"Don't throw it away before you need to, you just create more landfill," said the technician when I told him my heat pump was no longer working as it should.
The first arctic blast of winter blew through last weekend and I had rung him for advice. This house, like so many in Australia, is very cold in winter (I measured 9C inside on Saturday and we still have autumn) and the heat pump struggled to bring the temperature up to 15C.
When the technician saw the unit he said it was probably 20 years old and the company that made it (Sharp) no longer existed. In an old house everything seems to need replacing at once and, like the guttering, the heat pump was overdue. So I bit the bullet and ordered a new one - a Mitsubishi Heavy Industries split system.
This morning it was installed and yaaay, I have heat! The new system is much quieter than the old and probably much more energy efficient as well. It heats, cools, and generally just hangs out on the wall.