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What is the most efficient way to use heat pump?
Jay-Jay & Flynny
Jay-Jay & Flynny

Is it OK to leave a heat pump on all day? Paul Flynn Investigates

How can we make the most of our heat pump usage without it costing a fortune?
26 July 2023 6:30PM

The heat pump is a staple in many modern Kiwi homes. A source of warmth during those chilly winter nights, it's not uncommon to have the heat pump running all through the night.

But we're in a cost-of-living crisis. Even the government is suggesting we could save money by not running our heaters over a certain temperature. So with that in mind, what is the most efficient way to run your heat pump that won't cost you a second mortgage?

Investigative radio personality Paul Flynn found the answers we needed to know, and busted the heat pump myths, with help from Consumer NZ's Test Content Team Leader, James le Page.

The biggest burning question: What do we do with heat pumps? Is it okay to leave them on all the time, and does it save power, like people assume?

The quick answer from James: "Don't bother."

"You should only ever have your heat pump running if you're at home. They work really fast."

A good heat pump should not take too long to heat up a room, especially if you've taken smart measures to insulate your home and retain heat at night.

"You can play with your remote and turn the fan setting up as well, and that makes it work smarter. That's our advice there."

Consumer NZ recently released a cost breakdown of appliances that cost your home the most, with heating on average using 45c an hour.

In their research, it was considered more energy efficient than a plug-in heater, which would be at least 10 to 15 cents more expensive to run per hour, and take longer to warm up a room.

But a "really well-kept secret" Kiwi homes can benefit to learn is how to install cheap but effective DIY home insulation, which will stop heat from disappearing out of your drafty windows.

A double glazing kit could cost less than $10 a pane, and can be purchased from DIY retailers like Bunnings, Mitre 10 or Placemakers.

"The tricky bit is making sure it goes on nice and smoothly."

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