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Efficient heating is a matter of choice

Efficient heating is a matter of choice

Choosing the right heat pump and using it properly is an efficient and effective way to heat your home, even when the temperature drops, says EECA’s Products Manager Terry Collins.

“Modern heat pumps are designed to work at colder temperatures. A good quality unit, sized and installed correctly, will perform effectively even down to minus 15° C. And any heat pump carrying the ENERGY STAR mark has been tested to ensure it performs well at typical winter conditions of 2 ° C – so we always encourage people to choose these models.

“Wood burners and heat pumps are two of the most cost effective ways to heat your home. But no matter what kind of heating you use, your bill is going to go up when the weather turns nasty and you need more heat. The trick is to make sure that you are being as efficient as you can with the heat you use.

“‘That means closing your curtains, only heating the spaces you are using, making sure you are using dry, seasoned wood in your woodburner, or using the thermostats and timers on a heat pump.

“Our research has shown that there are lots of factors that come into play when people choose a heater, but fundamentally, people are either flame-lovers or button-pushers and those preferences can be quite strong.

“Circumstance is another big factor – if you live in a rural area and have access to lots of free firewood then chances are you will go with a wood burner,” said Mr. Collins.

The Government’s Warm Up New Zealand: Heat Smart programme offers funding towards insulation and efficient heating. Customers can choose one of four options - ENERGY STAR heat pumps, wood burners, pellet burners, and 4-star AGA-rated flued gas heaters.

ENERGY STAR qualified heat pumps are the most popular choice making up about 80% of grants nationwide. But in rural areas, especially in the South Island, there is a lot of demand for efficient wood burners and wood pellet burners.

Under the programme, funding is also available for people who live in areas of poor air quality to choose to decommission their old open fire or log burner when they get their new heater put in.

Under the Warm Up New Zealand: Heat Smart programme, people on any income with houses built before 2000 can get up to $1,300 (or 33%) towards the cost of ceiling and under floor insulation for their house. Community Services Card holders can get 60% towards the cost of insulation.

Additional funding for efficient heating appliances is also available once insulation has been properly installed.


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