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Lets face it – if you are considering buying a heat pump, one of the main reasons is probably because they are very efficient. The efficiency of a heat pump is an important factor but does need to be weighed up with other factors when making your final choice.
Why do you need to consider efficiency?
The more efficient a heat pump is, the less it will cost you to run when producing the same amount of heating / cooling. Ultimately this effects your monthly electricity bill. So if you’re spending the money and investing in a heat pump you should consider its efficiency, in combination with other factors, when deciding which heat pump to buy.
Do the running conditions effect efficiency?
Yes they do. To make comparisons fair, manufacturers are required to test their units’ capacities (and therefore efficiencies) at a given set of temperatures, when operating in a stable and continuous way. So, if the actual temperature is different when you are running a heat pump, the capacity and efficiency will also be different. A few manufacturers also publish data at alternate test conditions, but at present this is not very common. Some manufacturers “model” or “calculate” capacity and efficiency at different temperatures. This is only a guesstimate, and is unable to be verified as accurate, so should not be compared to actual tested data under any circumstances.
When inverter heat pumps slow down does the efficiency change?
Yes it does. All efficiencies quoted are when the heat pumps are running at 100% capacity (but not in “boost” mode). With inverter heat pumps, as the room gets close to the required temperature, the heat pump reduces capacity. When it does this the heat pumps efficiency will increase, sometimes dramatically. As it is very difficult to make a test which would ensure an even comparison of brands and models at reduced capacity, no data has been published for this.This increase in efficiency obtained when reducing capacity is one of the reasons why it is very important to get a correctly sized heat pump. A heat pump selected to operate mainly around the middle of its total capacity range will end up being much more efficient than one which is running at flat out or in “boost mode” the whole time.
How do I know what the payback period is for buying a more efficient heat pump?
PACKBACK PERIOD - EASY TABLE
Extra Purchase Cost of System
$10 less electricity per year
$20 less electricity per year
$30 less electricity per year
$40 less electricity per year
So which is more important efficiency or price?
Only you can decide this, but the best way is to determine what the heat pump will cost you over its whole life. To do this you need to compare many factors such as:
• Purchase price
• Running cost
• Maintenance costs
• Warranty period / spare parts costs
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