Kiwi homes aren’t known for being warm and cozy in the cooler months. Our climate means we don’t get the temperature extremes other countries experience, so central heating never really took off. In reality, it does get chilly and our homes can be cold and damp. It’s not fun, or healthy, so we’ve put together a few tips to keep your family warm and dry this winter.

Insulate

We spend a lot of money in winter warming up our homes, but insulation is often overlooked. Heat rises, so your roof is the best place to start with insulation, but you should also consider:

  • Flooring. Dampness can enter from under your house, and heat can escape down there too. Insulating under your house will keep your home warm and dry. If you have wooden floorboards, cosndier adding a rug for extra warmth.
  • Walls. It’s often harder to insulate the walls of an existing home, but it’s worth checking if yours are insulated. If not, consider adding it to the to-do list for any future renovations.
  • Hot water cylinder. Heating your water is one of the biggest expenses so make sure you trap the warmth in your cylinder. You can buy wraps at most hardware stores.
heating your water is one of the biggest expenses

Heating water is one of the biggest expenses so make sure warmth is trapped in your cylinder

Windows

Heat loves to escape through windows, but it’s easy to reduce how much gets through:

  • Curtains. get them nice and thick, and close them when the sun starts to set. The idea is that the sun streams on during the day, and then you trap the warmth in. ‘Thermal curtains’ are the best at keeping heat in.
  • Seal in any gaps. Some older homes might have a gap between the window and its frame. You can buy tape and fillers at hardware stores to seal those gaps.
  • Double glaze. Not only will this reduce outside noise, it will keep your home warm. As this option can be hard on the wallet, a window film may be a more cost effective insulation option.
Heat

You might find once you’ve stopped heat escaping, you might still need more to make your home comfortable and warm. There are many options out there, including heat pumps, convection heaters and wood burners.

The type of heating you use will depend on the size of the area you want to heat, the running cost and its impact on the environment. EnergyWise have put together a great pro/con list of the different types of heating options – be sure to check it out.

Still not sure which heater you need? The team at Consumer have a handy calculator to help you figure it out, along with which ones passed their test.

Whichever option you choose, remember to be fire wise:

  • Use a screen on open fires (and never leave them unattended).
  • Don’t hang clothes on or near your heater.
  • Don’t overload your powerpoints or multiboards.

The great thing about these tips is putting them into practice won’t just make your home warm in winter – it’ll make for more comfortable living all year round. But maybe put the heater away in the summer months!

 

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