Taking the chill out of Otago homes
By Anonymous on April 03, 2015

The Otago Daily Times has outlined (02/04/2015) some simple steps that residents of Otago can take to help deal with dropping temperatures this autumn.

The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) is urging people to draught-proof their homes in order to stay warm.

Christian Hoernin, EECA senior technical adviser, says that the problems of a draughty house are usually fairly cheap and easy to fix.

Mr Hoernin says that residents will struggle to stay warm in a house that does not have adequate home insulation.  He says to use a ladder to access the ceiling hatch into the roof space to check that insulation is thicker than the height of the ceiling joists.

It is also important to tighten any loose latches and hinges on windows and doors.

Weather stripping is easy to use and can seal any gaps. Paintable or clear sealant can be used to seal any draughts around window trims or doors.

Draught excluders can be fitted for gaps under doors.  Spring loaded automatic seals can be installed on external doors and brush strips can be used internally.

Mr Hoernin highlighted that it is also easy to replace damaged rubber seals around aluminium joinery.

Blocking an unused fireplace with an inflatable bag or a rubbish bag filled with shredded newspaper will also stop a lot of draughts.  It is important to keep the bag visible so no one lights the fire after bags are installed.

Seal any leaks coming in from the top and bottom of unsealed cornices and skirting boards with latex or flexible silicon-based products.  An alternative option is to remove the cornices and skirting board and put foam into the gap where the wall and ceiling or floor meet.

EECA recommends installing new IC-F or IC rated LED downlights that can be covered with insulation in place of older-style inefficient recessed downlights.