Warm up for winter
Winter is coming but you may be able to make your home warmer and drier with a Government grant covering at least two-thirds of the cost of ceiling and underfloor insulation.
Eddie Thompson from EECA Energywise says many New Zealand homes are cold and unhealthy, contributing to respiratory issues and other health problems.
“A well-insulated home is healthier and easier to heat. Insulation is like a big, thermal blanket keeping the heat in the home.”
Warmer Kiwi Homes grants are available to homeowners with a Community Services Card or households in lower-income areas, Mr Thompson says.
“In some parts of the country, generous donations from community organisations mean the cost to homeowners is even lower. You may be surprised how little you have to pay.”
Mr Thompson advises eligible homeowners to book in as soon as possible because the insulation industry is very busy as the weather starts to cool down and in the lead up to the deadline for insulating rentals.
“We want to avoid homeowners having a long, cold wait for insulation over the winter.”
To find out if you are eligible for a grant, visit energywise.govt.nz or free phone 0800 749 782.
Grants for heating appliances are available from July for properties that are already insulated to a good standard, Mr Thompson says.
Other top Energywise tips for a warmer home include:
- DIY window insulation kits cost a fraction of the price of double glazing, yet offer good performance in reducing heat loss and condensation in your home. You can pick up a kit from hardware stores and online shops.
- Draw curtains at dusk to keep the day's heat in. The best curtains have a separate lining and are fitted close to the window, wide enough to generously overlap the window frames at the sides and long enough to touch the floor.
- If you own a dehumidifier, run it when you are heating a room to warm the room up faster. Dehumidifiers work best in warm rooms and all the electricity they use gets released as heat - so your heater needs to do less work.
- If you run a heat pump, clean the filters regularly. Heat pumps clogged with dirt and dust do not run efficiently.
- Stop draughts by making sure your windows and doors fit their frames. Use draught stopping tape around windows and doors. Make or buy door snakes to keep cold draughts sneaking under doors.