Cold, damp, and miserable … not sure if we’re talking about the state of the winter weather or the state of homes in New Zealand? In winter 2018, Kidspot surveyed New Zealand families about their homes during the colder months. We received responses from 225 families. Find out more about the results from our survey below.
Let’s get to know our responders first
Here’s a few quick questions that we asked about our surveyed households:
Do you heat only the rooms you are using? Yes 73% : No 18.3%
Does your home suffer from condensation? Yes 65.5% : No 28.2%
Does your home have mould/mildew issues? Yes 34.7% : No 57.1%
Do you have somewhere outside to dry washing when it’s raining? Yes 43.8% : No 50.2%
Is your home draughty? Yes 37% : No 56.2%
(NB The remaining percentage was ‘not applicable’ or ‘don’t know’).
What type of heating do we use?
Almost half of households surveyed confirmed that they used a heatpump to heat their home. This was closely followed by electric or oil heaters (42.5%), then woodburners or fireplaces (33.5%) and panel heaters (15%). Around half of the families surveyed used a combination of sources to heat their homes. Around 4% of homes had no heating.
The convenience and energy efficiency of heatpumps are making their mark in New Zealand homes. But there are still a lot of families using electric or oil heaters (either through necessity or choice) which tend to be expensive to run and far less efficient at keeping our homes warm.
How are we keeping the warmth in and the cold out?
Insulating your home makes it easier and cheaper to heat and in the past homes would only have the basic ceiling insulation. Our survey showed that almost three-quarters of homes had ceiling insulation, but other forms of insulation were also becoming popular. Underfloor insulation was present in 43% homes and 36% had insulation in external walls.
Windows can account for up to 30% of the total loss of heat from your home. Installing double-glazing can reduce this heat loss and installing thermal curtains on your windows and external doors will help to keep the cold out. Over a quarter of homes surveyed had double-glazing and almost half were using thermal curtains to keep the cold out.
If you are considering installing or upgrading your home’s insulation you may be eligible for an insulation grant. Check with your local council to find out what is on offer locally. Or free call EECA ENERGYWISE on 0800 358 676 or visit energywise. govt.nz to find out about the Warm Up New Zealand: Healthy Homes initiative.
Are we feeling the cold?
How much are we relying on heating sources to keep our homes at an acceptable temperature? We asked our respondents if they felt their home was warm in winter. With the heating off, only 6.4% said that their home was the perfect temperature (most likely those up in the ‘winterless north’), a quarter said that the temperature was OK, but 68% said it was a bit chilly or too cold. With the heating on (and the energy bills up!), 41% reported that their home was the perfect temperature, with another 41% just giving an ‘OK’ response. 15% said it was still a bit chilly. But almost 4% still said it was too cold.
How is the cold affecting our family’s health?
We all know from the horrific amount of children and elderly people that suffer every year with respiratory illnesses that a lot of our homes are cold, damp and unhealthy. So we asked our responders how they felt their home was affecting their family’s health. Remember, this is just a small snapshot of households in New Zealand.
Do you feel that your home is warm in winter? Does your home affect your family’s health? Join the discussion in the comments below.
Read more on Kidspot:
- 5 ways to keep kids warm at night
- The effects of a cold home on your family’s health
- 10 ways to brighten your home in winter
- 30 winter soups to warm you through