HEAT PUMP TYPES
In our experience, a floor console is less draughty than a high wall as they can get the heat out low, rather than having to blow it down from high in the room. However, there are many homes where there is no position available for a floor console, eliminating this option.
Heating/Cooling an entire home with one high wall / floor console is often not possible as you need air flow to carry heat, and the layout of most homes will restrict this - think narrow doorways and long passages.
Sometimes the answer is multiple units or a heat transfer system, sometimes the best solution is a ducted system.
In a ducted system, the indoor unit is located in the roof space (or can occasionally be placed under the floor) and ducting takes the air directly to every room in the home. This means the entire home is heated and there are no cold spots. Zone control can be fitted to 'turn off' areas when unused.
CHOOSING A HEAT PUMP
BRAND & WARRANTY
A trusted brand is obviously important. We stand by the products we sell so if we're advertising it, we trust it and we guarantee it.
If you would like a price on something we aren't advertising please ask - we supply and install most brands but there are far too many models on offer to list them all.
There are only a few brands we don't promote for reasons such high levels of warranty claims, poor back up service and astronomical parts prices.
PICKING A SIZE
We're more than happy to work with you to select an appropriate sized unit.
Many of you would have heard people say "you should always go a size bigger so it doesn't have to work so hard" and while it is important that the unit is not undersized, it definitely can cost more in the long run if you go too oversized. For example if the correctly sized unit was rated to 6.0kW, it might have a range of 0.9-8.0kW meaning it can ramp up as high as 8.0kW for a short time to get some heat out quickly, then 'cruze' as low as 0.9kW when the room is at temperature. If you were to go up to an oversized unit, say 7.0kW, the range might be 1.7-8.5kW meaning it's power consumption when 'cruzing', is almost double.
Simplicity. Most brands are relatively simple to use however some do things quite differently to others.
For example we find Hitachi E-Series remotes very simple for technophobes who don't want advanced timers or additional features.
Smarter. For those who want On/Off timers or smarter features, Panasonic & Gree both have different offerings:
Panasonic's econavi feature monitors sunlight and whether a room is occupied to adapt temperature and save energy.
Gree's iFeel feature gives the heat pump a temperature reading from where you are in the room to better determine when set temperature is achieved.
Filtration. All heat pumps filter dust and most claim to reduce bacteria and allergens with different coatings. Panasonic's exclusive nanoe-X 'active ion' system is claimed to be particularly good for allergy sufferers.
WiFi. Allows you to turn on the heat pump from anywhere with your smart phone - like on the way home from work or holiday. Now available for most systems on the market as an optional add-on. WiFi is included as standard with some new models including the Gree floor console & Hyper R32 high wall range.
PHYSICAL & LOCATION CONSIDERATIONS
Size. Most similarly sized units (kW wise) are similar in physical size too. However, if you are limited on space or want a smaller more discreet unit then ask us to help you choose one of the more compact heat pumps on the market.
Near the Coast? Corrosion resistance is a major consideration. Gree in particular claim to be superior in this respect and we have certainly found them reliable in coastal locations. Their outdoor units are made of galvanised steel that is then painted and stainless fittings are used throughout.
Flood Risk? Consider mounting the outdoor unit on wall or roof brackets to keep it off the ground.
High Wind? In certain conditions high wind can spin the outdoor fan and create a back EMF that can damage components. Some units have built in protection against this type of damage. Talk to us about your options if you live in a high wind area.
Of course, these are just our opinions and if you would like some more reading then EECA have plenty of great independent advice for you.
REFRIGERANT - R410A vs R32
This is what flows through the pipes between the indoor and outdoor units, transferring heat. R410A is the type of refrigerant which has been the industry standard for a number of years. With emissions standards becoming more strict, heat pump manufacturers are moving to R32 (which is actually one of the components of R410A) as it is better for the environment if it is accidentally leaked. R410A is still current and heat pumps with this type will still be sold for some time.
The newer R32 type heat pumps tend to be more efficient (higher EER & COP) than R410A models.
R32 also has a higher discharge temperature than R410A meaning the air coming off the unit can be hotter while raising the temperature of the room. The result of this is quicker heating.
As these are the newest models on the market, some R32 units also come with built-in WiFi rather than optional extra.
R32 is flammable so there are some limitations around proximity to open flames such as gas cook tops and fire places.
COP - Efficiency in Heating:
Coefficient of Performance or COP is a great way of measuring how efficient a heat pump is when heating. Put simply this is the ratio of how much equivalent heat you can expect (compared to a traditional heater) for every 1kW of power used. For example a unit with a COP of 3.0 will give 3 times as much heat for every 1kW of power used.
EER - Efficiency in Cooling:
Energy Efficiency Ratio or EER is the same type of ratio as COP described above, but taken in cooling mode.
A quick way to compare COP & EER but be careful that you are comparing units of the same rated capacity.
All heat pumps have a heating and cooling range that is different to the rated capacity. For example a unit rated to 6.0kW might have a range of 0.9-8.0kW meaning it can ramp up as high as 8.0kW for a short time to get some heat out quickly, then 'cruze' as low as 0.9kW when the room is at temperature. This is important to note because an oversized unit may have a much higher 'cruze' rating meaning it will consume more power than a correctly sized unit.
Where the outdoor unit is located behind the indoor unit, on the same external wall. Typically the cheapest install option as it does not require a condensation pump and the pipe run is relatively short.
If you are renovating or building, get us in before lining the walls. Pipework can be hidden inside the wall instead of running down the outside of the house - this looks much nicer, you generally have more options for best install location and can sometimes make the install easier too.