Mini figurine of a heat pump in front of a piggy bank

How much does a heat pump cost to run?

With energy prices rising, there are opportunities to save money by understanding your commonly used appliances a little better. One of those is a heat pump, which most people use frequently throughout the colder months. But how much does a heat pump cost to run?

What many people may not know is that the humble household heat pump can often be one of the most energy-hungry appliances in the home. Even though many modern heat pumps are very economical, the sheer amount of use they get still makes them one of the biggest energy users in the home.

So, let’s look at how much it costs to run a heat pump, as well as some tips for keeping your energy bills down.

Heat pump costs

It’s difficult to give an exact indication of what any household might spend on heat pump use. The reality is, as technology improves, appliances become more energy effective. This is great for people with new systems, but it does mean the cost of running a brand-new heat pump and running one that’s 20 years old might be quite different.

With that being said, it’s also important to note that the cost of running even an old heat pump is likely to be less than trying to heat your home with fan heaters or standalone heating solutions. If you have a typical 6kWh heat pump and you leave it running for around 6 hours a day, for 6 months of the year, you would be looking at a cost of $400 per year.

Bear in mind, this is based on an average cost, and different types of heat pumps will cost more or less depending on age, energy efficiency and how you use them.

Leave your heat pump on, or use it as needed?

There is a very popular myth going around that the most economical way to use a heat pump is to leave it on all day. The theory is that running your heat pump is quite cheap, but the energy required to turn it on and off all the time makes it more expensive.

This is a myth.

Unless you were turning the system on and off every 10 minutes of the day, there is little basis for this theory. The reality is, if your heat pump is constantly running, then it is constantly using energy, and that costs money.

Considering how effective heat pumps are at heating or cooling a room quickly, and also maintaining a comfortable temperature, it makes no sense at all to leave your heat pump on all day. In the middle of winter, you may want to set the timer, so your heat pump comes on to warm the house up for your morning routine. And naturally, you’ll want to turn it on when you get home.

But if you’re not at home, there is really no point in leaving your heat pump on and it will likely cost you much more to run.

Saving money on heat pump use

Even though heat pumps are far more economical than most other heating solutions, there are still ways to limit your expenses even further. Below are some tips on making the most out of your heat pump.

  • Only heat the rooms you need. Close off unused rooms, and your heat pump will more effectively warm the rooms that need it.
  • Clean your heat pump’s filters at least twice a year. This promotes good airflow, and therefore your system doesn’t have to work as hard.
  • Choose heat pumps with good Energy Star ratings.
  • Maintain a comfortable temperature. The higher you set your heat pump, the more energy you will use, and the difference between just a few degrees can be substantial.
  • Close curtains and check the seals around your windows for air leaks.
  • Use timers to pre-heat or cool your home before waking up or arriving home. This is more economical than blasting the heat pump when you get home.

Looking for heat pump advice?

Whether you’re weighing up heating and cooling options or you just want to replace your tired old heat pump, we’d love to hear from you. RCR specialises in residential heating and cooling solutions, including heat pumps. How much does a heat pump cost to run? Well, we can recommend the most energy-efficient models and even give you some more tips on saving energy. Contact us today to find out more.


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