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According to the Ministry for the Environment, leaving aside energy consumed by driving, space heating constitutes a whopping 33% of the average kiwi household’s energy bill.

If you could reduce the amount of energy your household used in this area it would not only save you money, it would reduce your impact on the environment as well.

With winter on its way, it’s a good time to think about how you can heat your home efficiently and economically. Other than wood, gas and electric heaters are the most popular form of home heating in New Zealand. But what is efficient in these categories?

ENERGY STAR® – the mark of energy efficiency

As far as electric heating goes, a heat pump is one of the most economical, energy-efficient ways to heat your home. The secret of heating with a heat pump is that there is no heating element; it uses a compressor to transfer the existing free heat in the outside air into your home.

Not all heat pumps are created equal. Some are much more energy efficient – and perform better at lower temperatures – than others. In New Zealand, EECA promotes a voluntary, international endorsement programme called ENERGY STAR. This is the global mark of energy efficiency; awarded to the top 25% most energy efficient appliances, home electronics and office equipment in each category.

The ENERGY STAR mark is only awarded to the most efficient heat pumps on the market (for both heating and cooling modes), and you’ll find the blue label on qualified products.

One range to be awarded the ENERGY STAR Mark is Mitsubishi Electric Heat Pumps, which are specifically engineered for superior heating performance. Their HyperCore® Range continue to be the only heat pumps in New Zealand guaranteed to deliver their full heating capacity regardless of how low the outdoor temperature drops. As such, a large number of Mitsubishi Electric Heat Pumps have qualified for the new ENERGY STAR Mark.

Getting the right sized model for the job and proper installation are also critical for efficient, effective heat pump performance.

The use of ducting a home for ventilation will assist with heating as it allows new air to circulate within the home and releases the stale and moisture filled air out.

Gas

Rinnai has a wide range of gas heating solutions for indoor and outdoor use. Visit rinnai.co.nz to select the gas fireplace that is right for you and the size of the area you are trying to heat. Of course they range in appearance too with an inbuilt fireplace range to freestanding.

Where to start

First things first: there is no point installing a new heating system in your home if the insulation is not up to scratch. A home without insulation but a good heat source will end up with a huge electrical bill because the hot air cannot be contained by the walls of the home. Insulation will change all that and hold onto the heat any heat source produces.

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Find out what you can do to be Energy Smart savvy in the articles linked below.

Resources

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