We've got A's for your Q's

How do I get more product information/product comparisons/prices?

Use the links in this website to access supplier information or contact Sackett Services directly using the contact information provided under ‘Contact Us’.

What capacity heater, heat pump or air conditioner do I need?

The size of the heater or air conditioning unit is determined based on the volume of the room area it is to serve and heat loss calculation. Sackett Services consultants can advise you on the best solution for your premises, free of charge.

How can I achieve the most effective use of reverse cycle air-conditioning?

The efficiency of an air conditioning system can be enhanced by taking the following approach before and during operation.

Before turning air conditioning on:
1. In summer, open the windows and doors to allow breezes to travel through the home and expel as much hot air as possible

When operating air conditioning:
1. Close all external windows and doors.
2. Close window blinds/curtains on hot summer days and cold winter nights, especially for windows facing east (in the morning) and west or north-west (in the afternoon)
3. Close internal doors, if possible, to separate areas that are occupied and require air conditioning from those that are unoccupied
4. When turning the air conditioning 'on', consider setting the 'off' time in advance
5. Do not set the thermostat to a higher (or lower) temperature than is required (setting the thermostat lower in summer does not make the unit cool faster).

Recommended seasonal thermostat settings should be
1.       No less than 23 C during summer
2.       No more than 22 C in winter.
3.       If the unit has adjustable blades to direct the airflow, direct them towards the ceiling when cooling (warm air rises), and towards the floor when heating (cool air falls)
4.       For ducted systems use an economy set point (Heating 16 degrees or Cooling 25 degrees) to minimum the space conditions in the space if you are leaving the house or overnight.
5.       If a hot day is expected, turn on the unit earlier in the day (as it operates more efficiently when the outside temperature is cooler) instead of waiting until later when the building becomes hotter, better yet, leave the unit on in an economy setting.
6.       Do not leave an air conditioner running on a comfort set points (Heating 22 degrees or cooling 22 degrees) if no one will be home for a long period (over four hours), it would be more economical to lower the set point on heating or raise the set point for cooling.
7.       If a dwelling is to have air conditioning in an internal living area that is connected to an outdoor living area, owners should consider installing an automatic switching device to the doors leading to the outdoor living area. The switch could ensure the air conditioning unit switches off if the doors to the outdoor living area remain open for a set time (e.g., one minute), thereby reducing household energy consumption.

How can I compare the costs of running the heat pump and air-conditioning options available?

There are a range of different variables that determine your split system air conditioner running costs. The most influential factors are:

  • The size (capacity) of the unit in kW
  • The space/s it is heating or cooling
  • If the unit has an inverter
  • The temperature the unit is set to
  • Your kWh energy costs
  • The length of time the system is operating for
  • The system’s energy rating
  • Whether you regularly have it serviced
  • Other energy-saving elements in your home such as insulation, windows, etc.

We are happy to calculate the running costs for you, but as an example you can calculate as follows:

Check in the supplied unit brochure for power input levels.

These are usually written in watts.

 Multiply this figure by your kW/hr metered charge rate to give you running costs: eg. Fujitsu ASTG18LVCA – input 3190w in heating,

multiply x 21.214 c/day (tariff 41 Heating and hot water) = 3190 x 21.214 = 67672 cents * tariff subject to change as per Aurora Pricing

divide by 1000 = 67.67 cents/day maximum.

Also Canstar Blue a consumer review and comparison website provides useful pricing comparison and tips at

How do I maintain my heat pump?

Regular cleaning of filters (vacuuming or washing if necessary) at least every three months for a split system unit and disposable filters in a ducted system we advise to be changed over between 6 – 12 months, and a yearly service by a qualified technician before the change of heating/cooling season is recommended.

What is the heat pump defrost cycle and how can this be avoided?

In heating mode a heat pump extracts heat from outside air and transfers it to inside your home to warm it.  When the ambient temperature outside gets very cold (below 5 degrees), the moisture in the air freezes on the outdoor unit’s heat exchanger as the fan blows the air across it.   A defrost cycle is simply the system recognizing that ice has formed or begun to form and automatically fixes this.

How often will my system go into defrost mode?

There are a number of factors that influence how often a unit will go into the defrost mode, including:

  • The outdoor temperature and humidity
  • The amount of heating load the system is trying to deliver
  • The condition of the heat pump.

There are timers built into the computer control of the system that restrict how often defrosting can occur.  Generally, a unit must run for a minimum of about 35 minutes after starting up before completing its first defrost.   From there, defrosts should occur no more often than approximately every 40 minutes.

How long does the defrosting take?

Either of two factors can bring the unit out of a defrost cycle.  Firstly, if the sensors on the outdoor section detect the heat exchanger’s temperature has risen enough, the unit will stop defrosting.  Secondly, if the sensors do not stop the cycle beforehand, the maximum time a system will be in the defrost cycle is around 10 minutes.  It is important not to stop the defrost cycle because the system will run inefficiently and could cause harm to the whole system.

Is there any way I can help to reduce defrosting?

There certainly is.  Keep your system at the preferred ambient temperature, do not raise the temperature of the system, Keep your system well maintained by having seasonal maintenance checks performed.  Cleaning or changing your filters regularly is an easy, proactive measure you can take to keep your heater running smoothly.

What happens if I run a heat pump at a high temperature while the external temperature is extremely cold?

Your outdoor unit may freeze up causing the unit to go into a defrost cycle more often.

Why does my unit have to do a defrost cycle?

Any ice that builds up on the outside heat exchanger reduces the airflow across it, which will affect the efficiency, sometimes reducing it dramatically.  In extreme cases this can also cause damage to the outdoor unit.

How do I tell if my unit is in the defrost cycle?

Inside you will notice the unit will temporarily stop heating, the indoor fan will stop and depending on the model, there will usually be some form of visual indication on the unit, such as a light or a blinking “run” light.  Outside, the outdoor fan will also have stopped and the compressor will be running.

My unit is defrosting frequently and isn’t delivering enough heat–what could be wrong?

Regular defrosting, or a lack of heat could be caused by a number of factors.  A recently developed problem may be an indication of a fault and require maintenance.  You can perform some basic maintenance yourself by cleaning the filters on your indoor unit and making sure the outdoor section is clear of foliage or debris, keeping the heat exchanger unblocked.  If this doesn’t remedy the problem, your heat pump may need serviced.

Do heat pumps work effectively in rooms or areas that are open or suffer from drafts?

Your heat pump is sized to heat a certain area and where possible doors should be closed to maintain efficient operation. Installation of a panel heater(s) for hallways is recommended to assist the operation of your heat pump. A draft = extra load and higher running costs.

My heat pump unit is leaking water, why is this so?

In extreme heat conditions ›28◦c, you should have all drapes closed to minimize radiant heat ingress into your home. A realistic temperature set point would be 5◦c lower than the outdoor ambient temperature, no lower. If the setpoint is too low (22 degrees or lower) the outdoor unit doesn’t get a chance to cycle off and the moisture in the air is frozen onto the indoor heat exchanger. If this is allowed to build up to excessive thickness the drain operation is compromised and water leakage will occur.

The remote control is not working. How can I fix this?

First, replace the batteries in the remote control. With a pen or other blunt pointed instrument, depress the ACL button (see owners manual) for 10 seconds. Then release. This will clear the controller memory and you will then be required to reset the time of day. If a problem persists consult your authorized service agent.

My heat pump is not working. What is the most likely problem?

This may be the result of a power failure/power surge or the heat pump unit is ‘confused’ due to overuse of remote control settings. Switch off from mains power board for one minute to reset the heat pump settings. If this does not rectify the problem, consult your authorized service agent.

How can I determine the best air-conditioning or heating solution to meet my needs?

A Heating Consultant would be able to give you the best advice.