We love Timaru… but we get some crazy weather here in South Canterbury!
Temperatures in Timaru typically range from -2-12 degrees. Our average sunshine hours drops to about 125 per month instead of 200 in January. However, many of you know that this year (2021), South Canterbury recorded both New Zealand’s coldest and the warmest temperatures during winter. Timaru recorded 68mm of rain for winter, which was about 53 per cent of average.
So a lot of people are asking about the efficiency and the cost effectiveness of heat pumps for Timaru conditions.
Did you now that heating can make up to 35% of your winter heating bill? It’s not a huge jump to realise that the heating option you choose is having a significant impact on your power bill.
The benefits of using a heat pump far outweigh the cons. In New Zealand, over 25% of all households now own one to make them our third most popular heating solution! They are much more energy efficient than other electric options and cost-effective too – perfect for those who want cheaper bills every month during winter time.
According to energywise.govt.nz, a heat pump used 6 hours per day for 6 months of the year with an energy output of 6KwH will cost around $400 per year to run. So, if you use a heat pump instead of an equivalent electric heater in your living space can save you around $500 a year.
Consumer NZ says that if you install a heat pump and keep your home about as warm as you do now, you could save a considerable amount in heating costs. It is important to remember though, that many people use a heat pump to make their home even warmer. This means that they don’t save as much money as they could, but most are happy with this trade-off.
Get the Right heat Pump
It is important to bear in mind though that you do need to select the correct heat pump for your home.
Genesis Energy state that the lowest energy efficient heat pumps available in New Zealand are 250% efficient (they give $2.50 heat for every $1 of electricity used). The most efficient models on the market are over 500% efficient.
Heat Pumps have an energy star rating to help you choose which one to buy. ENERGY STAR® qualified heat pumps use up to 30% less energy compared to a non-qualified model. (3) They may cost more upfront to purchase, but it could save you up to $150 each year on running costs.
Choose the correct sized model
Having the correct sized unit for your space and level of insulation is important. Too small and the heat pump will use more energy trying to keep the space warm.
Too large and it’ll be less efficient as you’ll have to keep switching the unit off to stop it from overheating.
What sized heat pump you’ll need is based on:
Where you live – some heat pumps do not perform as well in the cold, so if you regularly get below -5ºC outside, you need to choose one that will perform well, or the unit will spend excess energy defrosting
Climate – seaside or geothermal areas need protection against corrosion
The house’s level of insulation
How many windows there are
Will a heat pump save you money in Timaru?
Well, it depends. But, generally, as long as your house is insulated, and you get the heat pump that matches your home, yes, it will save you money.