The Northland Age has reported (09/10/2014) on the health and wellbeing effects that home insulation can have on a family.
Reporter, Melissa Peters, visited the home of Pauline Devine and her family in Motatau to find out how their life has improved since home insulation was installed.
Pauline said that she didn't realise how cold the house was until the insulation was in. She reminisced about times when the house was freezing even with the fire blazing.
She joked about the years growing up in the family home that she and her family of six now live in, about how they rugged up for inside the same as they did for outside and even went to bed with beanies on.
Sadly, Pauline's son Noah experienced hospital stays of up to a week at a time every two to three months due to his asthma. The longest stay was due to a collapsed lung.
This was very hard going on Pauline who had to put everything on hold, stop work and care for the other children.
Pauline and her husband Phillip received home insulation under the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) subsidised insulation programme.
Since installing insulation and an efficient wood burner, Noah has not had to visit the hospital. The Devines are thrilled at the difference insulation and heating have made to their children's health. They also attribute the improvements to receiving better advice on administering asthma treatment and the children getting older.
Pauline has noticed that the kids get sick less often and if they do, they recover quicker.
Family visitors have also noticed that they no longer wake up freezing under the blankets with steam coming out of their mouths. The Devines have noticed that they now need to open windows in the middle of winter to cool the house down. They have also stopped using the dehumidifier and no longer have to clean mouldy walls.
With so many unwell people living in cold houses, Pauline would like to see the scheme become even more accessible.
EECA provider Healthy Homes Tai Tokerau can help people apply for subsidised home insulation. Alternately people are encouraged to ask their local medical provider for a referral.