So why are they so great? For starters, they’re relatively cheap to run, very efficient, and provide instant heat or cooling.

But more than that, they’re climate-friendly.

Unlike gas heaters, heat pumps are very low emission. This is because they run on electricity, which in New Zealand is around 80% renewable and generated from natural sources like hydro, geothermal, and wind. So when you make the call to get a heat pump, you’re helping to significantly reduce your carbon footprint.

When it comes to choosing your heat pump, it's important to consider things like the size of the space you want to heat, the type of heat pump you want, and how efficient it is.

To help with that, we’ve put together a guide to choosing a heat pump.

Types of heat pumps

There are a few different types of heat pump to choose from, depending on your needs.

It's well worth doing a bit of research into the different types of heat pumps, how they work, and what they look like, to see what might be best for you. Heat pump suppliers should also be able to give you good advice on what could work well for your home.

Single-split systems

A single-split system is the most common heat pump in New Zealand, with one outdoor unit connected to an indoor unit that heats the room it’s installed in. Single-split systems are pretty easy to have installed and they're also cost-effective.

Multi-split systems

Multi-split systems connect one outdoor unit to multiple indoor units to heat different rooms in your home. These systems are good options for people who have larger homes or want to have several indoor units, but don't want multiple units outside. With both single and multi-split systems, you can choose from a floor console, ceiling console, ceiling cassette, or high-wall unit.

Ducted heat pumps

Another type of heat pump is a ducted heat pump, which works a little differently. They’re a type of central heating system that blows heated air through concealed ducts into multiple rooms in your home. They can be more expensive than the other options, but will heat your whole house, and are well hidden, so they’re a good option for people who don't like the look of a heat pump unit.

Look for the label

Heat pumps are the most efficient way of using electricity to heat your home, but some models are more efficient than others. To help you out, a new Zoned Energy Rating Label is being introduced which tells you how well a heat pump or air conditioner performs in NZ’s climate zone. You can see how much electricity the heat pump will use each year, how loud it is, and how efficient it is.

Using a heat pump with 7 stars on the Energy Rating Label generates 77% less emissions than a similar heat pump with only 2 stars. The Zoned Energy Rating Label is a great way to factor energy efficiency and running costs into your decision-making, so make sure you check the label before you buy.

Our Rightware tool lets you filter and compare heat pumps being sold in New Zealand. You can find the type of heat pump that meets your needs, and compare the different models based on their energy efficiency rating.

Big isn't always best

If you’re looking at buying a heat pump, it’s important to choose the right-sized heat pump for the space you want to heat. If it’s too small, it’ll struggle to heat the room. If it’s too big, you’ll pay more than you need to. A good heat pump supplier should be able to come to your place and assess how big the space is, how many windows there are, and the climate you live in, then give you advice that’s tailored to your home.

Insulation: a secret weapon

By making sure your home is properly insulated, your heat pump won't have to work as hard and you won’t pay as much in bills each month. Check that the insulation in your home is up to scratch and if not, it’s a good idea to add extra. Insulation experts are often happy to come to your house and check your insulation for you.

You can stay even cosier by installing thermal curtains which keep more heat in the room, or by putting draft stoppers at the bottom of your doors to minimise any heat that might escape through the cracks.

Find out more about insulation