Guest blog: How to create a warm winter home

Tim Kloeg of Wellington Refrigeration is an expert on heating and cooling homes and he shares his tips on how to stay cosy inside when the weather turns icy outside.

1. Insulation is key

Current building code has high standards in regard to insulating and sealing new homes. Unfortunately, for many of us with older homes, these building codes have come a little late leaving us with poorly insulated homes and regular air changes—a fancy name for drafts.

Sealing timber windows, floors, and doors, with off-the-shelf items from the hardware store such as foam tape, gasket tape, or door strips can make a big difference, and are typically inexpensive. Thermally lined curtains are a good investment, especially for houses with single-glazed windows.

The larger cost items are insulating under the floor, in the ceiling, and in the walls. The best way to check wall insulation is to turn the mains power off and take an exterior hot point off the wall to see if there is insulation behind it. And this leads to the next part …

 

2. Heating your home

I like (no, love!) heat pumps.

An interesting fact that many people don’t know is that heat pumps are basically reverse cycle refrigerators or air conditioning units. High wall heat pumps were primarily designed for hot climates as air conditioners, and the reverse cycle heat pump came about as a by-product of that.

The cooling mechanism works by putting an air conditioner high where the heat is (because heat rises) and simply replace that hot humid air with cool dry air.

However, in Wellington, we primarily run our heat pumps on their heating cycle. So we’re best to put the heat pump down low, where the cold air is, and effortlessly replace it with warm air. Simple physics!

 

My preference, therefore, is to recommend floor mounted, or even under floor centrally ducted heat pumps wherever possible.

 

There are many different ways to heat your house, and Tim from Wellington Refrigeration can help you with all your heating and air conditioning questions. You can contact him on 04-565 0550 or email tim@wellingtonrefrigeration.co.nz