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16 March 2016
Home Insulation

12 Ways To Make The Most Of Your Home Insulation

As we head towards another New Zealand winter, it’s worth thinking once more about ensuring your home is as warm and healthy as possible.

Although fitting thermally efficient blinds can go a long way to saving you money and keeping your home warm, the key element is to make the most of your home insulation – something that all Kiwi homes shouldn’t be without.

So here’s our NZ Blinds guide to making the most of your home insulation.

1. Make sure insulation fitted properly and you’re using the right type: Batts are designed for either walls or ceilings to be at their peak efficiency – but even if you have the right type of insulation for the right job, it’s important to make sure that they’re fitted properly with no gaps and covering all joists and beams to avoid thermal exchange through your building’s framing.

2. Make sure all external walls, ceilings and floors are covered: It’s easy to miss parts of you home with insulation – maybe a hard-to-reach corner of your attic or ground floor, or an area of weatherboard which has been recently replaced. But any gap which is poorly insulated will harm your whole home’s insulation.

3. Find out where your drafts are coming from: Use a candle or incense stick to find out where your drafts are coming from and then plug them with insulation and fillers.

4. Get rid of any gaps where cold air can leak in: Around windows, pipes, exhaust fans, ducts, chimneys and wires you can find gaps to let the cold air in. Make sure you check throughout the whole house including the attic.

5. Don’t use your attic for storage: If you’re using an attic for storage but haven’t converted it into a finished and lined room, you may have put down boards on which to stack boxes. These boards will compress your insulation and prevent it working to its full efficiency.

6. Fix any roof leaks: Make sure you don’t have any leaks which are letting in water because damp insulation is less efficient.

7. Replace old windows: Old windows are really inefficient when it comes to heat loss in a home – consider double-glazing to protect your home’s insulation.

8. Choose well-measured blinds around your home: To give your home insulation the best chance of performing to the best of its ability, measure and fit thermal roller blinds so they keep a layer of still air between them and the window surface and fit snugly into the window recess. And if you have skylights, fit blinds which prevent warm air escaping through your ceiling.

9. Check thermal efficiency of blinds: If you’ve already got venetian blinds, roller blinds or sun shades, check how efficient they are at keeping your home warm – you can always pair venetians and sun shades with thermal roller blinds.

10. Use shade trees and plants to protect your home: You can help insulate your home by planting deciduous trees and shrubs around your home – these will shade the house during summer to keep it cool but shed leaves during winter to allow warm sunlight into your home.

11. Learn a few general energy efficiency tips and tricks: Brush up on all you energy efficiency tips and tricks such as using low-energy light bulbs, checking the efficiency of your hot water system, and not reusing an old inefficient fridge as a bar fridge in the garage when you upgrade to a new one in the kitchen.

12. Learn how to adapt your home for winter: You can go a long way to keeping your home warm and healthy in the winter by judicious use of rugs on cold floors, keeping the thermostat at a settled temperature and reversing your ceiling fans.