Best spa pool heat pump in New Zealand 2024 (Features, cost, pros, cons and more)

If you're a spa owner and want to reduce your energy consumption, investing in a spa heat pump is a smart choice. However, it's important to choose the right one for your needs. Keep reading to learn more.

Best spa pool heat pump New Zealand

If you're a spa owner and want to reduce your energy consumption, investing in a spa heat pump is a smart choice. However, it's important to choose the right one for your needs.

In this article, we review the top heat pumps for sale in New Zealand along with important factors you need to consider when buying a heat pump, tips on spa maintenance and installation, and more.

Please note: All information, including pricing and product details, was accurate at the time of writing and may change without prior notice.

How do I choose the right spa heat pump? What to look for.

Now that you know how beneficial a spa heat pump can be, it’s time to start shopping for one. However, with the many options available, how do you know where to begin?

Here’s what you should look for when buying a spa heat pump:

1. Does the heat pump interface with your spa controller?

If your spa uses a controller like the SpaNet® SV series, you can interface it with a compatible SpaNet® SV heat pump. This lets you control your heat pump directly from the spa touchpad or the accompanying SpaNet® mobile app.

This will be easier to install and more convenient to use.

2. Is the heating capacity sufficient?

Spas come in all shapes and sizes, so when you’re shopping for a heat pump, we suggest taking note of the unit’s heating output (measured in kilowatts).

As a rule of thumb, anything up to 2500L needs around 5.5kW - 6kW. The bigger the spa, the bigger the heating output you will need to support it.

3. Is the heat pump electrically certified?

One vital piece of information you need to know before you purchase a heat pump is whether the item has the correct electrical certification for use in New Zealand. You may find heat pumps without this certification selling at lower prices.

Purchasing unapproved electrical components may put your family at risk, and could void insurance coverage in the event of a fire or other damage to property.

4. Is the heat pump quiet?

Before you purchase a heat pump, make sure the noise of the operation won’t go beyond what’s comfortable or acceptable in your neighbourhood. Try looking for a heat pump with an ambient noise below 55dB if you want something quiet.

If you live in a housing area with noise restrictions, ensure you check what ambient noise levels are acceptable.

5. Is the heat pump eco-friendly?

Heat pumps are energy-efficient, making them a much more environmentally-friendly heating solution than electric heater elements.

However, not all heat pump brands are sustainably sourced or use an eco-friendly refrigerant. We suggest looking for either R32 or R410A rated refrigerant so you can be sure that your heat pump is safe for the environment.

Ready to choose your own spa heat pump? Take a look at our review of the top heat pumps available in New Zealand.

In the next section, we highlight each unit’s pros and cons to help you see the best choice for you and your spa.

Best small heat pump: SpaNet™ Eco-Cube Heat Pump

SpaNet EcoCube best heat pump for small spas

The SpaNet™ Eco-Cube mini heat pump is an efficient heating solution that significantly lowers energy costs for small to medium-sized spas. There are two models available:

  • SpaNet EcoCube™ 3.3kw CHP-33
  • SpaNet EcoCube™ 5.5kw CHP-55

Eco-Cube heat pumps feature simple plug-and-play installation without the need for additional electrical circuits, making it suited for DIY projects. The heat pump comes with a plastic cabinet resistant to UV rays, ensuring durability. It also boasts an IPX5 water protection rating, which means it's built to withstand being installed by the side of a spa without water damage.

One of the key advantages of the Eco-Cube is dual-core heating and cooling, which means that it can not only warm your spa but also cool it down as needed, even to temperatures as low as 5 degrees Celsius. This can be particularly useful for ice bath applications or during hot weather.

Learn the pros and cons of this heat pump below.

Pros of SpaNet® Eco-Cube Mini Heat Pump

Integration with Spa Controls. Dedicated interface connection to SV Series spa control system.

DIY Installation. Plug-n-play unit with direct cable connection to all SV Series spa controls. No additional power circuits required.

Heating and Cooling Functions. Allows for automatic heating and cooling of the spa water – heat to 40 degrees or cool to 5 degrees.

Eco-friendly. Environmentally-friendly R290 natural refrigerant.

Protection Against Water Ingress. With an IPX5 water protection rating, the Eco-Cube is noted for its water resistance, a critical factor for equipment installed near spa pools.

Affordable and economical. Eco-Cube is High quality, efficient, low cost: One of the lowest-priced spa heat pumps on the market, it pays for itself in as little two years with power savings of up to 75%. The estimated pay-off time on EcoCube™ RRP for a 1300ltr spa is 2-3 years depending on location.

Quiet and discreet. Low noise output and compact size make it ideal for small outdoor areas.

Cons of SpaNet® Eco-Cube Mini Heat Pump

Not universal. SpaNet® Eco-Cube Heat Pumps only work on spas with the SpaNet® SV Series spa controller.

Limited power capacity. Only suitable for small to medium-sized spas. Not suitable for entertainer spas or swim spas.

Limited location options. Ideally it should be mounted against the spa unlike SpaNet® SV Series Heat Pumps that can be installed up to 2.5m from the spa.

SpaNet® Eco-Cube Mini Heat Pump

3.3kW

5.5kW

Price (exclusive of delivery or installation cost16901990
Heating Capacity3.4 kW5.5 kW
Current Draw3.5 A5.5 A
Cooling Capacity2.1 kW3.5 kW
RefrigirantR290R290
Heat ExchangerTwisted TitaniumTwisted Titanium
Noise @ 1M (dBA)4750
Minimum Flow Rate (LPM)6580
Operating temp range -2°C to 43°C-2°C to 43°C

Best Smart Heat Pump: SpaNet® SV Series Heat Pump

SpaNet™ 5.5kw SV Hybrid Heat Pump

The SpaNet® SV Series heat pump interfaces with the SpaNet® SV Series spa controller. This makes it incredibly easy to use, mainly because you can access it via remote, touchpad, or with the Vortex App.

Check out the pros and cons of SpaNet® SV Series Heat Pump below.

Pros of SpaNet® SV Series Heat Pump

  • Easy to install. The SpaNet® SV Series Heat Pump plugs straight into your SV controller, so installation is a piece of cake.
  • Easy to control. This heat pump interfaces with your spa’s SV controller and can be controlled directly from your spa’s touchpad and mobile app if installed. The full integration also uses all energy-saving functions of your controller to make it more efficient.
  • Efficient heating and cooling. You can utilise your heat pump and your spa’s element heater simultaneously for faster and more efficient heating. In warmer months, the heat pump also provides very efficient cooling.
  • Save on spa running costs. With a SpaNet® SV Series Heat Pump, you can save up to 75% on your spa heating bill. This minimises your spa running cost so you can enjoy your spa more often with less running costs.
  • Eco-friendly. The SpaNet® SV Series Heat Pump uses low carbon technology and safe refrigerant technology, which are both safe for the environment.

Cons of SpaNet® SV Series Heat Pump

  • Not universal. The SpaNet® SV Series Heat Pump will only work on spas with the SpaNet® SV Series spa controller.

SpaNet® SV Series Heat Pump Specifications

5.5kW Version

8kW Version

12kW Version

Price (exclusive of delivery or installation cost)$2,845.95 incl GST $3,308.30 incl GST$4,453.30 incl GST
Heating Capacity 5.6kW 8.6kW 12kW
Current Draw 5.3A 7.8A 10.8A
Cooling Capacity 4.0kW6.0kW 8.4kW
RefrigerantR410AR410A R410A
Heat Exchanger Titanium / PVC Titanium / PVC Titanium / PVC
Noise dB(A) 494951
Water Flow (m3/hour) 2.234
Operating temp range 0ºC to 40ºC 0ºC to 40ºC 0ºC to 40ºC

Best Universal Heat Pump: SpaNet® PowerSmart Universal Heat Pump

If your spa does not use the SpaNet® SV Series spa controller, you may still enjoy the power-saving and heating benefits of the SpaNet® heat pump range with the PowerSmart Universal Heat Pump.

The SpaNet® PowerSmart Universal Heat Pump is suitable for most brands of spas and controllers, making it the best universal heat pump.

Learn the pros and cons of this heat pump below.

Pros of SpaNet® PowerSmart Universal Heat Pump

  • Does not require a SpaNet® SV Series spa controller. The PowerSmart Universal Heat Pump can be used on most brands of spas and controllers and may be used even without the SV spa controller.
  • Efficient heating and cooling. Even without interfacing with the SV controller, the PowerSmart Universal Heat Pump has efficient heating and cooling with an operating temperature range of 0ºC to 40ºC.
  • Save on spa running costs. Similar to the SV Series, you can save up to 75% on your spa heating bill with the PowerSmart range.
  • Eco-friendly. The PowerSmart Universal Heat Pump uses the same R410A refrigerant as the SV Series heat pumps which does not cause ozone depletion. With this refrigerant, you can achieve higher performance with less power usage at no consequence to the environment.
  • Multiple models. The SpaNet® PowerSmart Universal Heat Pump also has a bigger range of models to accommodate different sizes of spas and pools from 6kW all the way up to 19kW.

Cons of SpaNet® PowerSmart Universal Heat Pump

  • Does not interface with SpaNet® SV controller.

SpaNet® PowerSmart Universal Heat Pump Specifications

6kW Version

8.3kW Version

14kW Version

17kW Version

19kW Version

Price (exclusive of delivery or installation cost) $2,835.50 $3,274.20 $4,483.30 $5,617.50 $6,088.30
Heating Capacity 6.0kW 8.3kW 14kW 17kW19.5kW
Current Draw 5.3A7.2A12.8A15.0A17.0A
Cooling Capacity 4.3kW5.8kW9.7kW11.5kW 14.5kW
Heat Exchanger Titanium / PVC Titanium / PVC Titanium / PVC Titanium / PVC Titanium / PVC
Noise dB(A) 4849525354
Water Flow (m3/hour) 458910
Operating temp range 0ºC to 40ºC0ºC to 40ºC0ºC to 40ºC0ºC to 40ºC0ºC to 40ºC

Best Inverter Heat Pump: SENSAHEAT PI Series Heat Pump

If you’re looking for a heat pump that offers world-class efficiency and innovative design, we strongly recommend the SENSAHEAT PI Series Heat Pump.

This series uses the latest inverter technology to give you massive cost savings and has a sleek design that hides the fan so the front face can blend smoothly into your outdoor space.

Find out more about the SENSAHEAT PI Series Heat Pump below.

Pros of SENSAHEAT PI Series Heat Pump

  • World-class energy efficiency. SENSAHEAT PI Series Heat Pump uses inverter technology which has a higher overall annual energy efficiency compared to other heating technology.
  • Power saving. Inverter technology eliminates wasted operation in the pumps by efficiently controlling the motor speed, contributing to less overall energy usage.
  • Quiet operation. The SENSAHEAT PI Series Heat Pump runs on a much lower ambient noise compared to most heat pump brands available. The sound level of this range falls between 16.8dB and 32.9dB.
  • Wifi-enabled. The SENSAHEAT PI Series also enables users to connect to a mobile app so you can control its functions remotely.
  • Innovative design. Unlike many heat pump models, the SENSAHEAT PI Series has a classy and sleek design. The fan is not visible from the front face, so with proper positioning, it should easily blend with its surroundings.
  • Long-lasting reliability. The SENSAHEAT PI Series uses the Mitsubishi DC twin-rotary inverter compressor which is

Cons of SENSAHEAT PI Series Heat Pump

  • Does not interface directly with your spa controller.
  • Lower cooling capacity.

SENSAHEAT PI Series Heat Pump Specifications

HPPI09

HPPI13

HPPI17

HPPI21

HPPI28

HPPI35

Price (exclusive of delivery or installation cost) $3,565.67 $5,075.75 $6,499.01 $8,016.64 $9,188.84 $11,199.00
Heating Capacity 9kW13kW17.5kW 20.8kW27.8kW 35kW
Cooling Capacity 4.4kW 6.2kW 8kW10kW11.7kW 16kW
Heat Exchanger Twisted Titanium Twisted Titanium Twisted Titanium Twisted Titanium Twisted Titanium Twisted Titanium
Noise dB(A) (at 10m) 16.8~26.1 20.1~28.7 21.1~31.8 18.9~32.2 21.5~32.9 20.6~32.6
Water Flow (L/hour) 30-70 70-100 100-130 130-170 170-200 200-300
Operating heating temp range 18ºC to 40ºC 18ºC to 40ºC 18ºC to 40ºC 18ºC to 40ºC 18ºC to 40ºC 18ºC to 40ºC

Conclusion: Which spa heat pump is the best and what to look for

In essence, a spa heater element is built into the spa or swim spa cabinet. A spa heat pump is a stand-alone unit that produces heat energy much more efficiently and transfers this to your spa water.

While a spa heat pump can cost up to $5,000 upfront, you can recoup the cost from energy bills that you can save up from using it long-term.

A spa heat pump also heats water faster, can provide cooling, and is more environmentally friendly than other heating solutions. Investing in a spa heat pump can make your spa experience more enjoyable and convenient.

If you’re in the market for a heat pump, here are our top three recommendations:

  • SpaNet® SV Series Heat Pump
  • SpaNet® PowerSmart Universal Heat Pump
  • SENSAHEAT PI Series Heat Pump

Before you choose, be sure to ask yourself the following questions:

  • Does the heat pump interface with your spa controller?
  • Is the heating capacity sufficient for your spa?
  • Is the heat pump electrically certified in New Zealand?
  • Is the ambient noise low?
  • Does it use eco-friendly refrigerant?

How long do heat pumps last? Do heat pumps lose efficiency with age?

The lifespan of a heat pump is 10 and 20 years. The total lifespan of your unit will depend on how you take care of it and how often you use it.

Because heat pumps provide heating and cooling, people tend to use them throughout the year, usually lasting an average of 15 years.

Proper maintenance and care can make your heat pump last longer.

How can I make my heat pump last longer? 5 Tips on spa heat pump maintenance

Heat pumps have a high upfront cost, however, the ongoing savings on energy costs more than make up for the initial cost of installing them. Now, you just need to make it last.

Here’s how you can make your heat pump last longer.

1. Routine check-up.

Just like air conditioners, spa heat pumps need regular maintenance to prevent dirt build-up and keep it in tip-top shape.

You don’t need to inspect your heat pump as often as your spa, but a thorough check-up by a qualified technician every six months to a year will allow you to identify possible problems and take care of any maintenance needed.

Ensure that the controls, condensates, electrical connections, condenser, and refrigerant network are working correctly. If you aren’t sure how to check these parts, you can call a service professional to help you.

2. Clean or change filters as needed.

Your heat pump’s air filter typically lasts between three to four months. Regularly changing your air filter will prevent dirt from obstructing the airflow from your heat pump’s components.

3. Address problems ASAP.

If you notice any issues with your heat pump, we suggest addressing them sooner rather than later to avoid the problem becoming worse.

4. Keep the temperature consistent.

Modern spas are designed to maintain temperature, so keeping your heat pump at a specific temperature is better than frequently adjusting it.

Not only does this save you more on electric consumption, but it’s also easier for your heat pump.

5. Clean the bodywork.

Whether you place your spa and heat pump indoors or outdoors, dirt and debris may accumulate on the bodywork over time.

We recommend keeping a consistent schedule to wipe down the bodywork with mild soap to protect your device and ensure optimal functionality. We recommend doing this every 8 to 12 weeks.

Pool heat pump in a deck

What do I need to know before installing a spa heat pump?

Before you install a heat pump, there are a few things you need to consider, such as how to position the unit and where.

Be aware of the following considerations:

  • Before you bring home your heat pump, make sure the installation site is open and ready. If you need to do some trenching work or remove deck boards, we recommend getting this done beforehand especially if they’re not part of the installation contract.
  • Heat pumps need to be completely unobstructed to work properly, so ensure that you have plenty of space around the unit for airflow. Whether you want to install your heat pump above ground or underneath a decking pit, clearances, as detailed by the manufacturer, need to be observed.
  • Be sure to provide a level and stable foundation for the heat pump to avoid issues. If possible, the foundation needs to be installed at the same height as the spa slab. Doing so will avoid unnecessary plumbing requirements and make the installation easier.
  • Like air conditioners, heat pumps have condensate drains–meaning the area under the heat pump will get wet. It is recommended to prepare a concrete base or concrete paving stones for the area where you want to sit your heat pump.
  • Heat pumps need to be installed close to your spa. They should be situated no more than 1 meter above or below the base of your spa, or 2 meters away from the spa controller.
  • Prepare electrical requirements. If you plan to install your heat pump in a trench, you may be required to install electrical and plumbing, too. Use qualified professionals for this work.

Got more questions?

Talk to us on live chat, or email us your spa questions and we'll be happy to help!

DISCLAIMER: *The following registered trademarks and brand names are owned by companies not affiliated in any way with Spa World™ or Vortex Leisure Pty Ltd – the parent company of Spa World Ltd: SpaNet® SV Series and SpaNet® PowerSmart Universal Heat Pump are owned by Spa Net Pty Ltd. SENSAHEAT are designed and distributed by Spa-Craft Pty Ltd. *

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