RSS Feed

HHS Heat pumps: A Q&A with Tim Fawdray

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

IMG SOURCE: Unsplash

Given predictable increase in activities in the heat pump market (the season, HHS compliance deadline and the lockdown being behind us 🤞🏻), we've gotten together with Tim Fawdray, Managing Director of Varcoe, to tackle some of the common issues landlords face when purchasing a heat pump: 

Q. The heating assessment tool is only telling insofar as what the required heating capacity is for a rental. Beyond that, how do landlords work out which is the best heat pump to buy?

There are a handful of brand choices when it comes to heat pump in NZ. They are all fairly similar in performance, noise outputs and efficiency but quite different in quality. We find that units produced in Japan, Malaysia and Thailand (e.g. Mitsubishi, Daikin, check with your supplier!) tend to be of better quality. There is a small difference in price but not a lot in the scheme of things (around $100 to $200).

Q. What has been COVID-19's effects so far on the heat pump industry and what are the trickled-down effects on customers? 

The effects are and will continue to be largely around supply chain disruption (i.e. turn around time for procurement and installation) and pricing. For that reason, Varcoe has always carried sufficient stock to lessen the effects of a supply chain disruption. Thankfully, our customers are not affected so far.

There are a few brands that are struggling at the moment due to factories shutting down around the world. By this time next year I would expect there to be a supply issue. Already we are seeing wholesalers increasing their prices.

Q. What is the standard warranty for heat pumps and is it worth purchasing a warranty extension?

Good question, standard warranty for a heat pump is 5 years and in my opinion it is not worth paying for a extended period as most warrantable events happen in the first few years. Very few seem to be between 5 and 7.

Q. How often should rental heat pumps be serviced?

We would recommend that the filters are cleaned every three to six months by the tenant and if that is happening then you shouldn’t need a service for a few years. If the filters are not been cleaned regularly then probably service once a year.

We currently offer the first service free to APIA members which is a good opportunity for us to educated the tenants.

Q. In your experience, what is the level of rental heating compliance so far?

I don’t believe its very high at the moment. I would expect there to be a mad dash to comply this time next year. What is concerning is that we are seeing a lot of heat pump suppliers not measuring up properly and relying only on the government’s heating assessment tool to recommend a model. This would leave their landlord customers with the mistaken belief that they are compliant when later on they could get a nasty shock when the property is assessed.

Q. How do landlords pick the right heat pump supplier in an unregulated industry? 

That’s is a great question. Keep it simple. Use companies that have been around for 10 years plus. I tend to think the longer a business has been around, the more likely that they are doing things correctly. For example, Varcoe invests a great deal in staff training. Our installers work alongside a qualified refrigeration or heat pump supplier for a couple of years before taking the steps to install heat pumps by themselves.

It is really easy to stand up a man-in-the-van type business (especially when HHS has created a captured client base) but it is also very easy to wind it down leaving the customer with no long term support.

Varcoe offers APIA members a range of discounts on heat pumps, bathroom extractors and range hoods. Click here for more information.


Recent Posts


yield Gluckman legal cost minor dwelling investor shortland chartered accountants off the plan property apprentice unitary plan HHS Case study interest rates structure reserve bank water bill brightline market auckland bond Must knows heating rental wof Property (Relationships) Act heat pump personal growth housing bubble buying rules bankruptcy legal rent increase ventilation election 2017 tenant tenancy services income tenancy issues apia maintenance watercare quiet enjoyment Standards New Zealand sublease Editor's Choice advice ring-fencing Sponsored post CCC DTI clnz negotiation beginner investor government mortgage warm up new zealand heater building renovation meth election2020 mindset short-term rental cgt rent control television property maintenance privacy covid-19 Tribunal case study TCIT productivity holiday house development robert kiyosaki cat auckland council warren buffett twg report bad tenant property cycle Must know airbnb first home buying Q&A boarding house lvr rtaa2020 ocr rent arrears rental market wins tenancy tribunal sale and purchase initio termination Landlording winz HSWA property value kiwibuild damage p lab market rent nzpif khh RBNZ shower dome anti-social behaviour buying letting fee insurance Question and answer commerce commission buyer's agent anz landlord cash-flow scotney williams rta reform Kris Pedersen Mortgages and Insurance wealth creation bond form tax house prices recycling equity skill shortage property will interest deductibility LIM education management insulation Holler trespass letting principal and interest smoke alarm housing package re agent fixed-term tenancy Investment tip rent CoreLogic Investor story trust worksafe sale and purchas housing affordability rta investment strategy banking trademe ask an expert daikin return property management asbestos Level 4 How to opes partners early termination financial advisers act Market report equity inspection speculator partners interest only positive cash flow Jeff Bezos HHGA finance parry v inglis business RTAA 2019 ird meth contamination debt enforcement barfoot and thompson Guest blog data security subdivision capital gain retaliatory notice gluckman report extractor fan relationship


Introducing Our Partners
Principal Sponsor - Kris Pedersen Mortgages & Insurance logo Gold Sponsor - Barfoot & Thompson logo Gold Sponsor - CoreLogic logo Property Apprentice logo The Insulation Warehouse logo The Renovation Team logo The New Zealand Property Investors' Federation logo
09 360 2376

The Tenancy Practice Service and TPS Credit Control work closely with the Auckland Property Investors' Association. Our vision of bringing helpful resources, documents and high quality services to Auckland Property Investors and Property Managers is shared by APIA, so its a partnership that works well. 

The Auckland Property Investors' Association is a great organisation for those who want access to advice and information from a range of industry experts and partners. 

Mathieu Holt- Managing Director, The Tenancy Practice Service & TPS Credit Control
Through the Association I found the channels and methods to fund the purchase of property I never dreamed about. Grant Brown

All round it has been one of those things Neil and I felt was really worthwhile belonging to. We have learned so much it has just built our confidence in what we are doing.

Janice Bieleski
I read two articles in the monthly magazine that saved me over $5,000. That is my membership fee for the next 26 years and I am sure I will learn a whole lot more! John Duncan
Fantastic organisation. The networking opportunities are brilliant and provide us with information and opportunities that cannot be obtained anywhere else. We learn something new at every meeting and we've been in this game for nearly 20 years. Pauline and Gyanen Kumar

I find the information obtained from various APIA meetings very useful in guiding my own property investment and rental management.  I also enjoy the networking opportunities with like-minded investors.  I am inspired by other investors’ success and find the more experiences and knowledge that I share with others, the more confident I become.  

Thanks to all APIA event organizers and administrators for your brilliant work. 

Stella Shao

I like talking to people and learning from their experience because it gives me the confidence to invest well. I think it is a knowledge thing. I now know I am doing things the right way.

Stephen Weatherall

My APIA membership has become a total success.

Every time I attend a monthly or regional meeting I come away with so many useful and positive tips that have added value to my property investments and management.

Not only that, the website is a great place for practical advice and useful information. It has now evolved into an important resource for my business.

Talk about value for money! The discounts I have been getting at Bunnings when I present my APIA membership card have more than paid for my annual subscription!

Tim Duffett, Plan A Investments Limited