Winter warmth

It's been six month's since I had the reverse-cycle air-conditioner fitted throughout the house. I wanted to install it before the summer to be comfortable when the sweltering days came. It turned out that we had little, if no, stinking hot days over the summer, and six months later, my new air-conditioner is being re-purposed as a heater.

Reverse-cycle air conditioners are a winner when it comes to saving big bucks on your energy bills. They're great for heating large open-plan spaces like my combined living room and kitchen area, and as they use less energy, they're ultimately better for the environment.

Our system has two zones, one for the living areas and one for the bedrooms. We can easily switch zones on and off and save a little more by not heating the areas that don't need it.

We have kept the central gas heater. It is nowhere near as efficient as the reverse-cycle unit in heating the whole house. It does well with heating the rooms at the front of the house but has never been any good at heating the family room and the kitchen area.

The family often complain that it is too hot in the house. When that happens, we only need to turn the temperature down a little, and we're all happy campers.