Heat Pump Buyers Guide
Types of Heat Pump Units
The most common example of heat pumps. Easiest to install, although top heavy…….so needs a solid foundation. Disadvantage is if anything major goes wrong the whole unit may need replacing.
2) Split System
Generally has water flow/return pipes between the heat pump compressor unit and water storage tank. Potentially has a longer life as individual parts can be replaced. However slightly more plumbing is needed to connect units and poorer water quality needs to be accounted for.
Size with Demand – One tank size does not fit all. ~200litre systems suit 2-3 people. ~300litre systems suit ~4 people. Higher demand households should consider an electric backup boosted heat pump or a Japanese CO2 Heat Pumps (i.e. Reclaim Energy). These CO2 Heat Pumps are the only units on market that have an ‘instantaneous’ style of heat pump method……meaning its a lot harder to run out of hot water. The traditional heat pump method is a gradual heating, so if you run out of stored water you have to wait 2-5 hours for it to heat back up.
Noise / Timer Operation – Our strongest recommendation is to buy a heat pump with a built in timer. This ensures it never runs at night when noise could be an issue. It further ensures the heat pump operates during the day when the air temperature is hotter, thus its working at higher efficiencies. It also allows you to maximise benefit if you own solar power panels.
Company Background in Refrigeration – Don’t take risk on start up manufacturers. You want a product from a manufacturer who has been through the good and bad times.
Warranty – Look at the parts and LABOUR warranty when comparing systems. How many years are on the refrigeration side?
Efficiency – All systems are measured for performance against AS4234 Heated Water Systems – Calculation of Energy Consumption. This creates a % saving of energy versus an electric hot water system. This calculation is used to measure the Small-scale Technology Certificates (STCs), the higher the savings, the greater the number of certificates created. For 3-4 person usage in Perth (zone 3) based on the 2008 calculation methodology:
|STCs||Medium Load Zone 3 (Estimated MJ/Year)||Savings versus Electric Storage||Estimated Running Costs based on A1 Perth Tariff of 28.8229cents|
|0 (Electric Storage)|
Refrigeration Type – If you want to be a real greeny then you might want to consider the Global Warming Effect of the refrigerant used should it be released to the atmosphere. R134a is the most common type used with R744 employed in the Japanese CO2 heat pumps.
|Refrigerant||IUPAC Name||Net Global Warming Potential per 100 years|
Product Reviews – There are many websites offering consumer reviews. We can’t say you get an honest opinion of a products here, but can give you a gauge. We base our products on the number of callbacks we get. Quite honestly we don’t want any, so we only sell products that don’t cause us headaches!