In sub-tropical Brisbane, it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that air conditioning is only for our unbearably hot Summer days and sticky nights.
However, what a lot of us don’t realise as we sit around in our fleecy State of Origin jerseys and beanies complaining about those “darn winter westerlies” is that you can actually use your air conditioner to heat your home.
For some reason when we think of heaters, we don’t automatically think of air conditioning… and if we do, we probably think that it’s too expensive.
Sure there’s the initial purchase price and installation costs, but a reverse cycle system with a 4 or 5-star energy rating, set to around 18 degrees in winter will put other heaters to shame.
It will keep you wonderfully warm for around one third of a normal electric bar heater and – wait for it – half the cost of a gas heater.
With savings like that, it will pay for itself in just a few winters.
As its name implies, a reverse cycle system works by reversing the air conditioner’s normal operation.
Instead of expelling hot air and circulating cooler air, it does the exact opposite; the inbuilt refrigerant actually draws in heat from outside (yes, even in winter), humidifies the air and warms your home.
This makes it a two-in-one solution you can use throughout the year.
So forget spending money buying and installing expensive electric heaters, fireplaces, wood stoves and the like – you already have a first class heater, cleverly disguised as air con.
Plus, as well as keeping the winter chills at bay, the inbuilt air-filtration system in modern units such as Mitsubishi Heavy Industries air conditioners will also keep the air in your home free from airborne dust and other irritants, which will be a real relief for allergy sufferers.
Furthermore, it will reduce the spread of germs, so by rights your family should be a lot healthier.