Heat Pumps vs. Fireplaces – How they measure up » HPAC Energy Centre
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Heat Pumps vs. Fireplaces – How they measure up

Tossing up which method of heating to use in your home, or simply wondering how these two options stack up? We take a look at the pros and cons of using heat pumps versus wood burners to keep your place toasty and warm during the cooler months.

Heat Pumps

  • Heat pumps are one of the most efficient and cheapest forms of heating around. This is because they don’t create heat, but move available heat from one place to another, meaning little electricity is used.
  • They can be less efficient when temperatures fall below five degrees celsius and a little noisy depending on your model, although most modern heat pumps are generally quiet.
  • Heat pumps provide you with the ability to adjust the temperature and fan settings, while heat is spread evenly throughout the room.
  • They’re super convenient and low maintenance, providing warmth at the touch of a button and allowing you to pre-set the timer or upgrade to a WiFi app to turn on your system when you’re out and about, meaning your home is nice and cosy when you get home.
  • Heat pumps are fitted with advanced filtration systems to provide optimal air quality, making them a good option for asthma and allergy sufferers.
  • Hot water heat pumps are available, which result in savings of up to 66% on water heating costs.
  • With no naked flames or hot surfaces, they’re a safe choice for kids and pets.
  • When the weather starts to warm up, your heat pump can be switched to air conditioning mode, meaning year-round ease and comfort.

Wood Burners

  • You can’t beat that authentic and nostalgic feeling that a wood fire provides – let’s face it, relaxing in a room when the fire’s on, sipping hot cocoa or mulled wine, is one of life’s simple pleasures.
  • Modern wood burners are cheap to run, with the main expense being firewood.
  • Wood burners will keep you and your home warm when there’s a power cut.
  • As wood is renewable and sustainable, this heating method is carbon neutral and produces minimal air pollution.
  • Some wood burners can be equipped to heat household water.
  • It’s important to note that open fires are generally an inefficient form of heating, with most of the heat escaping up the chimney. Older wood burners and potbelly stoves are less energy efficient, while all three create more air pollution.
  • Wood burners require a building consent to install and restrictions apply in areas of dense air pollution (i.e. Christchurch).

While both heat pumps and wood burners are viable forms of heating in New Zealand’s climate conditions - each having their advantages and disadvantages - it’s pretty clear that heat pumps win out. They won’t be able to toast your marshmallows on a cold winter’s night, but are the obvious choice when it comes to combined energy, cost efficiency and modern-day convenience.

To find out more about our full range of home heating solutions, get in touch


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