We spend a lot of time at home – so if it’s not a healthy home it can make life miserable. Poor health, feeling uncomfortably cold, crying windows, worrying about expensive power bills – many of us can relate to these stresses.
Making homes warmer, healthier and cheaper to heat starts with insulation. Here are three top tips from energy efficiency experts Sustainability Trust for a healthy home, healthy body and healthy you:
- Get your insulation checked. If you don’t have it, if it’s foil, or if it’s 10 years old or more, then heat will be pouring out of your ceiling and underfloor. People with Community Services Cards or on low-income levels may be able to get a 50% subsidy from the Government to help pay for insulation. So check if you, or the person you’re renting your house out to, could get this special funding.
- Get the right heater for the right room. You need a certain number of KWs per SQM to heat a room adequately to 18-20 degrees – a fixed heater like a heat pump is the most energy efficient option (along with wood burners) and even some radiant heaters can make a big difference.
- A damp home is a cold home. Damp air is harder to heat so it’s important to address moisture issues as well as insulation and regular heating. Check drains, fix leaks, clear vegetation from around the house. Dry your clothes outside or with an externally vented dryer, and use your extraction fans. If you’ve got access to the underfloor installing Ground Vapour Barrier will stop moisture coming up from the ground.
The good news is that it’s easy to upgrade insulation and heating, especially if you live in Greater Wellington. If you’re in the region, Sustainability Trust can provide advice and products to help improve a home’s wellbeing. If you live somewhere else in New Zealand you can shop online for DIY products.
Sustainability Trust is a unique social enterprise which reinvests profit into award-winning community programmes that empower everyone to love more sustainably. Programmes like Wellington Curtain Bank, which provides curtains to more than 500 low-income families each year, make a huge difference to the health and wellbeing of families.
Find out more, shop, or book a home assessment at www.sustaintrust.org.nz