Winter Warmers

Heat loss

Statistically loss in your home occurs through:

  • 30-35% Roof
  • 21-31% Windows
  • 18-25% Walls
  • 12-14% Floor
  • 6-9% Air leakage

Obviously the *best* way to insulate your home is to have batts or blankets installed in your ceilings, walls, and underfloor.  If you are a home owner there are grants and loans available through the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council to help with this.

Windows (and doors)

Windows account for a huge amount of heat loss, and here are some ways to help:

  • Check window and door frames -In daylight shut doors and windows and check for gaps (daylight)
  • Self adhesive foam or v-strip around doors and windows.  It is important to choose the correct product and size i.e v-strip for wooden windows – especially sash windows – this not only stops draughts but stops ‘window rattle.  Foam on aluminium.  If in doubt check with your local Hardware Merchant.
  • Use draught stops – these are easy to make and effective around doors and ranch sliders.
  • Install purpose made ‘weather strips’ to the bottom of doors

Draught stops – Get crafty – old jeans stuffed with rice or fabric scraps.

  • Add a layer to your existing curtains:  Either joosh up by bright new fabric over the top of old or add a lining.  Such as Ashley’s amazing idea of adding a cheap fleece blanket to the back of your curtains.  (Really effective)
  • Make sure your curtains fit – wider and longer than your windows works best
  • Pelmets will also stop heat escaping
  • Double glazing reduces heat loss, noise and UV light.  there are plenty of retro-fitting options including DIY products.  Bubble wrap can also be used.

Other ways you can lose heat

  • Gaps around skirting and architraves:  Check for gaps by running your hand around the skirting boards/floor boards and check for draughts or use a candle or and incense stick, watch the flame or smoke for air movement.   Seal gaps as you find them.
  • Install metal covers over keyholes or leave the key in the door
  • Make sure your ceiling hatch fits properly
  • Insure electrical outlets on wall are firmly in place
  • Block unused chimneys and fireplaces.  Open fireplaces are inefficient and draughty.  Replace with a built in wood or pallet fire  If you do not use the fire, block the chimney completely. 
  • Check for gaps between floorboards on wooden floor.  Under the house at night to see if light is shining through
  • Repairing holes in the floor:  From under the house screw a small square of timber over the hole.  Cut a bung to fit snugly in the hole and jam it in from the top.  Tap in with a hammer gently.  Sand.  Fill any gaps with wood filler.  Consider Plastic sheeting under the house as this blocks dampness from rising
  • Open down lights can let in draughts – replace with sealer canister types.

Hot Water Cylinders

Hot water cylinders – A grade cylinders give the best insulation – Savings $80 per year.

If cylinder is warm to the touch then covering will reduce heat loss.  Insulating hot water pipes also helps reduce heat loss.

Condensation

When warm moist air touches a cool surface (such as a window) the moisture condenses into water.  You can reduce condensation by reducing the amount of moisture in your home.

Moisture from

  • Breathing
  • Cooking
  • Drying washing inside
  • Bathroom

Some tips on Heat Pumps:

  • Get insulation right before you consider a heat pump
  • By a reputable brand
  • Choose the right size and right type for the size of your home
  • Use it correctly
  • Clean it regularly.