The World Health Organisation recommends maintaining a room temperature of 18°C for optimal health and comfort. This is especially important for vulnerable groups such as children, the elderly, and those who are unwell, who may require slightly higher temperatures.
Insulate First: Insulation is key in retaining heat. Effective insulation ensures the warmth stays where it's needed most.
Renewable Energy Heaters: Opt for heaters that use renewable energy sources like wood, wood pellets, or electricity - which in New Zealand is about 80% renewable.
Efficient Models: Choose the most efficient heater model that suits your needs.
Expert Advice: Consult with a heating expert to find the best size and functionality for your home.
Appropriate Sizing: It's crucial to select a heater that is the right size for the room. A small heater will struggle to heat a large space, while an oversized heater can lead to unnecessary costs.
Proper Use and Maintenance: Follow the manufacturer's guidelines for using and maintaining your heater to ensure efficiency and longevity.
Retain Heat: Enhance heat retention by closing doors and curtains and blocking drafts.
Choosing the Right Heater
For high-use areas, a high-quality heater can significantly improve comfort and health. For less frequented rooms like bedrooms or studies, a smaller, less expensive model is often sufficient.
Factors to Consider:
Price: More expensive, efficient heaters can be more cost-effective in the long run.
Running Costs: Cheaper heaters may incur higher operational costs.
Output: Ensure the heater is adequately sized for the room.
Heaters to Avoid
Steer clear of unflued gas heaters, often referred to as cabinet heaters. They are not only costly but also release harmful fumes and moisture into your home.
Grants for New Heaters
The government's Warmer Kiwi Homes programme offers grants for insulation and heaters to low-income homeowners. Check your eligibility using the Warmer Kiwi Homes tool.
Heater Running Costs
Running costs vary significantly among different heaters. The most cost-effective options are those that are highly efficient, use cheaper fuel, and have no fixed charges.
Cooling Your Home Efficiently
Shade: Utilise curtains, blinds, and external shades to block out the sun.
Ventilation: Open doors and windows to facilitate air movement.
Planting Trees: Deciduous trees can provide shade in summer and let sunlight through in winter.
Fans Over Air Conditioning: Fans consume less energy and can be a great alternative to air conditioning.
Air Conditioning Tips:
Dehumidifying Mode: A less energy-intensive option than full air conditioning.
Cool One Room: Most air conditioners are designed to cool a single room effectively.
Thermostat Settings: Set around 24ºC for optimal efficiency.
Regular Maintenance: Clean the filter regularly to ensure efficiency.
By following these guidelines, New Zealand homeowners can maintain a comfortable and healthy indoor environment throughout the year, while also being mindful of energy consumption and environmental impact.
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