How can I keep my home temperature healthy? What’s easiest? What’s cheapest? What’s environmentally friendliest? What does the techno-lingo mean?
More people now know that homes need to be kept 18-20 degrees to be healthy, but not everyone knows how heat pumps can maintain temperatures without costing the earth.
Here’s a quick rundown of what some of the latest technologies and features are, and what the lingo means. Hopefully this will make it easier for you to choose a model that will keep you comfortable, with low energy use, environmental impact and bills.
This man vs. machine is a total win for man. Human activity sensors can monitor human body locations in a room, including movements and absences. Energy and heat automatically adjust to human activity, such as increasing cooling settings when a room is full (of warm bodies), or turning off when the room is empty. This auto-adjustment keeps energy use (and power bills) to a minimum.
The sun is our most valuable (free) source of heat, and it can really affect the temperature inside a room with heat transfer through walls and windows. Sunlight sensors auto-detect heat and adjust to increase/decrease temperature to make the most of this free resource, whether it’s overcast and cool, sunny and warm, day or night.
Using wi-fi you can control your heat pump remotely, from your sofa, elsewhere in your home or even out and about. This feature is great if you’ve forgotten to use your pre-programmable settings or when things change – such as Wellington weather, or your own plans! Now commonly available as an add-on or built-in to certain models.
Filtration systems can help to remove unwanted particles from the air, such as bacteria and mould spores. Some systems and filters can de-activate up to 99% of bacteria and viruses, plus deodorise bad smells. Some models are accredited by Asthma NZ.
Historically, the most widely used heat pump refrigerant in New Zealand was HCFC-22 (known as R22). This has a moderately high greenhouse warming potential (GWP) and low ozone depletion level (ODP). As part of the Montreal Protocol the NZ government is phasing out HCFCs, so since January 2015 more refrigerants with less environmental impacts have become available. We are comfortable that R32 is a good choice refrigerant currently and it's used in two heat pumps we sell - the Panasonic Aero series and Fujitsu E3.
Thanks and stay comfortable,