Woman warm in cold house


With the colder months about to hit hard and fast, it’s time to start thinking about whether or not the heating appliances in a home you’re looking at purchasing can effectively keep you warm throughout winter. You don’t want to put up with the same winter woes rattling your bones this year, so we’ve outlined some of the best tips for making sure your home is snug and dry – and looked at why you must get a pre purchase building inspection if you’re looking to move. After all, you’ll want to be in the know on how expensive it’ll be to keep your home warm, and what kind of heating appliances will be best for you.

Signs your home is a cold trap

High energy bills. You might not notice extreme shifts in the temperature of your home because your heating appliances are working overtime. But you will definitely notice on your monthly power bill. If your bill seems a little high, perhaps compare it to a bill from the same month the previous year. If there’s a radical increase, your home’s insulation may have deteriorated.

Chilly walls. By doing a simple touch test, you can determine whether or not your home is insulated effectively. When you put your fingers to the interior walls, floors, and ceilings of your home, does it feel cold to the touch? The interior should feel warm and dry if the panelling has decent insulation behind it.

Abnormal temperatures. If you notice different rooms have varying temperatures that seem to fluctuate (for example, your dining room is always freezing but your lounge is always roasting), chances are your home is under-insulated. You may want to check out the padding in the frame.

Heating appliances to consider

Heat pumps. If you’re after a convenient appliance with a low running cost that instantly produces heat, then a heat pump might be the best option for you. Just be aware they must be sized correctly for the space in order to work effectively. And always look out for the energy star rating as some are more efficient than others.

Modern woodburners. We all know there’s nothing more comfortable than having a roaring fire going while you relax on the couch. A modern woodburner fireplace is cheap to run (especially if you can access cheap firewood), they can heat large spaces, and they produce very little pollution. Just be aware you’ll need a building consent to install one.

Electric heaters. While these are more expensive to run than most other heating appliances, they are ideal for heating small spaces in a small amount of time, and they are cheap to buy. They’re generally more suitable for environments that don’t always require a heater, such as bedrooms.

A pre purchase building inspection before you buy

If you’re looking to buy a home, be on the lookout for how equipped each house is to handle the damp conditions we know all too well in New Zealand homes. Does it show any of the signs that demonstrate it’s a cold trap? What kind of heating appliances are already installed?

Before purchasing, check out if the house has double glazed windows, decent insulation (wall, underfloor, and ceiling), and what heating solutions are already in place. That’ll give you an idea of how much money you’ll have to put into heating upon moving in and is why we always recommend getting a professional to conduct a pre purchase building inspection – so you know what you’re getting into.

Stay toasty this winter

While there are a few simple queries you can raise with your realtor about the heating of your potential home, having an expert assess the property is always the best call. You may think you’re getting a really good deal on a home, only to find it’s incredibly expensive to heat or requires a whole lot of work done to ensure it’s properly insulated. Get a pre purchase building inspection report before you buy, so you can rest assured your dream home will keep you toasty this winter.

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