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Rental Insulation New Zealand – Don’t forget the walls!

We’ve all lived in damp and cold houses and flats. But new rules have arrived and all landlords will have to insulate their properties by 2019. The unfortunate part of the new legislation is that insulation in the walls is optional. In many cases this leaves the thermal envelope incomplete, and the unlucky tenant still living in a cold damp house.

It’s estimated up to 900,000 New Zealand homes are poorly insulated, and now we’re paying the price in so many ways. Most often the simple solution is insulation combined with a few minor behavioural changes. To make the biggest difference a home should have insulation in the ceiling, underfloor and walls.

Most councils require a permit for wall insulation, but the cost has reduced dramatically over the past few years. And landlords are starting to see the long term benefits of wall insulation, including lower tenant turn over and added capital value.

It’s a problem that needs addressing if families are going to cope.

Tips for New Zealand insulation in your house:

  • Find out if your home is insulated or not. If your home was built prior to 1979, it is very unlikely for the walls to have been insulated when it was built.
  • If your house was built between 1979 and 1991, insulation was optional, and most houses would have ceiling insulation only.
  • If you have to prioritise your insulation, start with the ceiling, which accounts for a huge amount of heat loss, then look at the walls. You can insulate your walls from the outside via a dry fibre system such as CosyWall. It works by drilling small holes in the outside walls of the house and passing insulation through. The walls are then repaired. Just make sure you choose a certified professional.

Once you’ve sorted your walls, check your windows and doors before moving on to underfloor options. Follow up with behavioural changes (see sister article) and finally heating.

Some heating tips include:

  • Learn how to use your heating and ventilation devices properly – read the manuals or research online;
  • Turn heaters on early in the day – around 3pm;
  • Regularly clean your heaters and make sure they’re not blocked by furniture;
  • Close curtains as soon as the sun is no longer warming;
  • Turn your bathroom fans off – a bathroom or kitchen fan can suck all the heat out of an average house in about an hour.

For more information or a free Wall Insulation assessment contact us now