Let’s get warm and snuggly!

ThermometerNew Zealand has some of the coldest houses on the planet. My childhood memories are of cold bedrooms where you tried to dress under the covers before putting your tootsies onto the cold bare floorboards. EECA states that about two-thirds of all houses (around 900,000) houses  in New Zealand have insufficient or no insulation, and our indoor temperatures fall well below World Health Organisation recommended limits.

New building code requirements for thermal insulation in houses are helping to improve New Zealand homes. For older homes, owners are being encouraged to retrofit insulation. Government subsidies now make it easier to get funding for insulation through the Warm Up New Zealand: Heat Smart programme.

Our librarians have created a page of resources to help with insulation advice. Related to that we have a page of Power Saving Tips so you don’t have to skimp on your heating and our libraries have plenty of books and standards about insulation.

For Energy Awareness Week (3 – 8 May 2010),  Yvonne Gilmore, an energy analyst from the Christchurch City Council will be in the Central Library to present a series of sessions on insulating your home to best effect. See the new thermal image tool which will show your house on a night last winter and learn how to improve that snuggly feeling for less cost.

So let’s get warm and snuggly before winter. Do you have a warm home? What is your best tip for a warm home?

4 thoughts on “Let’s get warm and snuggly!

  1. Laraine 30 April 2010 / 7:09 pm

    We were told by two separate people who knew what they were talking about that our Insulfluff insulation was useless–might as well not be there–because it had compacted so much. So we got quotes for “topping” it up. Astronomical–well beyond our ability to pay. Then we heard about the Labour Government’s insulation scheme and applied. We were told we qualified in terms of income–but our house wasn’t old enough! (What the heck did that matter? we wanted to know.) Eventually someone on TradeMe came up with a deal that we could manage. On the morning the insulation was installed there was one degree of frost and I noticed it. On the morning after it was the same, and I didn’t realise there WAS a frost until I went outside. Our house is many degrees warmer than it was when we bought it, especially since we found that all our wood burner needed to be able to keep it going all night was a new insulation strip around the door.

    But I too grew up (in the fifties) in a house like an icebox. Built in the earlier Edwardian era, it had only one window that caught the sun, for a very short while (because the window faced East) and it was horribly draughty. You could often hear the wallpaper rustling against the scrim. if someone opened a door while we were sitting by the fire there was a general chorus of irritation from all the family members who got suddenly cold. If anyone stood in front of the fire everyone else instantly froze. Not that the fire was much good. If you sat close to it your face felt as though it was aflame, while your feet still felt like iceblocks. I too remember getting dressed under the bedclothes. I also remember waking up with a nose that felt as though it had spent the entire night in a refrigerator. If being cold was a cause of illness, my sisters and I would have been sick several times every winter. I think it’s mould and mildew from damp houses, rather than cold ones, that causes health problems

  2. Jenny 1 May 2010 / 8:04 pm

    We moved from Northern Ireland (cold and wet most of the year) to New Zealand in 2006, and I never experience cold indoors like I’ve experienced in Christchurch. I don’t understand why houses here were built with such rubbish insulation (or none at all) and no damp proofing under the floor.

    When we bought our house two years ago, we paid for wool insulation in the ceiling above the compacted 1970s Insulfluff, and damp proofing under the floorboards. The transformation was immediate and dramatic. No more damp air chilling us right through our clothes in winter! We didn’t even realise the first time there had been a frost until we went outside and the car was iced up.

    Having said that, we don’t have the money to put in double glazing and our old wooden windows are draughty. We use temporary insulation which is like Glad-wrap stuck to the window frames with double sided tape. We seal the worst windows completely so they can’t be opened, eliminating the draught. We sealed the others so they can be opened, which isn’t as effective but does cut down on the cold and condensation. We got it from Community Energy Action which is now on Moorhouse Avenue.

  3. Lynne 2 May 2010 / 1:38 pm

    Have you tried bubble-packing instead of flat plastic? I use it on small windows and just stick it bubble-side to the outside with Blue-tac, straight against the glass. It seems to be quite good for small windows that you don’t use or need to see out of.

  4. Valerienl 5 May 2010 / 10:33 am

    When we moved into our new home 20 years ago, It had no insulation (unless you coun’t a thin layer of fluf in the roof space, single glazing and a small heater on the lounge-room wall. We now have a thick layer of stuff under the roof – a mix of bats and fluff. Double glazing a heat pump in the lounge room and panel heaters in the bedrooms. Cozy house – hate the winter power bills!

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