And just like that Winter has landed at our doorstep!
So apart from the usual heating solutions what else can we do to keep homes warm and prevent heat loss? Here’s a few helpful hacks – whether you have an older abode or if you’re building a new more sustainable home they’ll come in handy.
How to brighten and warm a South-facing house
Are you one of the hundreds of thousands of Kiwis who’s home faces away from the sun? With this orientation your home can appear dark and uninviting while the cost to keep it warm without the sun’s natural energy can be pretty hefty. But fear not! There are a few things you can do to help while perhaps you’re still contemplating building a new energy-efficient green home.
One option is having a skylight installed. These are placed in your roof and won’t cost you an exorbitant amount of money. The light they allow in will naturally warm your home meaning you spend less on heating, you’ll also save money by not having your lights on up to 24 hours a day. Added benefits include making interior spaces appear larger, adding value to your home, and even bringing positive psychological effects such as improving your mood.
Skylights and Solatube type products are an efficient means of harnessing the sun’s energy because they capture and diffuse the light throughout your home. They can be fixed, opening, electric and solar powered. Keeping an older home dry is a key component of increasing your comfort during the change of season.
Control Indoor Moisture
Excess damp in homes is one of the major problems houses in New Zealand face so adequate ventilation is key even in colder climates. The presence of moisture in homes brings an array of issues including mould growth that can lead to respiratory illness, can rot timber framing, and act as a beacon for pests. Moist air is also much harder to heat than dry air so keeping your home dry and ventilated is very important.
This can be as simple as opening doors and windows at opposite ends of your house to create a through-breeze (cross-ventilation) thereby drying out the moisture that inevitably stems from rainfall, cooking, doing laundry and showering.
Another ultra effective method is having a home ventilation system installed in your roof, which mechanically keeps the air circulating throughout your home via outlets in your ceiling.
A third recommendation could be to incorporate a passive vent system into your home. These automated vent systems fit into your windows and are self-controlled by the temperature so that it opens when it’s warm, providing fresh, draft-free air, while it closes itself when the weather is cooler.
Greener Insulation Options
Have you got eKnauf?
You can’t beat 40+ years of experience in the industry – Knauf Insulation represents one of the most respected brands in insulation worldwide and is used widely by Green Homes New Zealand across the country.
Knauf make eco-friendly and cost conscious products for customers to help us meet the increasing demand for energy efficiency and sustainability in homes. Green Homes NZ recommends Earthwool Glasswool batts for many of our new builds.
Some of the key features are:
- High thermal performance – year round comfort
- Sound absorbing
- Saves energy – lower energy bills
- No added formaldehyde
- 50 year warranty
We pride ourselves on our energy efficient homes so you can reduce your running costs.