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, particularly over the winter months.
In New Zealand, 1.6 million homes perform poorly in terms of warmth, dampness and mould. Since the majority of these homes were built between 1950 and 1990, if you are renovating in Auckland it’s highly likely your home was built during this era.
Planning for warmth
For maximum benefit, ensure you consider heat retention and efficient heating options along with the design of your home. Making decisions during the planning stages is much 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 warmer, healthier home. It minimises heat loss by forming a barrier between the interior and the outside world, creating a space that is less prone to condensation and can be heated efficiently. Insulation in the ceilings and walls alone will make a significant difference to your comfort and your energy bills! While there are minimum benchmarks for insulation in new homes and additions, it’s worth spending a little more exceeding these requirements to gain 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 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 glasses can also be included in these retrofit options.
A little planning now will go some way towards a more comfortable home for your family to enjoy while keeping ongoing energy costs in check.