What’s the best way to keep your home warm and reduce your energy bills? Insulate!
Insulation makes your home easier and cheaper to heat and assists in keeping your home comfortable and healthy to live in. Chances are that your home has at least some insulation, and it is usually found in the ceiling. However, there are lots of ways to insulate your home.
Ways to insulate your home
Ceiling insulation is by far and away the most efficient way to keep warmth in your home. The onset of winter weather is a good reminder to check that your insulation is in place, and realign any areas that may have shifted out of place or replace any sections that have deteriorated. If your ceiling insulation is still in good condition but just isn’t keeping the house warm enough, consider adding a second layer. Remember to close attic manholes.
If your home has downlighters you may find that the ceiling insulation does not cover these – this is a safety precaution. However, you can now purchase downlighters that can have insulation over them and this can make a big difference to the efficiency of your ceiling insulation.
There are various types of insulation for under the floor – polystyrene, wool, polyester, or fibreglass. This usually comes in the form of blocks or pads to fit between the joists. It is recommended that underfloor insulation be fitted by a professional to ensure a good fit for the best performance. You will be amazed how much warmer your floors will feel!
Exterior walls can account for a huge loss of heat from your home and are best insulated at the time of construction. However, insulation may be retro-fitted during renovation. This usually requires removal of wall linings or the injection or ‘blowing’ of insulation through small holes.
Windows can account for up to 30% of the total loss of heat from your home. Installing double-glazing (and even triple-glazing in really cold climates) can reduce this heat loss and stop condensation forming. The cost of double-glazing may be prohibitive though and DIY window films can make a slight difference. Installing thermal curtains on your windows and external doors will help to keep the cold out and weather-stripping any gaps will stop draughts.
Draught excluders installed on doors can help to keep a room warm if you’re not heating the whole house. These can be easily homemade as a quick sewing project.
For more information on choosing insulation, visit energywise.govt.nz.
Getting an insulation grant
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.
Now warm it up!
Once your insulation is sorted, make the most of it with an efficient and effective heating system for all-round comfort. Funding may be available to you through the Warmer Kiwi Homes programme for some of the cost of an efficient wood burner, pellet burner or heat pump. Visit EECA ENERGYWISE for more information and to find out if you qualify.
Written by Julie Scanlon
Julie is Editor for Kidspot NZ and our MVP. Her hobbies include laughing uncontrollably at her own jokes, annoying her family by asking questions about movie plots, and never taking anything too seriously. She speaks a little Spanish and a lot of Yorkshire.
Favourite motto to live by: “It ain’t nothing but a thing”