Posted on 16 12 2022

Ensure your rental is healthy

The first weekend in Dec is traditionally when we get together as a family and put up the Xmas decorations while we listen to carols and eat mince pies. This year when we retrieved the box of stored decorations from our attic, we got a timely reminder about how terribly hot it gets up there.

We’d left a large candle in the table centre piece, and it had literally melted to a laver-like mass. During summer the temperatures in New Zealand ceiling cavities can exceed a scorching 50 degrees. And in uninsulated homes that heat will transfer into the rooms below.

As landlords we know it’s our responsibility to provide healthy homes. And while compliance focuses on ensuring warmth, it's also unhealthy for inside air temperatures to be excessively hot.

Overheating causes fatigue, dizziness, nausea, and headaches – and let’s face it, plain discomfort! But it’s not only our tenants that suffer. Hot room temperatures increase the load on air conditioning units and potentially shorten their life.

Fortunately, there is an easy solution. The insulation that we most commonly choose as a heating solution will also work wonders to cool homes. The process of air transfer that takes place in uninsulated homes also moves cooled air outside and brings hot air from the ceiling cavity to replace it. Good insulation will work to moderate the air temperature in living spaces regardless of the outdoor temperature.

There are two places where insulation works best in hot climates.

1. Insulate the Roof to Keep Hot Air Out
Aim to keep the heat out altogether by covering the underside of the roof with thermal insulation. This will prevent air temperature in the ceiling cavity to rise excessively. It’s also important to insulate the ceiling so that air can’t work its way into the rooms below. If you choose to DIY, be sure not to cover electrical fittings as this may present a fire risk, and make sure you don’t block airflow.

2. Cover Gaps Around Doors and Windows to Keep Cooled Air In
When air from inside a home leaks out it causes a flow that simultaneously draws in air from outside to replace it. If the inside air has been cooled, and the outside air is hot, the result is room temperatures that are almost impossible to cool down. There is a choice of relatively inexpensive insulation products that can be used to plug gaps around windows and doors to stop the airflow.

Insulation works in summer to keep homes healthier and more comfortable for the home occupants. It also reduces the load on air conditioning systems which saves energy and subsequently helps the environment. With less load, the air conditioning unit functions better and has a longer life.

Choosing the right solution from the available insulation types is key. The Greenside team can assess your property, make the calculations, and give advice on the best solution for you.


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