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Posted on 17 08 2021

6 Budget Friendly Heating Tips for Your Home

With New Zealand recently experiencing significant drops in temperature, it can only mean one thing: significant rises in energy bills. This month, we even saw electricity demands reach an all-time high as Kiwi’s around the country shield themselves from the cold and try to stay warm in their homes.


Heating homes often comes at a high cost. However, to avoid the dread of opening your electricity bill, there are budget-friendly measures you can take that help keep your home warm.

Heat pumps
Tucking a hot water bottle under the duvet right before bed will definitely keep you cosy through the night, but what about the rest of the day?


Portable plug-in heaters might have a cheap price tag, but they are probably the least-cost effective product for heating. Since these heaters rely totally on electricity to convert into heat, plugging one in will only increase your electricity bill (and in comparison to the heat output, it won’t be worth it).


Heat pumps are the best solution to your chilly home problem. They operate by extracting heat from outside your home, transferring it into a sophisticated compressor that increases the extracted air’s temperature before pushing it into your home. Heat pumps are also capable of heating and cooling, so you don’t have to waste your money on separate appliances for different seasons.


But as effective as heat pumps are, to run them in a budget-friendly manner, there are a few extra measures you can take.


You should only have your heat pump on if you’re home. While you can set a timer to turn it on just before you come home from work, so your home is nice and toasty when you get in, running your heat pump all day when you aren’t there isn’t the most cost-effective method.


Choosing the right heat pump will also have an impact on your bills. Size, placement, and model are all things that should be considered when selecting your heat pump. While newer models may come with a higher upfront cost, they are much more energy-efficient and will have positive long-term effects on your energy bills. Be sure to speak to an expert before you buy your heat pump so you can be sure you’re getting the most effective one for your home.

Draughts
Even if you have the best, most efficient heat pump, it will be significantly less effective if there are any gaps in your home for heat to escape through.


Heat’s a slippery thing and will try to break out at any opportunity. It’s up to you to keep it in! Take a walk around your house and try to identify spots where heat might be escaping.


Windows, doors, or pet doors are the usual culprits. You can start by ensuring doors and windows all shut firmly and that their frames fit them properly. If you’re handy with the tools, these are issues you can address yourself. However, it doesn’t hurt to get a qualified tradesperson to get everything in good shape.


Sealing your pet door isn’t ideal, but it is still an area of the home that heat can escape through. Instead, you can also make sure this frame is fitted correctly, and you can add a layer of sealant around it.

Windows
You’ll find a massive difference in your heating bill if you focus on maintaining the windows in your home.
There are drastic financial measures you can take to trap in heat, like double glazing, but this can cost up to tens of thousands. A more cost-effective alternative is (believe it or not) bubble wrap. By securing cut-out pieces of bubble wrap to your windows, it will act as a budget form of insulation.


You can also find DIY glazing kits for around $10. Like the bubble wrap method, these come with films that sick to window frames and act as an alternative to double-glazing.

Stop the moisture
Moisture is an issue for many Kiwi homes. When moisture forms in your home, it can cause cold, damp, and a general uncomfortable feeling.


If you have a heat pump, it likely will have a dehumidifying function that will help with reducing moisture. You can always purchase cheap dehumidifiers and place them next to windows that you’re noticing significant amounts of condensation.


Covering boiling pots, closing kitchen doors while cooking, and closing bathroom doors while showering are other measures you can take to prevent the spread of moisture in your home.

Rugs
Rugs, a simple yet effective method of budget heating.


Wooden floors mean cold can rise from beneath your home and easily freeze your toes. Underfloor insulation is one way of dealing with this. However, a cheaper (and aesthetically pleasing) option is getting a rug in.
Any rug from Warehouse or Kmart will do, but it’s important to make sure it’s at least a large rug so you can get as much of your wooden floor covered as possible.

Insulation
Insulation is by far the best bang for your buck. Insulation works like a blanket, wrapping around your home, keeping the warm air you’ve worked so hard to preserve using the above methods inside your home.
Unfortunately, most New Zealand homes aren’t adequately insulated, leaving many Kiwis vulnerable to cold and damp. Not having proper insulation means your heat appliances (like your heat pump) will have to work harder, which will end up costing you more.


If the initial cost of insulation doesn’t look like it will fit your budgeting plans, you may be eligible to receive 80% of the cost of insulation covered through the Warmer Kiwi Homes initiative.


The experts at GreenSide are here to advise you on the most budget friendly options for your home. From heat pumps to insulation, our team will supply and install the best solutions to keep your and your family warm.

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As an Owner-Occupier You May Be Eligible for a Warmer Kiwi Homes Subsidy?