consumer.org.nz Reviews Thread

Consumer.org.nz has a subscription model, and some really great testing that sits behind it.

Every now and then, someone posts asking for the review or comparison of something on it.

Bigcheese and his recent Torpedo7 philanthropy has inspired me to do something similar with Consumer. So if anyone would like a review of a product, an article, comparison etc then let me know exactly what you require and I'll reply. Probably best to post in the thread here so that the information is searchable by others in the future too.

Some examples of what is available are review of the Panasonic F-YWP33N dehumidifier and a comparison of 5 different dehumidifiers

Comments

  • +1

    Great idea.
    Well done.

  • Nice.

  • You're amazing.
    i was just looking at the stick vacuums earlier today.
    Any chance you could pull the consumer viewers etc?

    • +4

      Still new to this so experimenting with different formats to see whats the easiest for me to pull, and what people find the most useful.

      Here is a summary of a bunch of them sorted by score: https://files.cheapies.nz/upload/8062/3675/stick_vacumn.png

      • this is perfect!

      • Thanks Tmurder91. nice to see some non-Dyson brands near the top of the list.

        • +1

          Best to ignore the consumer pricing as they base that off full retail at expensive places like harvey norman and noel leeming.

          The Dyson V8 for example gets 80 points so its a really good option, but you can get that on sale for closer to $500

          I had no idea the LG options were that good though, very good to know!

      • Nice. Had been considering the Roborock H7 as Dyson feels way overpriced.

  • +2

    I have access to https://www.choice.com.au/ if anyone want's something in particular from there.

    • I've never read anything from them. How do you find the quality or information?

      • Haven't spent enough time on there to come to a conclusion. Think I've used it twice so far and that was a few months back. I'll take a look at the stick vacuum recommendations since you've covered the Consumer side of things already.

        • Cheers for that. Had a quick compare between them and it seems they are quite similar to each other so thats good to know. I'll probably hit you up at some point in the future knowing that you have that access

    • Could you please share the results for this review? Much appreciated

      https://www.choice.com.au/products/home-and-living/cooling/a...

      • +1

        Panasonic CS/CU-Z42XKR review

        https://files.cheapies.nz/upload/9216/3694/ffff.png

        Not much written.

      • From consumer

        Test results 64
        Heating efficiency 65
        Cooling efficiency 68
        Indoor noise 79
        Outdoor noise 68
        Low-temp performance

        Good points
        Average heating efficiency.
        Average cooling efficiency.
        Average low temperature performance.
        OK noise level from the indoor unit.
        Quiet outdoor unit.
        7-day timer included.
        Wi-Fi control included.
        24-hour timer included.

        Bad points
        No recommended retail price provided (price includes installation costs).

        • Cheers!

  • I'm in the market for a heatpump. Could one of you fine people share the results of those tests please?

    • +2

      I actually got myself a second heatpump for our place earlier this year and the consumer reviews basically made the decision for us. Note that there are nearly 200 heatpumps they have reviews for so you'll need to give me something to specific to go off. Check the TLDR at the bottom if you know what you are talking about, otherwise heres a bunch of information you and others might find useful

      ONE:
      - Point 1 As a general rule, anything from Mitsibishi Heavy Industries (the more commercial focused branch, not to be confused with Mitsibishi Electric which is consumer focused) tends to be very highly reviewed so its hard to go wrong there.
      - It depends if you with a dedicated heatpump installer (you'll find they push their recommended options, and probably be faster and cheaper) or if you choose to go with someone else (electrician you trust etc which is what we did) who is able to source pretty much any model if they have an account with the supplier in question. But you'll find they are probably a bit more expensive for the install.

      TWO:
      - Another thing to consider is what you need out of it, ie the size of the area. Here’s a quick guide to work out your required heating capacity manually:
      Allow about 44 watts per cubic metre of room volume.
      Add another 10 percent for a large window area and another 10 to 20 percent for partial or no insulation.
      If it's a lounge, multiply by 1.5. If it's a bedroom, make it 1.2, and for other areas multiply by 0.8.
      - Example: A well-insulated bedroom 3m x 4m x 2.4m high has a volume of 28.8 cubic metres. Multiply by 44 to get 1267 watts, and again by 1.2 to get 1520 watts (1.5kW).
      - You tend to be best/most efficent when you get this number correct (don't undershoot, but don't go overboard and double the capacity. We calculated a required capacity of around 3kW to 3.2kW but got a 4.3kW model

      THREE:
      There are also different types of heatpump:
      - bulkhead/cassette which are ceiling mounted
      - floor/console which i'd describe as kinda like a big wall panel heater
      - high wall which is the traditional one you'd expect to see, and probably the best option for most setups

      TLDR:
      If you are able to let me know approx what style (ie high wall) and capacity (<4kW or 4-6kW or >6kW etc) you are looking for I'll get the data for you

      • Hi there, please can you find comparison for high wall <4kw.

        If you can get comparison for multi unit also would be great.

        I am wanting to put heat pump in 3 bedrooms. I don't recall the exact size. But few quotes I got were for around 3.2kw each.

        I am inclined with Mitsubishi, but not sure if it was electric or other as you mentioned. Anything wrong with Electric one? Or is it just other one is better overall.

        • I've never looked much into the multi-split systems, as the initial reseach I did into heatpumps found that the larger units tend to be less efficent that smaller units. For eample 2x4kW outdoor units use less power (a higher COP, coefficent of performance) than a single 8kW unit all other things being equal.
          So for many setups, it was more energy efficent to have a indoor/outdoor pair for each required room rather than a single large outdoor unit running multiple indoor units.
          Then there is the added logistics of running all that extra copper and electrical piping from one outdoor unit to multiple indoor adding a lot to the cost.
          Obviously this last point is heavily dependant on your house and where the units are as having to run the pipes from one side of your house (materials and labour) might end up costing as much the outdoor unit in some cases.

          All that said, my understanding of the split systems is that much of the compatability work is done by the outdoor unit and so you would pick the indoor units (or 2 or 3) you like, and then make sure they have a compatible outdoor unit they can all share.

          consumer.org has basically no information in the way of split systems so i'm not sure how much help this will be.

          Anyway, heres the top 16x units under 4kW high wall: https://files.cheapies.nz/upload/8062/3677/under_4kw_high_wa...

          Nothing wrong at all with Mitsubishi Consumer (rather than Heavy Industries) its just that pretty much any filters you apply puts 2 of their units in the top 5 which is a really good consistend result (obviously model dependant)

          If you want the detailed write up of a specific unit, let me know

          • @Tmurder91: Thank you. I have 3 bedrooms next to each other and road facing. So putting 3 outdoor unit looks ugly and takes up space as well. But I haven't considered either of them yet. Just gathering info currently.

            • @ace310: The units can stack (what my parents have on their place, as they already had a heatpump when they moved in and wanted a second for an ajoining room, so stacked them on top of each other to save space as it was tucked behind the house out of sight.

              Anyway your setup sounds like a perfect use-case for a mini-split to be honest.
              You'd pay more in running costs with the larger shared outdoor unit, but the installation and up front costs would likely be FAR cheaper and so without doing any numbers, i'd guess you'd probably find it would take 5-10 years to find the point where the costs meet up (and you have a prettier looking setup the whole time)

              • @Tmurder91: Thanks for the feedback. One major downside with multi is if something goes wrong it's a major expense. So have to pick carefully. Great idea of stacking them.

                • +1

                  @ace310: Yes, hopefully a good unit is 'unlikely' to need that, but long term it will eventually happen when they age as its unlikely that a model made in 10 years would be compatible anymore.

                  further down in this thread I gave some details about the one I bought earlier this year. Mitsibishi Heavy Industries Avanti PLUS / SRK35ZSXA-W

                  If you find a model or 2 you are interested in and wanted the detailed information just let me know which oens

                  • @Tmurder91: Can you please give information for below models if possible. Thank you.

                    MXZ-3F54V6D
                    MXZ-4F71V6D

                    • @ace310: Not sure if its me, but I can't find those models on there.
                      Can you see it in the list: perhaps a slightly different model?
                      If you can find the correct name i'll pull the details

                      • @Tmurder91: Bugger. the model no. was handwritten on the quote. Might have to dig the brochure to confirm. Thanks will look it up once I have sometime.

                      • @Tmurder91: Can you see this models? I can't seem to find it in the list you linked above

                        2.5KW MSZ-AP25VGKD EcoCore Indoor Unit X 3
                        5.4KW MXZ-3F54VGD Outdoor Unit

                        Thanks @loading, looks like it was G rather than 6.

            • @ace310: We got installed a muti split for 3 bedroom just over a year ago. We went with mitsubishi 2.5kw AP Ecocore for the inside units , they are overkill but compare to the smaller units from mitsubishi these were more efficient and have wifi built in versus it being an extra. Our outside unit is a Three Port 5.4kW OmniCore Classic Multi Outdoor Unit. We have had around 5 different quotes and went with an installer who does exclusively mitsubishi installs and have been really happy with them . Regarding power consumption my understanding is that being an inverter motor it costumes the electricity it needs, for example only 1 unit is running at around 30% of its capacity then the power consumption will only reflect this and not draw the full 5.4kw.

              • @Loading: Thanks. That's the exact best quote I got as below. This quote might not be valid anymore as it is 3 months old but it can be close.

                2.5kw MSZ-AP20V6D indoor unit x 3 = $2100 each
                5.4kw MXZ-3F54V6D outdoor unit = $4250
                7.1kw MXZ-4F71V6D outdoor unit = $4700.

                Can you tell me how much you paid and who was the installer(if you prefer)? I have the same understanding about the power. I am considering 7.1 as I can attach 4th unit if required in kitchen/dining area at a later date as it will be on the same side of the wall.

                How do you feel the performance so far? Are you happy with?

                • @ace310: I have pulled out the invoice and details are as follow :

                  2.5KW MSZ-AP25VGKD EcoCore Indoor Unit X 3
                  5.4KW MXZ-3F54VGD Outdoor Unit
                  Wi-Fi module for our existing 6KW unit for lounge/kitchen

                  The price installed and inclusive was $8,023.12 and it was done in July 2021.

                  We are in Auckland , so the coldest it gets is -5.
                  Heating wise we have set-up rules and if the temperature falls below X usually 18C the unit will start and heat up the room back up to 18C.
                  There are 5 different Fan speed and we have them at the lowest and it is plenty of power.

                  Summer nights is great to have too.

      • Cheers. What you have written pretty much sums up the research I've done. I've had quotes from electricians and specialist heat pump installers and the specialist guys come in cheaper but they do tend to push just one or two models.

        We're after a high wall unit between 4 and 6 kW. If you could share some of the Consumer results for this range I'd appreciate it.

      • +2

        If you buy your own heat pump and hire an installer, it might save a couple of hundred dollars now, but if there's a warranty issue it will be a headache, because the warranty will be done via the store you bought the HP from, and they might try to argue the warranty covers parts but not labour. In that case you'll need to get the installer back to uninstall it, take it to the store, get a replacement, then installer back to install.

        • +1 for this comment. The true cheapies conundrum lol

          A good trustworthy installer/electrician should be able to get you a pretty competitive price on the unit supplied through them and their own discounts, even after adding their margin to it

          • @Tmurder91: I completely agree - I think it is better not to choose to create a situation where two other parties can both claim an issue is not their responsibility, and point fingers at each other.

            Even if you choose your heat pump yourself, you could still go out to installers, and ask them for a quote to supply that specific model, and install it. You could also take the approach of saying you are thinking of this model, ask for a quote for that one, and if they have a different suggestion, a quote for installing their preferred model too. You could then refer back here (or somewhere with experts on heat pumps) to double check what the installer is saying about their suggestion compared to yours.

            Some might load up the heat pump cost, and have a lower labour cost, and some might be the opposite, but all I would care about is the total price, the terms of the contract (including warranty etc), and the counter-party risk of that supplier (such as - do they have a good reputation, will they be around in X years time when you want to claim on the warranty, will they be willing and able to make good on the warranty guarantee they have given you etc etc).

            Cheaping out on some things is fine, but for something like this, I would be be looking at more than just the lowest price in isolation.

            • @Alan6984: yup, thats what we did, our process was basically

              1. Contact our electrician whom has done quite a few jobs for different members of our family, (commercial/rental/home) and ask him for a quote on installing and what options he recommend (after he did the site inspection and measure its easy to just change the model by going back and forth over email/phone)

              2. Lookup the list of options he supplied online and some reviews

              3. Decide that one of the options he suggested would be great, but also found a good option via the consumer website so asked him about it.

              4. He was able to supply that option for us, and so we compared the price of both his initial suggestion and ours and ended up going with the one we found on the consumer website

    • Just in case anyone was interested in HOW heapumps actually work, and why its possible for them to output up to 6x more heat energy compared to electric resistive heating (any other heater) when using the same power, you might find this video interesting: https://youtu.be/7J52mDjZzto

      Its a US focused explination, but a really good one. TLDR = a heatpump works like your fridge

  • Great idea!

  • Thanks, very generous idea. Have they provided anything lately concering Electricity & Gas comparison and changing provider's?

    • You can actually browse their website pretty normal without an account. Sometimes you will see PREMIUM or a LOGIN prompt appear to get specific information.
      For example this article is behind their paywall: https://www.consumer.org.nz/articles/power-company-satisfact...
      But the sunscreen reviews are typically free for all

      Obviously if you want the article that is behind the subscription just let me know

  • OP may I have the scores for hi-wall HPs with about 6-8kw heat output please? Thanks.

  • Hey OP
    I'm contemplating between these 2 -

    https://www.consumer.org.nz/products/heat-pumps/daikin-ftxv2...
    https://www.consumer.org.nz/products/heat-pumps/mitsubishi-h...

    Would you be so kind as to share information for these, please?

    Many Thansk!

  • Hi there. Have they done humidifiers lately? I'd like to read about those. Thanks!

    • +1

      You do mean humidifiers, ie ADDING moisture to the air right?

      I wasn't able to find anything at a quick glance. The consumer website is publicly accessible, its just that most content shows the login page when it gets to the useful details.

      If you have a browse and find something I missed just reply with the direct article link

      In a similar vein, they did a good write up on why evaporative coolers (think humidifier but better at cooling) are technically a good product but shit in NZ and I'd agree that in NZ a humidifier is a reasonably niche product

  • Another request for a heatpump review. Could someone please share this one:

    https://www.consumer.org.nz/products/heat-pumps/fujitsu-astg...

  • I’m not in the market for a heat pump, but would like a toaster (for bread). Anything on the site for this? Cheers

    • Yup, here you go

      just let me know if you need the notes from your top 2-3 choices

  • I came to NZ from Canada I had never heard of a heat pump read about them being the cheapest way to heat, went to look at one found out they are what North Americans ,Japanese and other countries call Air Conditioners !!

    • +1

      So an air conditioner is designed to move heat in one direction. It’s purpose is to move heat energy from inside your house into the outside.

      A fridge or a freezer is almost identical in most of its component design. It contains a pressurised gas system who’s purpose is to move heat energy from inside a box to the outside, cooling down its inside.

      What makes a Heatpump different is quite simple, it’s able to reverse the direction that it’s run. Instead of only moving heat energy from inside our house and dumping it outside, it’s able to ALSO be set to move heat energy from outside and dump it inside.

      You might have heard them referred to as a reverse cycle air conditioner. That reverse word is key as that’s the only difference, the ability to reverse the direction they operate.

      The distinction is important because all heat pumps are air conditioners. But not all air conditioners are heat pumps since many of the international options especially in hot climates spent decades only offering the cooling functions since they lacked the componentry to run in reverse

    • The aren't the same thing. Many air conditioners in the US can only cool and not heat interior spaces

  • Hi, any chance you could help with report on freestanding wood burners? Thanks! :)

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