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20 December 2023

5 controversial things we said in 2023

Things got a little heated on our Facebook page and Instagram feed at times this year. Here are five things that got our followers rarked up but that we’d be comfortable saying again in 2024.

1. Don’t leave your heat pump on all day

Graphic of a heat pump

Why we said it: Our product test team leader, James, argued that heat pumps are so fast at heating a room and don’t use much power starting from scratch, so you’re better off not leaving it on when you’re out.

How it went: We got more than 500 comments on this one and a lot of people said they’d been told the opposite by their heat pump installer. A few people said New Zealand houses have poor insulation and lack double glazing, so heat pumps should be kept on to keep the house warm. We jumped on to clarify that’s the exact point – if the heat pump is constantly on, you’re paying for heat that’s heading out of your home.

And now? James says you could test the theory yourself next winter – just leave the heat pump on constantly for a few days and then have a few days of turning it on only when you’re home. If your power company lets you see how your power use fluctuates, James is confident you’ll be on Team Turn It Off.

2. Top loader washing machines are terrible

Graphic of a top loader washing machine

Why we said it: Our test writer, Bryan, knew he was walking into a fight when he wrote this. New Zealanders love their top loaders. Bryan hates them – he’s even been heard to say they should be banned. Our testing has found they’re not as good for dirt removal, use too much water and are rough on clothes.

How it went: There were fighting words – “FIGHT ME BRYAN. I LOVE THEM”, “Top loaders for life”, “Bryan can sod off” and “What is this guy smokin”. Many people out there that don’t like the idea of bending down or physically can’t, which is fair enough. Plenty of people who had switched from top loader to front loader backed Bryan up, though.

And now? You won’t change Bryan’s view on this one. He says the only thing going for top loaders is that they’re quicker. “If you want efficiency, gentleness and good dirt removal, you need a front loader.”

3. The best salt and vinegar chips are the Snacka Changi and Kettle Chip Company ones

Graphic of salt and vinegar chips

Why we said it: A bad experience for one of our members when he was eating some salt and vinegar chips kicked off this blind taste test. And let’s just say it ended up being a rather controversial piece of content.

How it went: We’ve learned Copper Kettle fans can get quite angry when their favourite chips are put in sixth place. One commenter told us we were a disgrace because of it.

And now? Well, guess what Copper Kettle fans. Your favourite chips were the ones that hurt our member Peter and kicked off this whole thing.

4. Wash your jeans after wearing them 10 times

Graphic of clothes

Why we said it: This was from an article about how you’re probably washing your clothes too often. We made a list of ways to stretch out how much wear you get from items between washes, for the sake of your wallet and the environment.

How it went: It was the advice to wash your jeans every ten wears that really got people saying “nope”. Rach said it was gross and Lynda said it was yuk. And once again we were asked what we’re smoking.

And now? You do you, but if you want to join us in stretching out the washes and how long your jeans last, you could give them an airing out in the sunshine after each wear.

5. Anything bad about air fryers

Graphic of an air fryer

Why we said it: We made a list of the pros and cons of owning an air fryer. Some cons were that they take up kitchen bench space and are another thing to clean.

How it went: We’ve learned that air fryer owners love them and won’t hear a bad thing said about them. We copped a bit of flak for our cons. One commenter said we were stretching to find bad things to say. The comment section descended into a battle between those who wouldn’t be without one and those who think they’re a marketing gimmick.

And now? We're still a bit on the fence when it comes to air fryers. We know people love them because they’re one of our most popular pages on our website this year. But we’re not entirely convinced you need another appliance to do what your oven can, especially when you can get a cheap air fryer tray from Kmart that we loved. Fight us in the comments!

You can join in with the conversations happening about consumer topics on our Facebook and Instagram.
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