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Winter prep

Think ahead for a warmer home with these tips from the Sustainability Trust. 

Warm home, low bills, calm mind
It can be stressful trying to keep your home warm and your bills manageable over winter. The World Health Organization recommends that for optimum health a home should be 18-20°C.

Retune your heating
Clean your heat pump filters, so your heat pump is dust-free and efficient. Set to a 20-22°C cap using heat mode (not auto mode). This setting raises and maintains the room temperature to the capped level (auto mode heats continuously, wasting energy). Use timer functions, so you only use what you need.

Upgrade to LED downlights
Replacing standard downlights with LED Insulation Coverable (IC or IC-F) rated downlights allows insulation to cover the whole ceiling. This will result in a huge thermal improvement while reducing energy costs by more than 90 per cent when compared to a standard incandescent. LED bulbs or lights also last significantly longer (15-25 years).

Refresh your insulation
Ceiling insulation needs to be almost a foot deep to trap in the heat. Energy will also escape out of any gaps around joists or the edges. A “top-up” layer of at least R1.8 insulation (depth of 100mm) could be all it takes to reach the NZ building code level. Best practice is blanket insulation over the top of existing insulation, which covers the joists and caps heat loss through the wooden framing.


Sustainability Trust provides advice and sells products that result in warmer, drier homes and reduced impact on the environment. All profits are invested in award-winning community programmes that empower everyone to live more sustainably. Shop for environmentally friendly products online at sustaintrust.org.nz and if you live within Greater Wellington then call them for advice and products for your home on 0508 78 78 24.

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