Winter is coming, here's how to keep warm as temperatures drop

Winter is coming, here’s how to keep warm as temperatures drop

As winter’s icy grasp draws nearer, there are several simple things Kiwis can do to keep their homes warm and themselves healthy.

Insulation, moisture levels and decent curtains were the three things people should focus on to stay warm and dry over winter, said Auckland council eco-design adviser Adrian Feasey.

They were all key in keeping heating at the “magic number” of 18C, he said.

Taking measures to keep heat in and moisture out would also reduce bills as winter drove up energy use.

When temperatures dipped below 18C, the chances of developing respiratory illnesses, which New Zealand is overrepresented in among OECD countries, rose.

Keeping temperatures at or above that magic number could be helped by making sure there was proper insulation in the walls, ceilings and under floors, Feasey said.

A 2010 nationwide study of Kiwi homes by the Building Research Association of NZ (BRANZ), found about 80 per cent of rental houses and 45 percent of owner-occupied homes had little or no wall insulation.

In 2015, the next BRANZ survey showed the gap between rental and owner-occupied homes was still present, with rental properties about twice as likely to be rated ”poorly maintained”, although no specific reference was made to insulation.

“What you should be looking for is that at least the insulation is covering the timber in the ceiling,” Feasey said.

If your home was without insulation, get a couple of quotes and get it done, or ask your landlord to get it done, Feasey said.

The second thing people should take care of was their curtains.

“What you’re really looking for is having a lined curtain,” he said.

The lining trapped hot air between the curtain’s two layers and stopped heat escaping out the window so quickly.

People should also make sure the curtains were closed off at the top as much as possible and make sure they reached all the way to the floor. Read full article here >