Your Home and Garden

Winter warmers

Before you start blasting heaters, be aware warming your home for winter starts with two important steps – insulation and ventilation.

Insulation

“A house with good ceiling and underfloor insulation can reduce heat loss by up to 50 percent,” says Liz Ross, eco design advisor for Auckland City Council.

Heat travels from warm areas to cold areas so if your home is warm but the outside temperature is cooler, the heat will escape. Insulation provides a barrier of resistance against heat transfer, which is expressed as an ‘R-value’. The higher the R-value, the more effective your insulation will be. Proper insulation ensures that heat isn’t leaving your home faster than you can generate it. Builderscrack estimates insulation costs to range from $70-$160 for every 5sqm.

Other top insulators

Rugs As well as providing relief for bare feet, rugs stop heat loss through the floor.

Draught stoppers Cool draughts can sneak in through gaps between doors and floors but draught stoppers will help. The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) also suggests checking hinges and latches are tight, adding weather stripping to seal gaps around doors and windows, and blocking chimneys of unused fireplaces with a rubbish bag filled with shredded newspaper.

Poorly fitted curtains can create a ‘reverse chimney’ effect

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