23 September 2011

A NATIONAL STUDY OF RESIDENTIAL HEAT PUMPS IN NEW ZEALAND


In recent years air source heat pumps have increased in popularity in both new and existing
houses in New Zealand. BRANZ is currently monitoring a nationally representative sample of
houses with heat pumps. These homes are having their heat pump energy use,
temperatures and humidity monitored, a house audit, an installation quality checklist as well
as in-depth interviews with the householders in the participant dwellings. This work allows us
to understand how they are being used for heating and cooling, the in-situ performance,
conditions achieved, the future uptake of heat pumps and the range of issues that arise
nationally and for households around heat pump use and the increasing prevalence of heat
pumps. Early results show that households with heat pumps use them extensively during
winter and have warmer houses than typical. However, energy use from some of the houses
is high and there is potential for savings through insulation and improvements in the
installation of heat pumps. Results of this work suggest heat pump prevalence in New
Zealand will continue to grow and so will the demand for energy.