Preparing your home for winter
Is your home feeling cold and uncomfortable in the first cold snap of the winter? Christian Hoerning from EECA ENERGYWISE says there are simple DIY fixes to make your home warmer, easier to heat and more comfortable – it’s worth thinking about these before the cold weather really sets in.
Gaps under doors
Check for gaps under your doors. You can fit draught excluders, either brush strip types or for external doors, spring loaded automatic seals. Damaged rubber seals around aluminium joinery can easily be replaced.
Use door snakes in front of your internal doors– these are available from many hardware and homeware stores or you can make your own.
Hinges and catches
Check whether hinges and catches are loose and tighten them up with a screw driver. Weather stripping, which you can buy cheaply from hardware stores, can be used to seal gaps around many doors or windows – it’s an easy job. If you get draughts from around door or window trims, seal behind them with clear or paintable sealant.
Unused fire places
You will get a lot of draughts roaring through an unused chimney. Block the chimney with a rubbish bag filled with shredded newspapers. Make sure no one tries to light the fire with a blocked chimney.
Draughts can be a real problem with older style recessed downlights. The best solution is to replace these old style downlights with modern IC or IC-F rated LED downlights that can be insulated over.
If your house isn’t insulated or the insulation is old or needs topping up, you will struggle to stay warm.
You may be able to add the cost of insulation to your rates from $9.00 a week – talk to your council. Or you may be eligible for free insulation under Warm Up New Zealand: Healthy Homes if you are on a low income and have children or older people in the household.
Go to the ENERGYWISE website to find a service provider and discuss whether your household is eligible.