A Warm Home At Cool Costs

Winter is certainly here and the cold has got me researching how to keep my home warm in an energy and cost efficient way. There are several options to consider so I thought I would share the key points to ensure your home stays warm and cosy this season too.

Reducing draughts
If your house has draughts, it is going to be very difficult (and expensive) to keep warm even with heating and insulation. Good air-tightness and controllable ventilation will help create a warmer, healthier, more comfortable home.

Ventilation is important for your home to keep the air healthy and remove moisture however it should be controllable as keeping your home airtight will help heat your home more efficiently.

A few good places to start to improve air-tightness:

  • Repair or replace hinges and seals if your windows and doors don’t fit snugly within their frames
  • If you have gaps under your doors you can attach draught excluders
  • Check your chimneys and repair any gaps through to the ceiling and if you have fireplaces you no longer use have them temporarily or permanently closed up
  • Seal up any gaps between floorboards, skirting boards and cornices

There are lots of heating options for homes, so ensure you get the right kind of energy efficient heater for yours so that you can keep your home warm while keeping running costs low. The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) have a great outline of the types of heaters available (click here to view).

Of course having efficient heating means more than just having a good heater. It’s also about having a well insulated house and using your heaters wisely.

According to the EECA, an estimated half of all New Zealand homes (around 700,000) have insufficient ceiling or underfloor insulation, and insulation can move or become less effective over time.

Good quality, well installed insulation helps keep the heat in during winter and keep it out during summer. This makes your house easier and cheaper to heat properly, and more comfortable and healthy to live in.

The EECA prioritise insulating your home in the below order:

  • Ceiling
  • Underfloor
  • Walls
  • Windows

If you home was built before 2000 you may also qualify for funding as part of the Heat Smart government insulation programme.