Want to freeze your power bills this winter?
Brrr…This winter weather is a daily reminder of how important it is to make sure your house is insulated properly.
Good quality insulation won’t just keep your home cosy and warm in winter; it’ll also keep the heat out during summer. In other words, with proper insulation, your house will be a comfortable temperature all year round, as well as cheaper and easier to heat.
Cold, damp houses are a serious problem in New Zealand, and anyone who has been following the news will know that it causes health issues for thousands of people around the country. Hundreds of thousands of houses are believed to have insufficient insulation. If you need to get some installed yourself, then the priority should be:
Often people look for insulation in their ceilings and walls. Once they see the Pink Batts, or other type of insulation, they figure that they home should stay warm. But then they forget about checking for insulated floors. See if you can check under the property for the underfloor heating. If there’s no insulation there, then it’s best to get some – you’ll really notice the difference. Similarly, it’s best to remove the old insulation and replace it with new insulation if it has gaps or missing bits, if the insulation has been damaged, or if it doesn’t extend under the whole floor.
Floors and ceilings can benefit from added insulation, and the rule here is that you can never have too much! But beware – if you need to put insulation in the walls then you must have a building consent.
Also, hundreds of dollars fly out the window – literally – in lost heat through single glazed windows. I’ve talked about double glazed windows previously, but it’s worth mentioning again that in New Zealand, double glazing isn’t standard. Nevertheless, it’s incredibly useful for retaining the heat, and will often end up paying for itself. Not to mention, it really helps with noise reduction, so if you live near a busy road then that can be a real bonus!
A lot of housing, especially in Auckland, is substandard and requires better insulation. Just because a property owner or agent claims that the property is fully insulated, that doesn’t mean that it definitely is. Check all of the areas of the house from the ceiling and underfloor, to the walls and windows.
In fact, a house may require quite a lot of work just to make it a healthy and safe place to live. If you don’t know how to check the insulation, then I can do that for you as part of the property inspection.
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