has died of old age and the cost of replacement, not to mention council consents and restrictions on the emmissions of solid fuel burners, have made the purchase of a heat pump a viable option. What the retailers who sell them won't say, is how much they cost to run. I realise there are several factors to consider here, climate, location of unit as far as direction is concerned, what natural heating is available, home insulation etc. I have heard from "so called experts", estimations anywhere from $1 to $2 a day to run. We are in Southland, our lounge faces West and South, gets plenty of early morning sun, so there is some natural warming in the mornings, outside unit would be on West wall, and our home is reasonably well insulated.
    Any info and help here would be appreciated.
    RNY.

  2. #2
    Senior Member godfather's Avatar
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    Default Re: Heat Pumps

    Its really not possible to say what the cost will be, without knowing the heat pump size, the COP (coefficient of performance, or efficiency) and the area you want to heat. Also the cost of power, and the tariff you are on determines cost.

    The heat pumps efficiency is often quoted as about 3 (which is 3 kWh of heat for every 1 kWh of electricity used) but that drops off a lot when the outside temperature drops to freezing.

    A 2 kW fan heater uses 2 units of electricity per hour (probably abour 28 cents). Under ideal conditions, the heat pump will use about 1/3 of that to produce the same heat. Under very cold outside temperatures, look more at 1/2 of a standard heater running cost.

    How many of the equivalent of these you need we have no idea.

    But overall, I like and endorse heat pumps.
    Those that have put them in to replace other electric heating "to save money on the power" seldom seem to have saved much but have always increased their comfort level, and never complained at the cost of doing so.

    The other advantage is cooling in summer.

  3. #3
    Frank and Earnest. Cicero's Avatar
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    Default Re: Heat Pumps

    I would suggest you go to a reputable installing firm,not a retailer.They will tell the unit best suited to your requirements.
    Get a couple of quotes and listen to what they say.
    I have one and a bit early to say on cost,but find it brilliant.
    "The life of the dead is placed in the memory of the living." Cicero

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Heat Pumps

    We have had a heat pump for six or seven years and I am very happy with it. It is a 6KW unit that heats up the living areas (kitchen, dining/family room and lounge) quite nicely but on really frosty mornings the thermostat has to be cranked up three or four degrees more than normal to get enough heat from it as it tends to take longer on those days to gather up some warmth to throw out.

    As to cost, there is a difference of approximately $40 between our May and June power bills and from experience the July bill will probably be a bit more again. That difference would not be entirely due to the heat pump though. The pump is not running all day, usually just for an hour or two in the morning then about five hours in the evenings except on cold sunless days when it will be running for a lot longer.

    The Boss works in a very warm and toasty environment and sometimes complains that the house is cold on the cooler nights but the rest of us are fine.

    I would most definitely get one again and have heard that the latest models are even better than the one we have in terms of size (smaller) and efficiency.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Trev's Avatar
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    Default Re: Heat Pumps

    I have had one for a year and works very well. As said above can be used as a air conditioner in the summer. Also said above a 2kw bar heater puts out approx. 2kw of heat an hour where as a 2kw heatpump would put out 5kw of heat an hour for the same amount of power used. Another thing is you don't have to chop up firewood and bring it inside or fill the gas bottles for you gas heater if you use bottled gas.

    Trevor

  6. #6
    Senior Member pctek's Avatar
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    Default Re: Heat Pumps

    There was an article in the weekned Herald a little while ago with a comparison. Can't remember the exact details but a Kent type fireplace won (although I'd have to say depends on how much your wood costs, Akld vs Sthland is a BIG difference). Second were heatpumps.
    Then all the rest with electric bar heaters being the worst.
    Included open fires, potbellys, gas heaters etc etc

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Heat Pumps

    Hard to believe an electric bar heater would score lower/dearer than an open fire..?

    I enjoy looking at the flames when I light up in my realllyy old fireplace, but am under no illusions about its efficiency.
    Most of the heat is going up the chimney - whereas an electric bar heater isn't wasting any of what's being paid for..

    I thought a Consumer study wayback had those around the opposite way..?

  8. #8
    Frank and Earnest. Cicero's Avatar
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    Default Re: Heat Pumps

    To overcome the problem of deciding,we have both a woodburner and a heat pump.
    We managed to buy 30 cubes of firewood for $300.now that was nice!
    "The life of the dead is placed in the memory of the living." Cicero

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Heat Pumps

    Quote Originally Posted by FoxyMX
    It is a 6KW unit
    Just wanting to clarify that the output is 6KW (maximum). The input is 2KW.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Heat Pumps

    Thanks for all your replies. The brain must have been at half mast this morning, No one has spotted my error. Of course, the morning sun does not shine from the West, that should have read the lounge faces South East, and outside unit would be on the East wall. All that aside, your comments are appreciated. In our Kent Log Burner, we are using around 9 - 10 cubic mts of wood a year at around $55 per mt, but also heats the water when the fire is on. So $500 odd dollars pays for a lot of power. Add to that, the convenience of not having to find dry wood, (becoming harder to get), have the space to store enough to last, carry and chop the damn stuff, and get rid of the ash and dust that these type of appliances put out, the heat pump option is looking more and more likely a probability. I have an istaller coming around tomorrow night, so will take his advice to model and size etc.
    Thanx again.
    RNY.

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