It's not uncommon to have questions about heat pumps. Here are some of the more frequently asked questions, and some answers.

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Do heat pumps just "heat"? Are they air conditioners as well?

Heat pumps are Air Conditioners that literally "pump heat". That means they can pump heat from outside into your home to warm you in winter; and vice-versa - pumping heat out of your home in summer.

As soon as an Inverter air conditioner is switched on, it provides the exact amount of power needed to rapidly cool or heat of the room. This enables it to reach the set temperature in about a quarter the time required by non-inverter models. So you're comfortable soon after you arrive home on a hot summer day, or after entering a room on a cold winter morning.

Why are there so many options, how do I know what size heat pump to buy?

Every home is different. The outside air temperature, the size of the room you want to heat, the number of windows, amount of insulation… It all affects the power requirements of your new heat pump. It's important to choose one that suits the size of the space you want to heat; if the heat pump is too small or too large, it will use more energy, cost more to meet your heating requirements and may not perform to the level required. CLICK HERE to arrange a no obligation heatpump consultation with an expert.

Will my heat pump still work if it's below freezing outside?

Even when it gets down below zero degrees, there is still "warmth" in the air that can be utilised. In New Zealand a good quality heat pump should perform effectively when the temperature drops below zero degrees celsius, provided it is sized and installed correctly. In colder climates the outside unit may frost over during the coldest part of the year, this is normal operation and your Panasonic Heat Pump will automatically stop and carry out a de-frost cycle before returning to its normal operation. All Panasonic Heat Pumps operate below zero degrees, with some units operating right down to -15ºC.

What is the difference between a Single-Split and a Multi-Split Heat Pump?

A single-split heat pump consists of a single internal "fan" unit matched to a single external "condenser" unit, designed to heat the room it is sized for and installed into. Although some heat may flow into other areas, It is unlikely to effectively heat your whole house. If you want to heat other areas of the house you may be better to consider a multi-split system, where a single outdoor unit powers up to four indoor units. This kind of setup can save space and power and cuts down on potential noise, but requires careful selection and installation. A Panasonic Heat Pump specialist can advise you on this.

Are they expensive to operate?

A quality heat pump can provide many times the amount of heat for the same price as running a conventional heater. Panasonic Heat Pumps are highly efficient in the first place, and include a whole range of features designed to maximise that efficiency. Working with a Panasonic Heat Pump specialist to choose the right sized unit to start with, then operating it smartly should use the minimum possible amount of electricity to effectively heat or cool your home. And tests have showed that choosing an ENERGY STAR certified Panasonic Heat Pump could save you $150 on your annual power bill over a less efficient model. However, any appliance will use more electricity if used incorrectly. CLICK HERE for some tips on smart heat pump usage.

Are heat pumps noisy?

Panasonic Heat Pumps feature extra-quiet operation for your comfort - and the comfort of your neighbours, too. Certain models also feature Quiet Mode, which further reduces indoor unit noise to as quiet as 21dB(A) for a comfortable night's sleep (the sound of leaves gently rustling in a tree is about 20dB(A)) - and reduces outdoor unit noise to as low as 41dB(A) (almost as quiet as a library, at 40dB(A)).

Can I install a heat pump myself?

Installing a heat pump is a much more complex process than, say, plugging in a fan heater or oil column heater. It is important that a Panasonic Heat Pump is installed by a qualified installer, who has the expertise and knowledge to:

- Select the right unit for your specific heating and cooling situation - Advise on the right locations - inside and outside - for the unit to be installed - Show you through all the features and functions of your new Panasonic Heat Pump, and provide a warranty for the unit.

It is not recommended to install your new Panasonic Heat Pump yourself; in fact, non-authorised installation may void the warranty. To help make the process as simple as possible, we can arrange a no obligation heatpump consultation with one of our approved installers.

What is ENERGY STAR?

EECA (New Zealand's Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority) promotes the blue ENERGY STAR® mark, which is applied to certain Heat Pumps to tell you which are the most energy efficient models in each range. By choosing an ENERGY STAR® qualified unit, you will be assured of the very best efficiency and maximum savings on your heating costs. Choosing an ENERGY STAR® heat pump can save you $150 on your power bill over a less efficient model. To view a list of heat pumps that have earned the ENERGY STAR® mark, CLICK HERE for more information. Further Information.

For more detail, or to get answers to questions you don't see here, why not book a free, no-obligation consultation with a Panasonic Heat Pump specialist?