Central heating in New Zealand is not very common despite it being the norm in other similarly cold, developed countries. Efficient space heaters that are commonly used in New Zealand homes are designed to heat the room or space they’re installed in, usually the living/dining areas only.
So what about the bedrooms? Even if you install a second heat pump or flued gas heater in the hallway, it’s unlikely that much heat will transfer into the bedrooms, especially if you like to keep your bedroom door closed. If you’ve invested in an efficient heater for your living area but your bedrooms are still cold, what’s the best option?
Heat pump in the bedroom? Heat pumps are one of the most efficient heaters available, however we generally advise against installing them in bedrooms. Although technology is improving, they are not silent, and their dry blowy heat that can make sleeping with them on uncomfortable.
On average they cost 3-4 times less to run than a standard electric heater and therefore they can pay for themselves in energy savings if they’re used often. However, if you were to install a heat pump in the bedroom it’s unlikely that most people would use it often enough to recoup the cost in energy savings.
Then what’s the best option? For large draughty spaces that don’t retain heat well, it’s best to focus on heating objects (like yourself!) rather than the air. Radiant heaters work this way (think glowing element type heaters). If you have a small bedroom that’s well sealed and insulated, a convection heater will heat and circulate the air in your bedroom. Many heaters are part convection and part radiant. We recommend choosing one that:
The Trust sells the Tatou brand radiant heaters that are well suited for taking the chill off bedrooms. In addition to having a built in digital thermostat, timer, and pre-set programming, they also have a motion sensor which turns the heater down if there’s been no movement in the room for 30 minutes. If you'd like to find out about more home heating options visit our heating page.