There are simple changes you can make to help make your home warmer and drier.
Top tips to make your house warmer, drier and more energy-efficient
- Trim trees or plants that are blocking any windows, and make sure your curtains are open all day to take advantage of the sun in winter.
- Check your ceiling and underfloor insulation – if you can see the ceiling joists inside the roof cavity, it needs to be topped up. Check for any gaps in the insulation at the same time.
- Stop draughts – make sure your doors and windows fit their frames properly, block up old fireplaces, and use draught-stopping tape or seal and draught excluders.
- Set your heating system to 18 degrees in the bedroom, and 21 degrees in the living room. If you have a portable or panel heater, invest in a plug-in thermostat. This will keep you warm and healthy without wasting energy.
- Make sure your heating system is clean and efficient – clean your heat pump's filter regularly, and have your chimney or flue swept once a year. Replace your inefficient and costly unflued gas heater.
- Install lined curtains that reach to the floor, and are covered by a pelmet or face-fitting tracks at the top. This can be as effective as double glazing.
- Manage moisture in your home effectively:
- get externally ducted extractor fans for your bathroom and kitchen
- dry clothes outside, or use a drier for a short amount of time (which will be more efficient than using a dehumidifier)
- put down a groundsheet to help with rising damp
- wipe condensation off your windows in the morning
- open your windows for at least 20 minutes a day.
- Check your shower's flow rate – if it fills a 10L bucket in less than a minute, it's wasting water. Consider a water-efficient shower head or a flow control disc to keep the flow rate to 9L/minute.
- Insulate your hot water cylinder and pipes, either with a cylinder wrap or some old blankets.
Other tools to help improve the energy efficiency of your home
There are a number of resources available to help you make your house warmer and drier.
- Visit the Energywise website for practical information, advice and tools to help you improve the performance of your home.
- Borrow a Home Energy Audit Toolkit (or HEAT kit) from your local library to investigate where your home might be losing heat and energy.
- If you are renting, find out about the Healthy Rentals programme that provides advice and resources for tenants in the Māngere-Ōtāhuhu, Puketāpapa and Whau local board areas.
- If you are building or renovating your home, see the Level website for advice on designing and building homes with less impact on the environment.
- To learn more about how to design your home to make it warmer, drier and cheaper to heat, watch the Upspec your Build video.
- The Eco Design Advisor website has information sheets with practical advice, how-to guides and commonly asked questions to help you improve the performance of your home.
- Use the online Homefit check to see if your home is warm, dry and energy-efficient, and work toward gaining the Homefit certification.
- Contact an eco design advisor to get tailored advice on how to make your home more healthy and energy-efficient, whether you are a homeowner, landlord or tenant.