Top Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Heat Pump


So, you have purchased your first heat pump for your Auckland home, but now what? How can you get the most out of your purchase? Your new heat pump is one of the most efficient ways to heat a home in moderate climates such as Auckland, New Zealand, so how do you ensure that your heat pump stays efficient and continues to save you money and energy?

Your new heat pump was designed to be an energy efficient way to heat your home, and is a great alternative to other options, such as a furnace. They work by transferring hot or cold air in or out of your home, rather than simply producing heat.  To warm your home, heat is pulled out of the air or the ground and moved in to your home. Transferring heat requires much less energy and does not require a fuel source like furnaces do, which means a more natural and less expensive option. New Zealand’s moderate climate makes a heat pump a great choice, as extreme heat and cold will most likely require a fuel burning source to compensate for the varied temperatures.

While heat pumps tend to be a simple and low maintenance way to heat your home, there are still a few tips to keep in mind to keep your heat pump working at optimum levels and saving you the most money possible.

  1. Set the temperature.

Heat pumps are designed to keep your home at a steady temperature. Setting your heat pump to a comfortable temperature and leaving it there will help increase efficiency. You may think that turning down the temperature at night, or on warmer days, would help you save money, but this isn’t the case. When you need to increase the temperature again, the heat pump will have to work harder to reach that temperature, rather than continuously maintaining it. This is another reason why your heat pump thrives in moderate climates, as it does not need to work harder to maintain the desired temperature.

  1. Think about air flow.

Your heat pump is capable of heating large areas, but you may want to consider how much of your home needs to be continuously heated. Try closing doors to rooms that do not always need heat, and keeping doors to commonly used areas open to facilitate easy heat flow. You can review a few additional tips for keeping warm in your home here.

  1. Avoid the emergency switch.

This one may seem obvious, but should be noted. The emergency switch will be a costlier option that should only be used if your heat pump is not working. Depending on the type of pump you are using, your heat pump on the emergency switch will use more power to transfer more heat which will drive up your energy costs. On especially cold days, it may be tempting to switch on the emergency mode to warm up your home quickly. While this is indeed a quicker option, just keep in mind that you may be paying for it in the future.

Some heat pumps, such as the Panasonic heat pump, are also incredibly quiet, which is another benefit. However, take a look at your user manual so you are familiar with your unit and know when it is working properly, rather than relying on your emergency switch.

  1. Check for frost, ice and debris.

You should be regularly checking the outside of your heat pump for anything obstructing the unit. Depending on how cold the outside temperature is, it is possible that you will see some ice or frost build up on your heat pump, especially in the middle of winter. Ice and frost can clog up your unit and cause it to run less efficiently. Rain can also potentially pose a problem if the heat pump is located below a drainage unit off your home. Keep an eye out for other debris, such as leaves or grass, and keep the heat pump clear of any other obstructions to ensure it is working competently.

  1. Change filters.

Dirty filters will slow your heat pump’s performance down and increase your energy costs. If your unit comes with an indicator light for dirty filters, make sure you take the time to clean them once the light appears. Otherwise, aim to clean them about once a month. To clean, simply use a vacuum, or rinse them and allow to dry. Review this guide for more in depth instructions for cleaning. Your heat pump may also contain allergen cartridges, which should also be regularly changed. Consult your manual or review the manufacturer website for more details on replacement cartridges. You should also check your unit’s heating coils for dirt and debris within the unit, just as you do the outside, and clean them often.

  1. Consider a professional technician service.

Besides any major malfunctions, you may not think that your heat pump needs additional professional services. While it is designed to be low maintenance, a yearly professional technician service can keep your heat pump working at its best throughout the year. A technician can look for various leaks, obstructions within the unit, and lubricate belts and the motor. They can also clean and change your filters if you are not comfortable doing this yourself. A simple yearly maintenance visit by a professional, such as the highly experienced team at Varcoe Refrigeration, can help keep your costs down and your heat pump running malfunction-free. You can take a look at their company profile page to learn more about their years of experience and proven track record. It is important that the technician you choose is experienced and has worked with your type of heat pump before.

Using these tips, you will find that your heat pump is an economical and energy saving way to heat your home in New Zealand.

Pros and Cons of a Heat Pump Versus A Wood Burner


Wood burners appear to be a great way to heat a home. Wood is inexpensive and may even be free if the person burning the wood has access to a supply and a way to cut the wood. Sadly, there are numerous factors that can reduce the efficiency of the appliance, and many homeowners fail to realize this. They simply feel they can never get truly warm in the winter but settle for the heat they do have. With a heat pump in Auckland, these issues are eliminated. As long as the heat pump is properly maintained, it keeps a home toasty all winter long.

Open fireplaces often lead to more heat loss than they produce. Almost all of the heat produced by an open fire in a fireplace is lost up the chimney. In fact, the home may be colder with a fire going than without due to the heat that is lost in this way. Furthermore, the type of heat used, the way the wood is burned, and the condition of the wood burner all play a role in its efficiency. A deficit in even one area can significantly reduce the amount of heat produced by the device, and this is one reason many homes are now opting for a heat pump.

Heat pumps are extremely energy efficient and allow the family to set a desired temperature for the residence. As the heat pump is sized for the home, there is less loss of efficiency, especially when compared to even a good wood burner. Of the various electric heating options, heat pumps are the most efficient and will save a homeowner money over time. In addition, the heat pump may be used with an air filter that helps remove pollen and dust from the air, of great benefit to those who suffer from allergies or asthma.

When searching for a heat pump in Auckland, be sure to consider the Panasonic line. The Panasonic heat pumps in Auckland remain a favorite with consumers, as they do the job they are designed for with ease. When the time comes to replace your current heater, check this line out. Contact us at Varcoe Refrigeration ( for more information, as we stock and install these heat pumps. We will be happy to answer any questions and address any concerns you have.

Perfect Heating and Cooling Systems for Your Auckland Home


The generally mild weather is one of the benefits of living in NZ, but as long-time residents know, temperatures can dip past “”chilly”” into the “”cold”” range. Even today, a large number of people attempt to keep warm with fireplaces or inefficient heaters but are miserable when the home becomes too cold. The installation of heat pumps in Auckland is becoming a very popular solution for those who want to be comfortable in their homes regardless of the outside temperature.

Heat Pumps Save Money

Some believe heat pumps are expensive to operate, but that is not true. In fact, heat pumps in NZ return $2 to $4 worth of heat for every dollar of electricity. The savings cannot be exactly calculated since there are a lot of factors that must be considered.

A home that isn’t insulated will not enjoy the same heating/cooling efficiency as an insulated home since insulation prevents heat from bleeding into the outdoors. Heat pumps must also be installed properly and be the correct size for the building.

How Heat Pumps Work

Heat pumps have been used in one form or another for many years. A refrigerator is a one-way heat pump, removing heat from the air in the interior of the refrigerator and moving the heat to the coils on the outside of the refrigerator. Heat pumps don’t create heat like an electric heater does, but extract heat from the air. It may sound strange, but even when the temperature outside is freezing, the air still holds heat.

Heat pumps cool air just as easily as they provide warm air by reversing operation, collecting heat and humidity from inside the home, and moving it outside. They provide an ideal and efficient method for both heating and cooling in Auckland’s climate.

A Constant Temperature

Furnaces turn off and on, causing the home to warm and cool and then warm again. Heat pumps deliver a lower supply of warmed or cool air over a longer time period. This gives the impression the heat pump is running all of the time, keeping the home at a constant temperature. If the weather is much colder than normal, auxiliary heat will energize automatically and provide additional warmth.

Ducted Heat Pumps

Modern ducted heat pumps are very popular and installed in the roof cavity. Ducts are used to connect and heat or cool multiple rooms. Nothing is visible except small grilles.

Heat Pumps are Reliable

Since heat pumps make use of the same principles as a refrigerator, they are just as reliable as a refrigerator. A study of a large number of installed heat pumps found that more than 50% were still running after 20 years. Less than half of the heat pumps that had been replaced were removed because of mechanical failures. The majority had been replaced with a newer, more efficient or larger ventilation systems in Auckland.

Heat Pump Tips

Keep the thermostat set at a constant temperature for the most efficient operation.
Check air filters once a month and replace or clean if necessary.
Prune shrubs back at least 18″” from a heat pump.
Protect your investment by having your heat pump inspected once a year by a trained technician.

Varcoe Refrigeration is Aukland’s heat pump specialist. Since 1975, Varcoe Refrigeration has been providing quality installations of heat pumps in NZ, the best products, and skilled servicing by well-trained technicians. The company’s focus has been on satisfying their customers for more than 40 years. This dedication to superior customer service, honesty, and professional installations and maintenance has earned Varcoe an excellent reputation in both the community and the industry. Between them, Varcoe’s owner-operators Paul Varcoe and Tim Fawdray have more than 54 years of combined experience in the industry.

If your family shivers when it’s cold or is too hot in the summer, a heat pump could be the perfect solution for all-year comfort. Varcoe Refrigeration will advise you on the most cost-effective system for your home and design and install it for maximum efficiency. Visit the website at to learn more about the range of heat pumps available.

Tips to Consider Before Heat Pump Installation in Auckland


According to the experts, cooling and heating account for roughly one-third of the energy used in the average New Zealand home. There are multiple HVAC options to choose from, with some being more energy-efficient than others are. Energy efficient heating systems use less energy, save money, and help the environment by reducing harmful emissions. Heat pumps are an efficient way to use electricity to heat the home, and you can save up to $500 per year by choosing one over an electric heater. Before heat pump installation in Auckland, however, you should learn how they work.

How do Heat Pumps Work?

To keep its contents cold, a refrigerator transfers heat from the inside to the outside. A heat pump reverses the principle, transferring heat from the outside to the inside. Outside air is naturally heated by the sun, and solar energy is available even in the wintertime. Because Fujitsu heat pumps in Auckland only use power to move heat, they are very energy-efficient.

The Pros and Cons of Heat Pumps

Behind passive solar, heat pumps are one of the most energy-efficient home heating options. A heat pump is controlled by a thermostat so you can keep the home within a predefined temperature range. These pumps are available in multiple sizes ranging from ducted systems for the whole house to those that heat single rooms.

Theoretically, you can save a significant amount of money on heating by choosing a heat pump. However, in reality, many who use a Mitsubishi heatpump in Auckland end up keeping their homes warmer than they did before—so they get more comfort rather than a lower heating bill. While it can be tempting to use the heat pump for cooling in the summer, it can greatly increase power bills as the heat pump is not the most energy-efficient option for cooling the home.

Heat pumps are good for:

  1. Heating specific rooms
  2. Areas where air pollution is a problem
  3. Helping those who use electric heaters save money



  • At less than 18 cents per kilowatt-hour, a heat pump is more efficient than an electric resistance heater.
  • Most heat pumps are eligible for government subsidies.
  • Heat pumps are controllable with thermostats and timers
  • Some pumps use air filters to remove pollutants, which can be beneficial for asthma and allergy sufferers



  • Heat pumps aren’t as efficient when the outside temperature drops below seven degrees Celsius
  • They can be costly to install, especially in large homes that need ducted systems
  • They can create a lot of noise for neighbours
  • They must be installed by heat pump services in Auckland
  • They are reliant on electrical power
  • In some models, the refrigerant can be harmful if it leaks. The local council or landfill can provide tips on safe disposal.


Insulating the Home

The condition and level of insulation in your home will make a significant difference in how hard your Panasonic heatpump in Auckland must work to keep the place warm. Adequate insulation means that the home loses less heat through its doors, ceilings, windows, walls and floors. Less heat loss makes it less costly to heat the home properly, and it means that the house is more comfortable and healthier to live in.

Home Heat Loss

If the house is very draughty, insulation you install won’t do its job correctly. You should take steps to minimise the amount of air loss when improving the home’s insulation. Heat will always look for the shortest, easiest path out of the home. If you only insulate your ceiling, you cut the rate of heat loss from that part of the home, but you increase it in other areas.

For the best results, you should increase the level of insulation for every possible part of your home. The more insulated the home is, the closer a heat pump installation in Auckland will come to meeting your expectations. You can get ENERGYWISE funding for heat pumps and insulation. Visit for more info.

All Heat Pumps are Unique

Many New Zealanders assume that all heat pumps have a high level of energy efficiency. However, differences in performance and operating cost can be substantial. On average, EnergyStar-qualified pumps cost about $150 less yearly to run than comparable, non-EnergyStar models.

The lowest-efficiency pumps sold in New Zealand have a 250% efficiency rating, which means they give off $2.50 in heat for every dollar spent on electricity. The highest-efficiency models are over 500% efficient, and the rate improves as new technologies become available to the public. Choosing an efficient model over a lower-efficiency one can make a substantial difference on your monthly power bill. Over a decade, the difference on a medium-sized heat pump can be $1500 or more.

Choosing a Heat Pump

Compared to other heating choices available in Auckland, a heat pump can represent a large upfront investment. However, it can be a worthwhile expenditure because, when sized and used correctly, a quality heat pump can keep the family warmer while helping you save on your power bill each month.

A quality brand from a reliable supplier should offer a minimum of a five-year warranty on labour and parts. Energy rating labels can help you make accurate comparisons between heat pump models. The more stars you see, the more efficient the pump is. Visit to make an online comparison, and look for the blue EnergyStar mark when evaluating heat pumps. For the highest-quality service and fast, friendly installation for your Auckland heat pump, visit Varcoe Refrigeration at

Essential Renovations to Make Your Older Auckland Home Liveable


How you to choose to renovate an older Auckland home will depend on your budget. If you have a large budget then you can get stuck in and carry out major renovations all at the same time. Doing all the renovations in a short time will minimise disruption to the home and make it liveable quickly.

If budget does not allow for extensive renovations all at once then consider some essential renovations to do first and then carry out the rest over a longer period of time. The two key areas to renovate to improve liveability and comfort would be the bathroom and kitchen. These two areas in a state of disrepair or with old fixtures and fittings can make life in old home miserable. It is worth checking for any structural issues before concentrating on cosmetic issues like painting or curtains.

Kitchens and bathrooms are key rooms that buyers look at when buying a home so it is worth spending a good proportion of your renovation budget on these key areas. If possible adding a second bathroom or at least en-suite shower room for a master bedroom will be a good idea for increasing value. Carrying out additions with the plumber and electrician already employed will reduce overall costs. You may even be able to save money by picking up matching fixtures and fittings for both bathrooms in the sales.

There is little point carrying out extensive internal renovations if there is any external maintenance issues to worry about. Fixing roof leaks, broken guttering, removing trees from around the house, repairing loose bricks around chimneys are all jobs that need to be done first to minimise the risk of any internal damage. No point repainting internal rooms only for mould to appear on the walls from a slow leak somewhere.

When renovating it is important to try and keep the character of an older home if original features are still intact and serviceable. Original windows will really help maintain the characteristic appearance of an older Auckland home. Old windows can contribute to draughts and heat loss, which will raise electricity and heating bills. Old windows with good condition wooden frames can be fitted with double glazing panels. If in poor condition then replacing windows entirely may be the most cost effective option. Wooden frames damaged by borer will have lost much of their strength and likely need to be replaced.

With new windows, a new kitchen and bathroom in place the next step may be to reduce heating costs by upgrading the old log burner for a more efficient one. Consider also the cost effectiveness of a heat pump or air conditioner. Air conditioners not only provided efficient heating and cooling but also clean the air. In an older home that may have air quality issues the addition of an air conditioning unit can significantly improve air quality by removing allergens and moisture from the air.

Varcoe Refrigeration are air conditioning installers Auckland based and can assist with a quote for installing a heat pump in an Auckland home. Visit for information on the best Auckland heat pumps for older homes. Heat pumps are best installed by professionals to ensure the correct number of units and size for effective heating and cooling.

Eco Friendly Interior Design Projects


Building energy efficient and eco- friendly features into homes is the trend today and most new home owners also invest in appliances and fittings that help conserve energy and save money month after month. However, where does all of this leave existing home owners? Is there nothing that can be done with older homes to make them more environment friendly? Thankfully, there is. So, if you own an older home that was not built with energy conservation or effective resource utilization in mind, you can go in for an eco- friendly renovation or interior decoration project.


Use recycled materials

A simple and most effective way to start off your interiors decoration project in the right direction is to use recycled materials wherever possible. In fact, you could re-purpose your existing belongings, such as your old furniture, and get a functional new addition to your home with the investment of just repair/ refurbishing costs. Consider giving your home a vintage look which is really simple to achieve with recycled materials.


Use space efficiently

Keep construction material to a minimum and make your home easier to maintain by maximizing use of space throughout. Let your appliances be mounted up on the wall wherever possible, freeing up the floor space for use. Use niches and corners to set up equipment that is bulky so that they don’t encroach on living space. Pick out well designed, compactly shaped equipment like Mitsubishi heat pumps Auckland to ensure that there is no compromise on performance when you choose an aesthetically elegant, space saving product.


Use energy efficient fixtures

Get an interior decorator who is well aware of the latest, most energy efficient fixtures and materials. Consider double pane windows that reduce heating/ cooling bills, renewable flooring options from natural sources, like bamboo, automatic closing doors that help maintain a stable interior temperature etc. Of course, LED bulbs instead of incandescent ones or energy efficient Panasonic heat pumps Auckland instead of your outdated power guzzlers are replacements that you may want to opt for while you are renovating.


Use products that are responsibly manufactured

Verify if the manufacturer of a product you want to use has a policy of employing safe, eco- friendly production methods. If they do, you can be sure they proudly proclaim this on their website, the product packaging and everywhere else. There are two advantages of choosing appliances or products that are manufactured with an eye on eco-friendly practices and materials.

One, you encourage these businesses, make sure they flourish and continue to make these great products. Two, you fulfill your nature friendly goals too. Make sure that the manufacturer also has a policy of using only nature friendly materials in all of the products he makes. You will be using these products in your home and you don’t want to have toxic materials in here, do you?


How about rainwater harvesting?

rainwater harvesting is something that many home owners tend to overlook when they are ‘doing up’ their home and giving it a new look. However, this is a very simple way to conserve the most valuable of our resources- water. Consider making minor changes to your roofing etc so that rainwater can be channelized and collected for use. If you have a big garden, you can use this water for watering purposes and save a lot of the precious liquid.

Want to upgrade your heating/ cooling appliances during your renovation project? Come to Varcoe Refrigeration for the latest line up of world class, eco- friendly air conditioning and wall Fujitsu heat pumps Auckland and from other brands. We are committed to giving you the best products that offer maximum energy conservation so that you can see a visible difference in your utility bills.

Energy Management… How to Save Money and Be Responsible Citizens


Conserving energy is not just a clever idea to keep your utility bills under control; it is also your social responsibility. Outdated appliances and equipment are not only energy guzzlers but also emit harmful greenhouse gases, which damage the ozone layer. Energy management makes us smart homeowners and responsible citizens.

What exactly is energy management and how do you go about making energy efficient changes in your home? The specialists in Auckland heat pumps at Varcoe Refrigeration have put together some important tips to help you get started.

What is Energy Management?

Energy management ensures you are contributing fully to global energy conservation efforts and that you are aware how energy is being used in your home and surroundings. The first step is to establish a reliable monitoring system so you can pin-point where excessive and unnecessary use of energy in your home takes place. The next step is to reduce your energy use as much as possible.

To help you out, there are a number of energy management systems available today. The steadily increasing demand for these indicates how enthusiastically New Zealand residents have adopted them in their efforts to create energy efficient homes.

Energy Management for your Home

You probably already undertake energy management in your Auckland home without realising it. If you have insulation, double glazing and energy efficient appliances in your home – you are already on the right track.

Here is a good starter guide for making your home more energy efficient:

Step 1: Measure your energy consumption. Take note of your energy consumption and gather data over a 3 month period to see if there are any sharp rises or dips. Compare your data with the energy consumption for similar sized homes with a comparable number of members in your household. This tells you whether you are over-utilising energy or are consuming much less compared to others. Find out where your maximum usage and costs are arising from. For example, if your heating bills are sky-high you may want to switch to the latest, more energy efficient Auckland heat pumps available in the market today.

Step 2: Brainstorm where you can save energy. Pinpoint all the areas where you think you can save energy. For example, replace your incandescent bulbs with LEDs to enjoy some dramatic cost savings while fulfilling your energy conservation goals. Remember that it is not just within the home that you may find energy-saving opportunities. What about your backyard lighting or your automated irrigation system? Consider every single equipment and appliance in and around your home that contributes to your utility bill.

Step 3: Replace outdated equipment with energy efficient models. Add new equipment that curbs energy wastage. Start with the areas where you can save maximum energy and money and work your way down the list. Remember to keep tracking your energy use so you know how far you have come.

If you are looking for a place to start then a good way to be energy smart in winter is to install the most energy efficient heat pump for your Auckland home. For the best quality, energy efficient appliances visit Varcoe Refrigeration is renown for being one of the most reliable installers of home and office air conditioning in Auckland.