Although it happens every year, there’s something magical about the beginning of summer; the trees are green and full, the sun sticks around later each night, the flowers are fragrant, and everyone seems a little bit happier.

And with summer arriving, some preparation needs to be done: cleaning off the BBQ and filling the gas bottle, buying new togs, and investing in air conditioning to make sure you survive the hot, sticky months ahead.

If you’re considering what an air conditioner could do for you and your family this summer, you’re in the right place. With more and more homes embracing air conditioning NZ-wide, we’ve compiled the ultimate guide to air con in New Zealand. Let’s dive in!

Are Air Conditioners and Heat Pumps the Same Thing?

If you’re weighing up a decision about whether you should install a heat pump or air conditioner, we’ve got great news: A heat pump is an air conditioner. The only difference is the cycle you select when using your unit. 

When using the unit as a heat pump, it works to bring in the warm air from outdoors (yes, even in winter there’s heat energy in the air outside) and pump it around your home. A heat pump is a very efficient way to heat your house and it does so quickly and quietly. We’ve got a great blog on tips when using a heat pump – have a read!

When the unit is used in cooling mode, the cycle reverses. Now, instead of pulling in heat energy from outside, the unit takes the heat energy from inside your home and transfers it to the outside unit where it is cooled. Finally, it’s pumped back into your house as cool, refreshing air. 

Basically a heat pump is a fantastic two-for-one deal. Not only do you get a best friend in winter, warming your home on demand, but you also get a summer saviour, keeping your home cool and welcoming on even the hottest days.

Ways to Keep Your Home Cool This Summer 

Summers in New Zealand can be long and hot, and sometimes it can feel hard to get a reprieve from the relentless heat. If you’re dreading the warmer temperatures this summer, you’ll need a battle plan to stay as cool as possible. Luckily there are a few different tactics you can try to keep conditions cool and calm.

Passive cooling 

The easiest way to keep your home comfortable is with passive cooling. This is a simple and cost-efficient way to help keep your home’s internal temperature low. Many newer homes are designed with passive cooling specifically in mind, but even in older homes, you can do things such as creating a cross-draughts by opening doors and windows. If your windows aren’t fitted with security latches, consider installing them so you can continue to cool your home as you sleep without concerns about security.

Close the curtains and blinds 

While we all love a home that gets a lot of sun, sometimes too much will have the interior of your house feeling like a sauna. Instead, try closing the curtains or blinds of the windows that receive direct sunlight. Similarly to closing your curtains in winter to keep the cold out, doing this during summer will help stop your home heating up to uncomfortable levels.

You could also consider external window shades as an option. Installing blinds, awnings or louvres means you keep rooms shaded during summer, but can still let the light and heat in when you want. While curtains and blinds are trying to keep heat out of your rooms once its already entered your home, external shades prevent the heat from making its way inside at all.

Insulate your home 

Is your home well insulated? If not, don’t worry – thousands of New Zealand homes aren’t. But having a sufficiently insulated home won’t just keep your house warmer in winter, it’ll keep it cool during summer as well. This is due to insulation being a thermal barrier, preventing the transfer of heat. Insulating your home can be done in stages, with the ceilings being the smartest area to tackle first, followed by your floors and then the walls. Because the insulation is working to prevent heat transfer, a well-insulated home will not only be more efficient to heat but also more efficient to cool. This saves time and money in the long run.

mother and daughter in front of fan

Get a couple of electric fans

Sometimes in hot weather, all you really want is a constant breeze blowing and with fans being cheap and accessible, this is an easy solution for summer. Fans can really help with stirring up and circulating heat – especially great for rooms that see a lot of sun, or where lots of people congregate. Fans won’t cool down the air, so in really hot conditions it will only be blowing warm air. However, you can create temporary cold breezes by placing bowls of ice or a wet cloth in front of the fan if things get to scorching levels.

Invest in some air conditioning 

A long-term solution to keeping your home cool is having an air conditioner – a.k.a a heat pump – installed in your home. Air conditioning NZ homes are a great way to keep you comfortable in summer, and there are a number of settings and models that mean you can find the best solution for your home. 

The cooling setting on an air conditioner will help significantly cool your home down, this is great for those stifling days and works best when all doors and windows are shut – much like the aircon in your car.  And, depending on what system your home is installed with, you could cool multiple rooms of your home at once. You can also make use of the fan setting on mild days, keeping the windows open and using the air conditioning unit to create a refreshing breeze. 

Benefits of Having Air Conditioning 

Whether it’s a large or small air conditioner, having a unit installed in your home is a great idea for summer – and it comes with numerous benefits. 

For those days when the weather is forecast to reach high temperatures, use your aircon’s timer function and set it to turn on before you get home from work. This way your home will be a cool oasis from the moment you walk in the door.

Using an air conditioner during summer also helps you get a cool night’s sleep. And it means you don’t need to leave windows open and risk being disturbed by noise and bugs.

Depending on the system you choose to install, you can use your air conditioner to quickly cool down a single room – such as your main living area – by closing doors and windows. Alternatively, you could opt for ducted air conditioning. Auckland, Northland and other areas in the upper North Island frequently suffer through hot and humid conditions. Ducted air conditioning means that multiple rooms are able to be cooled through a unit that sits in your home’s roof space and pumps cool air into the house via pipes.

Using a Panasonic air conditioner in NZ homes is a great choice and each Panasonic unit purchased through HRV comes with a 5 year warranty. That way you can rest easy knowing your investment is protected.

Of course, one of the best benefits of having air conditioning in NZ is that in winter it doubles as a heat pump. Forget freezing, frosty mornings and hot, humid afternoons with your heat pump and air conditioner in one. Now that’s a multi-purpose appliance that’s handy year-round

Types of Air Conditioners 

We know that Kiwi families have all kinds of needs, which is why HRV has multiple types of air conditioners for all kinds of homes.

High-wall air conditioning 

A High-Wall air conditioning unit is perfect for a single room. The unit is mounted on the wall that you want to cool and connected to an outdoor unit via ducting.  Because the unit is mounted close to the ceiling, it’s unobtrusive on your space and quietly works to cool (or heat) as you get on with life.

Multi-split air conditioning 

If you’d prefer to heat and cool multiple rooms of your home, a Multi-Split air conditioning solution might work for you. This system still has one outdoor unit, but it connects to multiple indoor wall-mounted units. This way you can ensure you’ll stay cool in many different rooms, including your living room and bedrooms.

Ducted air conditioning 

A ducted air conditioning unit is another good option if you want to cool more of your home. This system hides the main unit in the ceiling cavity of your house and uses ceiling vents to push cool air into each room. With ducted air conditioning, you don’t have any visible units mounted on walls or outdoors, only small vents in the ceiling.

Are you interested in learning more about installing an air conditioner in your home? Book a free home assessment with our friendly team today! They’ll take you through all you need to know about air conditioners and give you tailored advice about what solution would work best for your home and family.