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Styled living room featuring an air conditioner, beige sofa, timber coffee table and console
Here’s how to choose the right heat pump for your home.


Most New Zealanders keep their homes warm and dry with a heat pump. These ingenious devices use electricity to move heat from one place to another. During the winter months, heat pumps pull warm air from outside and move it indoors to heat your home. In the summer, heat pumps act like air conditioners, moving warm air outside while circulating cool air inside your home.

Tip: Heat pumps are often confused with air conditioners, but they are more versatile. A heat pump can cool and heat your home, while an air conditioner can only cool.

The benefit of having a heat pump in your home

Heat pumps are one of the most cost-effective and energy-efficient ways to warm and cool your home, making it more comfortable. Installing a heat pump also reduces condensation and dampness in rooms.

How to choose the right heat pump

There are several different types of heat pumps to choose from. The type of heat pump that’s best for your home largely depends on space available and intended usage.

  • High wall or split system heat pumps. These are the most common units. They are usually mounted high on an internal wall, with the remainder of the unit located outside.
  • Floor console heat pumps. These units sit on the floor and are a good option if you don’t have a lot of wall space.
  • Ducted heat pumps. These systems allow you to heat multiple rooms by distributing the heat via ducts installed in your ceiling.

Before getting started, review your current insulation. If your home is older or if it isn’t insulated, it’s a good idea to insulate your home before installing a heat pump.

Next, review the layout of your home. Do you want to use the heat pump in a single room? Is it a large open plan lounge or a small home office? These factors will determine the size of the heat pump you’ll need, as well as its placement.

How do you want to use your heat pump? Will you use it mainly for heating, cooling or both? Would you prefer to control the unit remotely? (If so, ensure your heat pump is Wi-Fi enabled.) Will you be switching the heat pump off overnight and using it to heat cold rooms first thing in the morning? (If so, performance might be reduced, so factor that in.)

Your living situation will also affect your heat pump choice. For example, if you live near a coast, you’ll need to protect against corrosion if the unit is outdoors. There are also strict requirements for rental properties due to the Healthy Homes Guarantee Bill.

Healthy Homes legislation

Cold, damp homes have a lot of unhealthy repercussions for the people who live in them. New Zealand’s Healthy Homes Guarantee Bill became law in December 2017. Its goal is ensuring rental properties meet the minimum requirements for heating, insulation, ventilation, draught-proofing and dampness prevention so that landlords and tenants have warmer, drier and healthier homes while improving energy efficiency.

In regard to heat pumps, the standard requires an energy-efficient heater to be installed in the main living room of rental properties. Heat pumps are the preferred choice for landlords because they are easy to install and cost-effective to run.

Effective and efficient

Every heat pump is required to display an energy rating label. The more stars, the more energy-efficient the heat pump is.

There is also an online calculator to help you get a better idea of what a heat pump will cost you to run based on your usage.

Installation made easy

You can install a heat pump yourself. However, you will need a licensed electrical worker to connect the unit to the electrical supply.

In addition, we can install your new heat pump for you. Book a FREE, heat pump measure & quote today and we’ll arrange for a professional installer to come to you.

Ready to get started?

Explore our range of heat pumps.

Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.