Heat Pumps and Power Bills

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13 years 11 months ago #13879 by ccrk9
we have been watching the push for heat pumps on TV, with the increase in advertising them plus all those renovation shows that install a heat pump as if its the best invention ever and scratching our heads in perplexity as our neighbours all rush out to get one installed. Often wondered if these so called enery efiicient devices were as good as they are cracked up to be and what the cost of running them was like.

An item appeared on teletext yesterday saying that heat pumps have been causing huge increases in peoples power bills, especially in tne South Island, with bills two and three times higher than normal. Today there has been an item that heat pumps are creating a huge demand in electicity as people dont use them properly, having them on all the time and their houses to hot, and in colder areas heat pumps are not effective as some alternate methods of heating in colder climates as they struggle to maintain temps and put more of a demand on the electric supply.

Give me my good old fashioned wood burners any day. Since we had our house insulated we have not turned an electic heater on, we maintain a comfrtable 20 degrees on cold nights and our fuel is free. Our power bills for two of us never vary much from summer to winter more than about $10. And we have heat when the power goes off.

The greatest fine art of the future will be the making of a comfortable
living from a small piece of land. ~ Abraham Lincoln ~

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13 years 11 months ago #213692 by reggit
Replied by reggit on topic Heat Pumps and Power Bills
I think it may be the case that the people with heat pumps are now heating their houses to the warmth that houses should be - rather than the cold conditions most kiwis seem to put up with!!

They are efficient, but of course if you suddenly start using them 24/7 it will cost you.

We're hoping our two heat pumps combined with top insulation and double glazing will keep everything to a nice temperature throughout. Will wait and see [:I]

Take a break...while I take care of your home, your block, your pets, your stock! [;)] PM me...

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13 years 11 months ago #213698 by ccrk9
Replied by ccrk9 on topic Heat Pumps and Power Bills
I seem to have seen somewhere that the ideal temperature for inside is 22 degrees. Anything over that and you are wasting energy. However I cannot sleep in a house that warm! 20 degrees seems to be Ok for us, and even at that I cannot sleep without opening a bedroom window before I turn the lights out. Otherwise I wake up feeeling stuffy and to warm (no electric blanket either!).

I also think all this heating isnt great for people health - yes we need warmth to stay healthy but to much warmth is as bad as being cold. I know people who have pannel heaters on all day and the house is stuffy and the kids in that house are always sick with something.

The greatest fine art of the future will be the making of a comfortable
living from a small piece of land. ~ Abraham Lincoln ~

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13 years 11 months ago #213702 by max2
Replied by max2 on topic Heat Pumps and Power Bills
We have watched the "heat pump" push in NZ from the comfort of our multi heated house, we have reverse cycle airconditioning, natural gas heating at 2 outlets and the wood burner.

Our preference every time is the wood burner and it maintains the house generally at a comfortable warm level. If we put our a/c heating on of a morning to take the chill off the house, I actually get quite sick after 10 minutes.....

As we are in an elevated area (not in sydney region) our climate is similar to North Waikato/Hamilton (but with less rain in winter[;)]).

I cannot understand how our neighbours can afford to continually run their "heat pumps" (or also known as split system air conditioning here) either.
Every morning guaranteed all the fans are working around us, and the hum overall is incredible. In some houses, it never stops.

But it would be interesting to know the "environmental impact of a Heat pump V. new model wood burner.....

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13 years 11 months ago #213717 by NZ Appaloosas
I dunno, I grew up with central heating (but not central air--it was a forced hot air/steam type heating system), and I've never been as sick in the winter as I've been since I moved here. Suffered my first bout of flu ever, since I moved here, too. I grew up in western New York state, with a norm of below freezing temps (day/night) and 3 or more feet of snow consistently on the ground, during the winter.

That said, there are ways to get "central heat" without using heat pumps, but they don't seem to be as available here in NZ. Also, I don't see many people using ceiling fans to help a) shift the heat around and b) keep the heat from just collecting at the top of the room.

Diane


Featuring Wap Spotted, sire of the first Wap Spot 2 grandget in Southern Hemisphere and New Zealand

On the first day God created horses. On the second day He spotted the best ones.

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13 years 11 months ago #213718 by oskatd
Replied by oskatd on topic Heat Pumps and Power Bills
Proper central heating rocks, and you can get it here in NZ. That said I reckon you always want a woodburner, lets face it, in winter there are always power cuts. Heat pump ain't much use then! My Mum was without power for 36 hours in the last storm - luckily they bought a nasty gas heater last winter, otherwise they would have been frozen.

Besides, if you have a heat pump, where will the dog lie?

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13 years 11 months ago #213721 by NZ Appaloosas
Definitely want a wood burner--how else are you going to leave soups, etc., simmering overnight? LOL

Diane


Featuring Wap Spotted, sire of the first Wap Spot 2 grandget in Southern Hemisphere and New Zealand

On the first day God created horses. On the second day He spotted the best ones.

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13 years 11 months ago #213726 by DiDi
Replied by DiDi on topic Heat Pumps and Power Bills
I have always had the theory that with people being told not to use their dryers, it is the reason so many people are getting ill.

Put your washing out - get as much water blown out as possible by the wind but always finish it in the dryer. They are not that expensive to run in relation to other appliances and I just think it is false economy not to do it.

Obviously others wil have woodburners etc but I know people who hang their washing in the garage etc and no way does it get properly dry. Seriously - I never get sick and figure that is why.

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13 years 11 months ago #213747 by betenoir
Replied by betenoir on topic Heat Pumps and Power Bills
I think its probably more to do with how people are using heat pumps..I've got one and my leccie bills for the last two months have been $130. Thats for a pretty standard 3 bedroomed place. We have it on from about 5 pm to 10 pm most nights at 21-23 degrees C. At weekends it can be on during the day ..mainly to dry things out.

[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC] BAAAAAAAAA

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13 years 11 months ago #213755 by max2
Replied by max2 on topic Heat Pumps and Power Bills
Mum and Dad have natural gas central heating here in aussie, they are a little more up in height than us, but it still isn't as warming as a wood fire/combustion unit.

For our rebuild we bought at Fielddays a Metro something or other, but with their premium 3 room (outlet) heat (cannot think of the name right now, but uses a fan to move the heat around the house from the firebox) and knowing how the heat builds up behind our firebox here, I think its an excellent idea and relatively cheap in the scheme of things for heat distribution.

We are also putting in ceiling fans as we have them also in Aust. and its so nice just to have the air move in summer with the doors open.

I really hate air conditioners and I don't understand why they are being promoted so heavily in NZ....

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13 years 11 months ago #213765 by sod
Replied by sod on topic Heat Pumps and Power Bills
Didi we don't have a dryer and hang ours out in sun or on porch if raining dont get sick any more than others

Having time is a measure of enthusiasm:rolleyes:

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13 years 11 months ago #213768 by jen
Replied by jen on topic Heat Pumps and Power Bills
WEe put clothes out on an airer under the verandah to dry. If they don't dry within a day or so we'll just bring the rack in and sit it in the room with the fireplace :)

jen (returned to townie life)
community.webshots.com/user/j_nepton

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13 years 11 months ago #213769 by Birman Babe
We have a heat pump and also a wood burner and coal range. We mainly use the heat pump in the summer (for cooling) and only in the winter if we get home late, etc, and just want a few hours of hours heat before heading off to bed (set at around 28deg). I never leave mine on 24/7, it would cost heaps. As it is, our power bill is only about $30- month more using our heat pump the way we do...it is really convenient at times!
Swaggie, I love airconditioning. After working outdoors for 3-4 hours in the heat its wonderful to come into a cool house and have your body temp drop :-) NZ has become alot more humid over the years !!

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13 years 11 months ago #213771 by Simkin
Replied by Simkin on topic Heat Pumps and Power Bills
We haven't used our drier since the kids are out of nappies - and that's a few years now. And even back then we only used it a few times per year and we don't have many 'sickies'. However, we have friends who are always sick and they only use the drier so I don't think DiDi's theory holds up.

Re heatpumps: we have neighbours who have a heat pump and they run around at home dressed for a polar expedition - two pairs of long johns plus track pants on top, 5 layers of pullovers, topped with a polar fleece coat, gloves and a woolen hat. And why - because every minute this thing is on costs them. But the council took their woodburner away as they took advantage of one of those 'deals' offered by the council.

I think it depends on people's attitudes. Some can't bear the thought of having to fork out money for each and every minute of running it, others enjoy the convenience of only having to push a button.

The argument that firewood costs money, too, doesn't always hold up either. Depends on the people. There is free firewood to be had - if you know where to get it and some people are satisfied with getting firewood in return for the effort involved.

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13 years 11 months ago #213778 by ccrk9
Replied by ccrk9 on topic Heat Pumps and Power Bills
I would not consider a heat pump as I simply couldnt afford to run it being on a limited income. I dont cut my power use for environmental reasons...its simple economics - cant afford more than the $90 to $110 a month I already pay. Had a fit last month gettin hit with a $150 bill- turned out I had been having baths nearly every night as we had lots of water and of course the water heating plus the water pump running pushed the bill up. Back to showers now.

Firewood dosent cost money if you are prepared to put in some effort. We have not bought any firewood in 4 years on this property and in 17 years living in town only bought one load. And its good exercise - better for you than pushing a button.

dont agree with DiDi re clothes dryers - we had one in town and had lots health problems. The dryer packed up a week before we moved and was not worth fixing. Been without for 4 years now and dont miss it - hang the washing out on the deck, then move it to hot water cupboard when its dry to finish airing or hang on a rack near a woodburner. No damp clothes.

Personally I think many health problems are caused by way to much environmental control - I was always sick when I worked in an office!

The greatest fine art of the future will be the making of a comfortable
living from a small piece of land. ~ Abraham Lincoln ~

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