Heat­ing your home right

Do you some­times find your­self wear­ing a hat and gloves in­doors dur­ing Otago’s colder months?

Central Otago Mirror - - YOUR OWN HOME -

As quaint and ec­cen­tric a pic­ture as this may paint, be­ing colder in­side than out is not a nor­mal state of af­fairs for most of the world’s western­ised pop­u­la­tion, and it really needn’t be so. Most peo­ple con­cen­trate on the heat side of the equa­tion when they even­tu­ally de­cide that break­ing the ice to make a cup of tea in the morn­ing has lost its charm, and con­ceive all man­ner of de­vices and con­trap­tions to pump more heat into a prop­erty. What many over­look is the flip­side of the coin: in­su­la­tion. Fact is, you can put as much heat as you like into a home, but if it’s poorly in­su­lated the only thing ris­ing will be your power and fuel bills. There’s no lack of choice of rea­son­ably straight­for­ward steps to swad­dle your home snugly for the win­ter sea­son, ei­ther, although some are ad­mit­tedly dearer than oth­ers. For in­spi­ra­tion, how­ever, just bear wit­ness to the ven­er­a­ble long­drop walls caulked with news­pa­per. The mod­ern equiv­a­lent of this is ceil­ing, wall and un­der­floor in­su­la­tion. We’ve all heard of pink batts, and their ad­di­tion to your loft space or un­der­floor, foil­backed, can make a sim­ple, eco­nom­i­cal, but sig­nif­i­cant dif­fer­ence to your ther­mal com­fort. The ad­di­tional ben­e­fits of hav­ing them inwall even make retrofitting a worth­while, if slightly more in­volved, process. Alternative ma­te­ri­als ex­ist for this ba­sic in­su­la­tive re­quire­ment of any prop­erty, such as eco­log­i­cally friendly blown fleece for lofts, poly­styrene vari­ants un­der­floor and straw bales for your walls, if you’re con­sid­er­ing a new build. Why not go the whole hog and stick a com­plete set of pro­fes­sion­ally fit­ted, dou­bleglazed win­dows and doors in on top of your home’s new ther­mal com­fort blan­ket? Granted, you’re look­ing at a bit of an in­vest­ment here, but the im­prove­ments to your sonic and ther­mal in­su­la­tion from dou­ble-glaz­ing are truly im­pres­sive. What­ever you de­cide, get it sorted soon. Then your days of re­sem­bling a domestic Davy Crock­ett might just draw to a sat­is­fy­ingly toasty end.

There’s a rea­son it’s a com­edy slap­stick sta­ple, and that’s be­cause it’s really hard work to do it both well, and fast at the same time. Sure, you can prob­a­bly get one or two up straight given an in­fi­nite amount of pa­per and an in­fi­nite amount of time, but sooner or later the paste, ser­pen­tine coil of Hi­bis­cus No.1, or your nerves, will get the bet­ter of you and leave you in a sticky, fum­ing heap.

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