In came the rain this week as well as some low temps around the country. I’ve got a sore throat and am in full hibernation mode so keeping our house toasty and warm is #1 on my list of priorities throughout the day.
I had no idea what temp we should be maintaining our house at – but it’s a pretty important figure in winter, so I thought some of you might be interested in what I found out about heating our homes;
- The minimum temperature for occupied areas of homes as recommended by the World Health Organisation is 18°or higher for households with children, the elderly or family members who are ill. The layout of our house allows us to use one heat pump to keep our playroom and the 3 bedrooms at 20°. I find maintaining a steady temperature is a more efficient use of energy than trying to heat cold rooms quickly, so I keep the heat pump on throughout the day – both Dave and I work from home, otherwise it would be on a timer!
- Become an insulation expert! Get savvy about what is or isn’t keeping your home warm and if possible address any potential issues first. Pay attention to floor, ceiling and window insulation.
Many Kiwi’s won’t have experienced the wonder of double glazing as it’s only become a more mainstream install on new builds in the past 10 years. It’s incredible what a difference it makes in reducing heat loss through glass, particularly in older homes. If you can’t afford to retrofit your whole house (me!) or are renting, I honestly can’t recommend DIY double glazing enough. Dave and I used in all of our old dodgy rentals; it’s cheap and easy to install once you get the hang of it and is available in hardware stores nationwide. Check out this video to see how it works > DIY Double Glazing.
Soft furnishings aren’t just for decoration! A thick rug or thermal curtains will do double duty during winter and help retain heat as well as looking great.
- Choose your heating appliances wisely. Trying to warm a large space with an under-gunned heater can often cost more than you’d expect. We utilise different types of heaters in different spaces around the house. In Nixie’s room, we have a teeny oil column heater on a thermostat. His room is small so we have this set on low and it stays toasty all night long. Our lounge and kitchen, on the other hand, is quite a big, open space. This winter we haven’t used our expensive, barely-heats gas fire at all and are using my new favourite appliance exclusively; our Dyson AM09 Hot + Cool. This fan’s ability to circulate heat evenly around the room, whilst maintaining the set temperature and doing so quietly, without blades (Nixon-proof!) makes it the perfect option.
- Plug the draughts. Get old school if you have to and pick up one of those draught-stopper snakes. So far this winter I’ve seen them at Kmart, The Warehouse and Mitre 10. They are cheap and work wonders along the bottoms of our wooden doors and window sills. I don’t want to be paying for heating if it’s escaping out into the cold!
- Like I mentioned last month, rest assured knowing that when you flick that switch, you are getting the most bang for your buck. Use websites such as www.powerswitch.org to get informed and take ownership of how much you’re paying. Our new power company Electric Kiwi is not only awesomely priced but has been awarded the 2017 Most Satisfied Customers Award – Electricity Providers. Whoop whoop! I can certainly agree with that.
Thanks so much to Electric Kiwi for partnering with us this winter, love your work guys!
Header image originally from Your Best Digs