Insulation keeps the damp away
If there’s still dampness under your house, an on-ground vapour barrier can stop the moisture rising up from the ground inside.
As the nights get cooler, New Zealanders will again be reaching for their heaters – but the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority says getting the environment right is just as important as the type of heater you use.
Insulating a home’s ceiling and underfloor will make the single biggest difference to keeping the heat in.
So, according to EECA, if your house is cold, sort the insulation before buying a new heater.
Eliminating dampness is also important for your health and comfort. Dampness leads to mould which can harm your health. Eliminating moisture at the source, combined with good heating and ventilation, are the most effective ways to keep your house dry, warm and healthy.
First, fix any drainage or plumbing issues that are causing water to collect under or near your house, EECA advises.
If there’s still dampness under your house, an on-ground vapour barrier can stop the moisture rising up from the ground inside and make sure all the vents to under the house are clear of things like plants and porch furniture so your home can naturally ventilate.
Here are some everyday tips for keeping your home warm and dry:
Open windows regularly to remove damp, stale air.
Keeping bedroom windows (with security stays) open slightly at night helps reduce condensation on windows in the morning.
Using extractor fans in the kitchen when cooking, in the bathroom when showering, and ensuring your clothes dryer is vented to the outside all help prevent the buildup of dampness in a winter home. If you don’t have, or can’t install extractor fans, open a window when showering, cooking or drying clothes to let the moist air out.
Indoor drying racks are a common sight in winter, but lead to moisture lingering inside.
Once your home is dry, it’s important to eliminate draughts or the heat will just go out the window - or under the door.
Pulling curtains, closing doors, using a draught stopper under doors, and ensuring windows are well sealed will all help keep the heat in the room you are in.
If your house is cold, sort the insulation before buying a new heater.