Different sizes and styles of Heat Pumps

When selecting a heat pump for your home, there are a number of considerations. Here are a few rules of thumbs, but our staff are available for telephone or onsite discussion regarding your requirements and to evaluate the characteristics of your home.

  1. Size of room (3kW for a small to medium bedroom, up to 9KW+ for a large living space, with 8.1KW being the norm for most 3 bedroom homes).
  2. Whether a Ducted Air Circulation(tm) System is installed, or planned to be installed in the future. A larger heat pump is advisable if ducting is to occur.
  3. The volume of air in the house. Larger volumes of air (larger area of house and higher ceilings) require a larger heat pump.
  4. Existing heaters. If a large heater exists in one part of the house, often a second heat pump won’t be required. It is usually the same cost to duct the air from the existing wood/gas/radiant heater or heat pump, and a fraction of the running costs.
  5. Style of house. Construction features such as large windows, cathedral or skillion ceilings, insulation levels and orientation of the house all have an impact on what style and what strength of heat pump may be required.

 

Speaking from experience, if you are deliberating one size versus another, go with the larger size as you can turn a bigger heater down, but you can’t turn a smaller system up… Whilst it may cost a couple of hundred dollars more initially, you have the investment for 10+ years…

There are a few major styles of heat pumps:

  • Wall Split System Heat Pumps. The “split” refers to the fact that there is an internal and an external unit (connected via cabling and refrigerant tubing). This is the most common sort of heat pump in Tasmania, and is generally available at a lower price point that other types due to economies of scale.
  • Floor-Mounted Console Heat Pumps. Whilst regarded as the preferred style for heat pumps that are predominantly used for heating, most brands only have systems that max out at 6KW in heating capacity. There are some exceptions with specific brands (and some manufacturers are indicating that they will be bringing out larger models), but floor consoles are generally $500-$800 more expensive that their wall-mounted counterparts. Luckily, if you have or are planning to install a Ducted Air Circulation System, whether it is a wall or floor-mounted unit is irrelevant as the warm (or cool) air is continuously circulated anyway.
  • Cassette Heat Pumps, which are mounted flush with the ceiling. These are great for aesthetic and practical reasons; they don’t take up floor or wall space, they can be mounted in the middle of a large area, and are unobtrusive in most instances as they are on the ceiling.
  • Ducted Heat Pump Systems. These can be distributed via floor registers or ceiling vents, and are good for larger houses that require zoning control i.e. control the temperature in specific parts of the home. The are typically much higher in KW that wall splits (10-18kW) but give a consistent heat throughout the house.
  • Multi-Split Systems. As an alternative to many individual heat pumps in a house, a larger external unit (often called the compressor, or inverter) can have multiple internal heat pump consoles/units attached to it in different parts of the house.
  • Other styles. There are some other specialised alternative styles of heat pumps, such as “bulk head” and ceiling-mounted heat pumps which are used in specific scenarios.

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