Air conditioning vs Heatpump: what’s the difference?

February 15, 2024


Heat pumps are great for warming your home in winter, but did you know a lot of heat pumps can also be used as a air conditioning unit, to cool you down in summer? So don’t wait until you’re a puddle on the floor, get in touch with our friendly customer service team to get a free heat pump quote. In the meantime, we’ve listed some frequently asked questions when it comes to choosing the right heat pump for your home.

what is a heat pump? how does a heat pump work?

Heat Pump

A heat pump uses electricity to move heat from one place to another. In winter, it pulls warm air from outside and moves it indoors to heat your home. In the summer, it acts like an air conditioner by moving warm air outside while circulating cool air inside your home.

85% of NZ Households keep their home warm and dry via a Heat Pump (or Home ventilation system or ducted heat pump)
source: The Aotearoa Housing Survey

Can my Heat Pump be used as an Air Conditioner as well?

In short, a heat pump cools and heats your home while an air conditioner just cools. Air conditioners can only pump heat in one direction – inside to outside – while heat pumps pump heat in both directions.

All the heat pumps G-Force sell and install have heating and cooling modes which means your unit can be used all year round to warm your home in colder weather, or as an air conditioner in summer.

Why is it important to have a heat pump in your home?

– 14% of NZ Households are concerned that their home is too cold in winter;
– 19% of NZ Households find it difficult to heat their home over winter;
– 48% of NZ households put on extra clothes to help stay warm during winter.
source: The Aotearoa Housing Survey

An extensive report by BRANZ found that heat pumps are highly energy efficient and the most cost effective way to warm your home. However, how you use your heat pump is important as heat pump performance is not a fixed factor and depends on:

– The indoor and outdoor temperatures when it is operating;
– What additional energy use is involved e.g using the defrost option;
– System loading – performance will be reduced if the heat pump only operates in demanding conditions, such as being switched off overnight then used to heat cold rooms on cold mornings.
source: BRANZ

What is the benefit of installing a Heat Pump?

A recent report by EECA found that the installation of a heat pump resulted in:
– Households that reported ever having condensation on windows in their living room or bedroom fell from 95% to 30% after the heat pump was installed.
– Households that reported ever having damp in the living room or bedroom fell from 55% to 12% after having the heat pump installed.
– 82% of households said their house was much more comfortable or more comfortable after having received a heat pump.
– 79% of respondents said they were more satisfied with their home after having the heat pump installed.
– The proportion of households that reported ever having restricted heating due to cost fell from 80% to 21% after a heat pump was installed.
source: EECA Warmer Kiwis Study: Interim Report

How do you choose the right heat pump for your home?

Here’s some points to consider when choosing a heat pump for your home:
– Will you use it mainly for heating or cooling or both?
– Does your home already have insulation or is it an older home? If your home doesn’t have insulation (or it’s old) we recommend you start there before installing a heat pump.
– Is it for a single room or a large open plan lounge for example. This will determine the size of the heat pump. And if you’re considering a high wall heat pump unit, you also need to think about the placement of the outside compressor unit.
– Would you prefer to control the unit remotely? Then you’ll need to ensure your heat pump is Wi-Fi enabled.
– Where you live also influences the type of heat pump suitable for your home, for example, coastal regions require protection against corrosion if the unit is outdoors.
– For Rentals, the Healthy Homes standards include minimum requirements for heaters in the main living room.
– Different types of heat pumps:
~~~ Floor console heat pumps: these units sit on the floor and are a good option if you’re tight on wall space.
~~~ High wall/Split system heat pumps: these are the most common units and are mounted on an internal wall. The remainder of the unit is located outside.
~~~ Ducted heat pumps: these systems allow you to heat multiple rooms by distributing the heat via ducts installed in your ceiling.

The G-Force team can advise on the make, model and how powerful the heat pump should be to best suit your needs and budget. For example, using a 3kW heat pump for heating your home 5 hours a day for 180 days per year will cost you between $90 – $150 which is less than $1 a day.

You can check out the EECA’s calculator to get some ideas what a heat pump will cost you based on your usage.

Is installing a heat pump a D.I.Y. project, or does it need to be professionally installed?

You do not need a qualified and registered person to install the heat pump however you do need a certified electrician (licensed electrical worker) to connect the unit to the electrical supply. Once complete, you should receive an Electrical Certificate of Compliance and Electrical Safety Certificate post installation.

G-Force Healthy Homes Solutions, offer a FREE, no obligation Measure and Quote Service which helps take away the headache and expense of getting it wrong. We can walk you through all the points above to ensure you get the best heat pump for your home & budget.


When you purchase your heat pump from G-Force, the cost of installation is included. Each heat pump also comes with a warrenty.

Below is a selection of heat pumps to give you an idea of cost. But do get in touch as we’re often running specials.

>> From $1,671 + gst – the Carrier High Wall Fern Series: offers features like Variable Fan Speed Control (allowing the user to select Fan Speeds between 1-100%), Active Clean (automatically cleans the Indoor Coil), and Sprint Mode (offering Fast Heating and Cooling).

>> From $1,955 + gst – the Daikin Cora Heat Pump delivers everyday efficiency to your living space & features a higher energy star rating, whisper-quiet sound levels and next-generation odour removal technology for powerful and thorough climate and air quality control.

>> From $1,667 + gst – the Rinnai Pro Series heat pump range is designed for New Zealand’s ever-changing climate, the Rinnai Pro Series High Wall Heat Pump System provides optimal heating and cooling all year round.

>> From $1993 + gst – the Toshiba Edge heat pump is packed with innovative features including Wi-Fi connectivity, self-cleaning function and sleep mode.

Is there anything else I should know about heat pumps?

Look at for a high energy rating label – every heat pump sold in NZ is required to display one. The more stars a heat pump has, then it’s more energy efficient and better for your pocket.

WHAT AREAS DO G-FORCE install heat pumps?

We offer heat pump installation in Auckland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty and Christchurch.

how do i organise a free heat pump quote from g-force?

That’s easy. Give us a call on 0508 088 888 or email our friendly customer service team on



At G-Force Healthy Home Solutions we’re all about making homes warmer, drier and more energy efficient for Kiwi families.

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