Planning a warm, healthy home.
Your home’s ability to generate and retain heat is a key factor in your family’s health and wellbeing, especially over winter.
In New Zealand, 1.6 million homes perform poorly in terms of warmth, dampness and mould. Since most of these homes were built between 1950 and 1990, if you're renovating it’s likely your home was built during this era. Take steps to make sure you end up with a healthy home once your renovation is done.
Planning for warmth - insulation and heating
Make sure to consider heat retention and efficient heating options along with the design of your home. Making decisions during the planning stages is more cost-effective and less disruptive than trying to make improvements later on.
Insulation in ceilings, walls and subfloor spaces is a major step towards having a warm, healthy home. It reduces heat loss by forming a barrier between the interior and the outside world. This creates a space that can be heated efficiently and is less prone to condensation. Even insulating just the ceilings and walls will make a big difference to your comfort and the power bills. While there are minimum standards for insulation in new homes and additions, it’s worth spending a little more to have even better efficiency and reduced energy bills for years to come.
Once the insulation is taken care of, the next biggest source of heat loss is through glazed areas i.e. windows, skylights and glass doors. Consider new double glazed joinery or retro-fitting a double-glazing system to your existing windows. A double-glazed window uses two panes, separated by a gap, which is filled with air or an insulating gas such as argon. Low-E (low-emissivity) and tinted glass can also be included in these retrofit options.
A little planning now will go a long way towards a more comfortable, healthy home for your family to enjoy. It'll also help to keep your ongoing power bills in check!
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