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Your guide to keeping healthy, warm and cosy through winter
Full of fun and practical ways to enjoy winter
So let’s hear it for freezing mornings and winter warmers. warm and cosy plus links to exclusive recipes.nz .org. for delicious. for southerlies.nz 06 09 12 19 23 24 30 TV Ovens Soup Lighting Slow cookers Breadmakers Red wine www.2 Contents Contents 3 WINTER IS THE BEST OF ALL SEASONS. It’s a time of cold and a time of warmth.consumer. We’ll also tell you which are the cheapest and cleanest heating fuels. a crackling fire and a stack of movies. for rain on windows and plenty to read. We’ll take you through how to keep the heat in and get the damp out of your home. for a crack of lightning. with tips and advice on keeping your home healthy. wine recommendations and more. FOR ALL SORTS OF REASONS.org. and how to get the best out of your heating appliances.consumer. Enjoy! www. Inside Winter Warmers 04 Dampness 07 Ventilation 08 Insulation 10 Windows 13 Dehumidifiers 14 Central heating 16 Heating choices 18 Types of fuels 20 Heat pumps 22 Electricity 25 Gas 26 Wood 28 Pellets 31 Top 10 heating tips Here you will find links to our free buying guides. hot baths and bed. Our guide will help you enjoy winter. for short days and long walks. warming meals. It’s a time to spend with friends and family. including special recipes from Ruth Pretty to help you create the perfect winter home and enjoy those long cold nights.
Dry clothes outside and vent dryers outside.2/hour (per person) 0.nz .0/day 0. 1 Next Remove moisture in the air by ventilation or with a dehumidifier.0/day 5.5/day (per person) 1. Use a dehumidifier.org.0/hour 0. visit: Find out more www. Put a sealed moisture-control sheet on the ground under the house. Install a shower dome. 5 6 7 Use pot lids while cooking.4 Dampness Dampness 5 Dampness Enemy number one Moisture can find its way into the house from water leaks in roofs and around windows. Where it comes from ACTIVITY Cooking Clothes washing Showers and baths Dishes Clothes drying (unvented) Gas heater (unflued) Breathing Sleeping Perspiration LITRES 3.02/hour (per person) 0. Open windows to remove moisture-laden air.org. 8 Get the right products to effectively reduce damp in your home.nz www. rangehoods and more. and from damp underfloor conditions.consumer.0/load Up to 1.consumer. To find the best dehumidifiers. Use a kitchen rangehood that’s vented outside. for reducing dampness 8 Tips First Reduce dampness and moisture at their source to improve interior air quality.03/hour (per person) 2 3 4 Use extractor fans in bathrooms. People just breathing can also add to moisture build-up.5/day 1.
the location. LEDs..org..6 Winter Warmer #1 Ventilation 7 Winter Warmer tv #1 Ventilation Keep the air moving Air your house. There are plenty of long nights ahead to catch up on favourite movies and TV series. They work best in more airtight. visit: www. plasmas. mould and dust mites. you’ll need something on which to watch it all.nz . moisture-laden air. Take a look at our experts’ views on LCDs. SKY or online streaming. modern homes.consumer. They’re What To Consider .consumer. The easiest way is to open the windows regularly to remove stale.nz www. the type of roof . rear projectors and front projectors. And whether you’re into DVDs.. An automatic ventilation system can also be effective at reducing moisture and condensation.. There are two main types of ventilation systems: Positive pressure or forced air ventilation systems work by blowing drier air into your house usually from the roof space above the ceiling or from outside. Consider window vents or security stays so the house can be ventilated when you’re out. That’s where our free TV buying guide comes in. even the local climate. Balanced pressure or heat-exchanger ventilation systems extract warm damp air from living spaces and pass it through a heat-exchanger to heat up the dry air the system brings in from outside. ✔ Modern or older house? ✔ Wooden or aluminium windows and doors? ✔ The size of the floor area? ✔ Open plan or divided rooms? ✔ How much sun does the house get? ✔ How much roof space is there? ✔ How cold is winter? Which system is best? This depends on the design of your house. Find out more To compare the prices and features of 70 ventilation systems and let us help you find the best system for your home. its floor area. bluray. more suitable for older houses in warmer climates with wooden windows and doors than modern houses with sealed aluminium joinery – unless the windows are opened or additional ventilation vents are fitted.org. how much sun the house gets.
The R-value depends on the type of material and its density and thickness. So an aluminium singleglazed window has an R-value of 0.org. The kitchen is the most important room in the house especially in winter. walls and ceiling – insulating these areas reduces heat loss.99 – more than 10 times greater.and so it requires a top up.nz .org.nz . Today’s ovens are sophisticated appliances able to perform all kinds of culinary feats. windows and unsealed downlights or mechanically by fan systems.8 Insulation Winter Warmer #2 9 Insulation Keep the warmth in Insulation makes your home easier and cheaper to heat in winter. This in turn reduces the amount of heating (or cooling) required for a comfortable indoor temperature. www. TIP: Check to see if you have any insulation.15 while a typical insulated wall’s R-value is 1.consumer. Our guide will help you choose the right oven and get the most out of it. so having the right oven is important. By air moving through open doors. Possibly you may have some that’s old or ineffective .consumer. Warm indoor temperatures and adequate ventilation make for a drier and healthier place in which to live. visit: www. Winter Warmer ovens Check it out here #2 R-values Insulating materials that have higher R-values reduce the rate of a building’s heat loss in winter (or heat gain in summer). ›› Where the heat goes: Vanilla Scones Find out more To compare the prices and features of 70 ventilation systems. Watch this ENERGYWISE video about checking your insulation. Heat is lost or gained from your home in three ways: Directly through your floor. Directly through glass. Insulating the ceiling/roof area is the first priority as this is where most heat is lost. It’s where that delicious comfort food is prepared.
The cooled inside air forms condensation on the window pane. It’s likely to be as cold as the outside air. clear plastic film taped to the inside of your window frame but not on the glass. Well-fitting curtains can be just as effective as doublewww. aim for more permanent double-glazing as your budget allows.org. This reduces the heat-loss through the glass.org.nz .nz Double glazing Secondary glazing First step Try temporary doubleglazing as a first step.consumer. glazing – they will add an R-value of 0. Tip If you’re renting check with your landlord whether it’s OK to install temporary double-glazing. That pocket of air must remain trapped by the curtains which are close-fitting top and bottom. DIY window insulation consists of a thin.consumer. Double or secondary glazing traps a layer of air (or an inert gas like argon) between the two panes. It prevents condensation and reduces heat loss by acting like double-glazing. Curtains help by creating a pocket of still air between the window and the curtain.26 to a window. When the warm inside air hits the cold glass two things happen: The warm air is cooled – heat is escaping outside.10 Windows Windows 11 Windows Keeping more warmth in Touch a window pane on a cold day and it’ll feel cold. and how to keep the heat in visit: Tip If temporary window insulation makes a real difference. www. R-values. Neither is good! There are two ways of dealing with this – keeping the warm inside air away from the window (curtains) and insulating the pane (by doubleglazing or secondaryglazing existing windows). Double or secondary glazing traps a layer of air between two panes. Find out more For more information on double and secondary glazing. curtains. The film’s easy to install and the only thing needed are a pair of scissors and a hair dryer to shrink it so it looks tidy. Most new houses must have doubleglazing and retrofitting older houses is possible – but expensive.
They work differently and use a water-absorbing (desiccant) material such as a silica-gel to remove the moisture from the air. Check them out here Bean and Chorizo Soup Using a heater and a dehumidifier together will heat a cold and damp room more quickly and cheaply than a heater on its own. Desiccant dehumidifiers have recently hit the market.consumer. the latent heat in the water vapour is then released.org. The reverse happens when water vapour is condensed to a liquid – that latent heat is released. So if you don’t have time to make your own soup there’s plenty of great options available in your supermarket. When a dehumidifier condenses the water vapour in the air back to a liquid for draining off. The dehumidifier dries the air and in the process delivers more heat to the room than it uses in electricity.. This heat is called the “latent heat of evaporation”.org. warming bowl of soup is a staple in winter.consumer. This is a good thing in our climate … How does it work? Every time water is turned from a liquid to a gas (water vapour). Most dehumidifiers use a small refrigeration unit to first cool the room’s air (so it can condense out the moisture) then reheat it. #3 Dehumidifiers Suck out the damp Once you’ve done your best to remove the sources of moisture. www. a dehumidifier can make a big difference. They’re a great option for renters because they’re portable and can be moved from room to room – or even house to house. heat has to be added. Find out more We’ve tested and reported on 9 commonly available models.nz but it gets even better. They work better but use more power. The waterremoval rate reduces as the air temperature drops. To find out what you need to consider before you buy a dehumidifier and to find the best model for your home. To find out which soups are super we put pre-made soups to the taste test and came up with some delicious surprises. visit: www. Only a heat pump gives you more bang for your buck. All the electricity a dehumidifier uses ends up heating the room.12 Winter Warmer #3 Dehumidifiers 13 Winter Warmer soup A delicious.nz ..
A control system monitors and controls the overall system. electric heater or heat pump is released directly into the room where the appliance is installed. visit: www.org. The house can usually be divided into several heating zones that can be heated at different times and to different temperatures. This is done by insulated ducting for hot-air systems or insulated pipes for hydronic.14 Central Heating Central Heating 15 Central heating The heat from a traditional heater.org. Others use a heat pump. That’s unlikely in houses with separate rooms: the heat source can overheat the room where it’s installed and the rest of the house remains cold. Radiator hydronic heating can be retrofitted into many homes because the connecting pipes can be run under timber floors. Whole-house heating Kiwi homes are too often small islands of heat among a “sea” of cold air.nz www. Different models burn gas.nz . For more information on efficient heating. Releasing: Ducted systems have outlet grills that deliver heated air directly to the rooms. Heating: The heat source is commonly called a boiler and it heats either air for ducted distribution or water for hydronic systems.consumer. You need to check with at least two heating companies to determine which type is best for your locality. inside walls and over ceilings. ventilation and tips on how to have a warm. gas fireplace. logs or wood pellets. Distribution: Once the air or water is heated it needs to be distributed to where the heat’s required. Whole-house (central) heating Central heating works by separating the place where the heat is generated from where it’s released. insulation. There are two common systems: ducted hot air and piped hot water (hydronic). Hydronic systems release their heat either through underfloor heating (the hot water is piped through pipes buried in a concrete floor slab) or radiators (where the hot water is piped to wall-mounted radiators). diesel. A heat-transfer kit with insulated ducting can help even out temperatures – but the house is unlikely to become uniformly warm. A central-heating system has three major components: a heat source that’s located in a convenient place (away from where the heat’s required) a distribution system that transfers and distributes the heat a means of releasing the heat where it’s required. In open-plan houses this heat can spread somewhat throughout the open area.consumer. comfortable and healthy home. woodburner.
org.nz . Natural gas is the cheapest form of central heating – ahead of pellet burners. 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 Renewable semi-renewable non-renewable www. Other costs are from pricing data collected during February 2013. Electricity and natural gas costs are from powerswitch.consumer. flued natural gas heaters and woodburners are the cheapest forms of heating.nz www.consumer.16 What fuel to choose What fuel to choose 17 Heating choices What fuel to choose? Sometimes you don’t have a choice but if you do: Heat pumps.nz. They do not include fixed charges.org.org. Unflued LPG heaters are the most expensive. Recommended minimum temp for your bedroom: Almost everyone uses electricity – sort out the best deal for you by visiting 16°C 18°C Recommended minimum temp for your living room: Home heating costs 2013 (cents per kWh) HEATERS Electricity (heat pump) Natural gas (flued heater) Firewood (woodburner) Electricity (nightstore/underfloor) Wood pellets (pellet burner) Diesel LPG (flued heater) Electricity (plug-in heaters) LPG (unflued heater) CENTRAL HEATING Natural gas Wood pellets Diesel LPG GUIDE TO THE FIGURES COSTS are for providing one kilowatt of heat for one hour. Firewood is pine and its costs are from our November 2012 survey. GST is included.
nz . Wood pellets are manufactured from 100 percent wood waste and burn cleanly – so they’re really clean and green. if you take an energyefficient approach. Existing homes can be modified to take advantage of solar energy. Firewood is one of the few sustainable carbon-neutral home-heating options. Our lighting experts have created a free lighting guide. Burning it adds the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide to the environment. co2 Renewable Winter Warmer #4 lighting Renewable Natural gas is clean-burning. But nothing is cleaner in your home. LPG is clean-burning like natural gas but adds carbon dioxide to the environment.org. The firewood must also be dry and the pieces not too big. But it’s a non-sustainable fossil fuel and adds to carbon dioxide emissions.consumer. But to get the most heat (and the least pollution). Solar is the cleanest fuel of all – but you need a purposedesigned house to rely on solar for 100 percent of your heating.org.consumer. semirenewable Check it out here co2 co2 Diesel is now low-sulphur and relatively pollutant-free. but it’s a fossil fuel. nonrenewable www. We rate the most common options: Electricity comes from a combination of renewable and non-renewable sources – so it’s only a semi-clean fuel. you could achieve the right look for a lot less. And. it must be burned hot and in a specially designed firebox.nz www. to help you switch on to clever warm lighting. Creating a cozy inviting atmosphere in your home on long winter nights takes nothing more than some imaginative lighting.18 Heating fuel types Winter Warmer #4 19 Fuels Clean and green? Some heating fuels cause less atmospheric pollution and are more sustainable than others.
nz www. the heating spreads more evenly than most other space heaters (such as a woodburner). www. visit: . You can set them to come on and off automatically. Running costs: If you install a heat pump and keep your home about as warm as you do now.consumer. they don’t. Smaller versions (up to 4kW) are designed for a single room like a bedroom.nz . Because warm air can hold more water than cool air. with larger units (up to 10kW) suitable for large open-plan areas.consumer. They can also provide summer cooling. you could save plenty in heating costs. It’s like a refrigerator in reverse. The power of three Heat pumps are one of the cheapest heating options to run once they’re installed. All heat pumps have a rating label to show how energy efficient they are. But when heating. They can be retrofitted – but they must be the right capacity for the house and installed properly. The better models produce at least three times the heat for the power they use. the relative humidity falls as the heat pump warms the air – so the air feels drier.org. when they remove water from the air in cooling and dehumidifying (“dry”) mode. But many people keep their homes warmer than before. How they work Heat pumps work by taking heat from the air outside your house and bringing it indoors.org. Do heat pumps dehumidify? Yes.20 Heat Pumps Heat Pumps 21 Heat pumps An experienced installer will give you advice on the right size and where to place the indoor and outdoor units. so their heating bills haven’t dropped by much – but their houses are much warmer and healthier. By trying to cool the outside world it can extract heat. Heat pumps are large space heaters – they heat air. The most efficient models also carry the blue ENERGY STAR® mark. or vice versa. Because heat pumps use a fan to distribute the warmed air. Find out more For all the information you need to choose the right heat pump for your home.
Fans help a room warm up faster and distribute the air more evenly.consumer. whatever your budget. Tilt switches switch off the heater if it falls over. That moving air heats the room evenly. Timers allow you to turn a heater on and off automatically. The most popular type of convection heater is the upright oil-filled column heater. priced from $39 to $300. but the fan noise can become annoying. Skirting-board style panel heaters are also convection heaters. Eighteen models were tested. For your checklist on what to consider when buying a heater. draughtier homes or rooms with high ceilings. Portable fan heaters sit on the floor and blast warm air directly at you. We think they’re essential. So there's one for you.nz www. Slow Cooked Corned Silverside with Winter Salad and Roasted Mustard Fruits Find out more Electric heaters vary in how well they heat a room. Winter Warmer #5 slow cookers Tips Thermostats help maintain an even temperature and save power. visit: www.org.org. Shorter days were made for slow cookers. which rises and circulates around the room by natural convection. Fan heaters are great for quickly heating a room. You can walk in from work and a delicious piping hot meal is only minutes away. But what’s best? Fan or convection? Oil-filled or radiant? Convection heaters are designed to provide background warmth.consumer. Heaters with fans provide faster warm-up and more even heating. Radiant heaters are more suited to older. Radiant heaters with their glowing electric elements provide quick directional heat to a small area of a room and also give some convection heating. They warm the air. Not all portable electric heaters have to be fitted with one.nz .22 Electric heating Winter Warmer #5 23 Electricity Portable heating All electric heaters are 100 percent efficient – they convert all the electrical energy they use into useful heat. We’ve cooked up a guide to help you choose the right slow cooker.
www. our experts have put a whole range to the test. It’s also a health and safety hazard. This helps you find the most energy. Rosemary and Wholemeal Bread Find out more To find out the results of our test of the performance.consumer.org. Natural gas is only available in the more populated areas of the North Island but LPG in 45kg and 9kg cylinders is available just about everywhere.efficient models. Gas prices are relatively low per kilowatt hour. To make sure you don’t waste your hard-earned dough on the wrong breadmaker. visit: BUT! We think it’s a good idea to keep one for emergency use – when other energy sources like electricity or natural gas aren’t available.consumer. safety and ease of use of built-in flued gas heaters. Emergencies only! Running a portable unflued LPG heater on 9kg bottles is the most expensive form of heating.org. Burning either natural gas or LPG creates moisture and carbon dioxide. Gas heaters come in everything from relatively small wall-mounted units and fireplace inserts. #6 Gas Natural gas & LPG Your gas options will depend on where you live. That’s why an unflued heater should only be used in rooms with good ventilation and never in bedrooms. If a fault develops the heater may release potentially fatal levels of carbon monoxide. Unflued gas heaters produce carbon dioxide and fill the air with moisture. A flued heater removes these gases to the outside – with an unflued heater they go into the house. fresh bread aroma is one of the most welcoming there is. to full central-heating systems.nz www.24 Winter Warmer #6 Natural gas & LPG 25 Winter Warmer bread makers A breadmaker is the best thing since sliced bread especially in winter. That warm. ✘ unflued The blue ENERGY STAR mark has recently been introduced for gas space heaters and fireplaces.nz . but if you add in the daily connection charge the price becomes much higher.
If you burn wood carelessly or use wet wood. That’s because you win three times over: wood is a sustainable heating fuel you get more heat from a clean-burning (non-smoky) fire cleaner burning means fewer smoke particles lodging in all our lungs. Modern woodburners can burn much more cleanly than older models but only if you tend the fire carefully and use the right-sized dry wood. efficiency and output of more than 100 models of woodburners. Control the heat output – adjust the amount of wood that’s burning rather than use the air control.26 Woodburners Woodburners 27 Wood Cosy. For the full report. Burning wood cleanly is the key to making it environmentally friendly. you can create a health hazard through the ultra-fine smoke particles that can lodge in people’s lungs.consumer. Tips Keep the woodburner refuelled. visit: www.org.org. Use dry firewood of the right size (110mm diameter or less). Also get the right-sized woodburner with our free online calculator. Burning wood cleanly is the key to making it enviro-friendly Find out more We’ve compared the emissions.nz www. Using a woodburner to heat your home means you’re not captive to energy companies and their ever-rising prices – and you can still be warm if there’s a power cut.nz .consumer. Heat-transfer kits are a good idea if you want to spread the heat more evenly through your house. clean and warm Nothing’s nicer than toasting yourself in front of a cosy fire.
org. In some models.org.nz unit and are fed into the fire through an automatic feed system. a thermostat can be used to keep an even room temperature – and a timer can provide automatic switching-on and -off. consider buying a year’s worth of pellets.consumer. Rule of thumb The dollar cost of a 20kg bag of pellets roughly equals the running cost in cents per kWh.nz . Shop around for the cheapest source of pellets . But pellet burners burn only compressed wood pellets. The pellets are loaded into a hopper at the back of the www. Running costs Shop around for the cheapest source of pellets – there are big variations in price. Most pellet burners look like a conventional woodburner and are available either as a free-standing model or an insert into a fireplace. They’re convenient to use and an effective form of low-pollution carbon-neutral heating. a hopper load of pellets lasts for around 24 hours of continuous burning – and these models produce a similar amount of heat to a conventional woodburner.28 Pellet burners Pellet burners 29 Pellets Small balls of fire There’s plenty to like about pellet burners. Basement furnace models produce much more. To get a good price. Adjusting the rate the pellets are burnt gives you control over the amount of heat produced.org. The cost of pellets varies substantially region to region.consumer. If you can source pellets from the mill at $450 per tonne (the equivalent of $9 per bag). You can even get a basementfurnace model for central heating. which you buy in 15kg or 20kg plastic bags or in bulk – so you can’t use any free firewood. So a 20kg bag of pellets at $12 a bag will give you heating at 12c per kWh. But the high cost of the pellets in some areas has stopped people buying the burners. running costs are 9 cents per kWh. If there’s a mill close to you. try them first.nz www. so inquire about local prices before you buy.consumer.there are big variations in price. a $15 bag would work out at 15c per kWh. Find out more For more information on the advantages and disadvantages of pellet burners. With freestanding and fireplace-insert models. visit: www.
while the rest of the room is heated less. Once the room is warm.consumer. Heat pumps are air warmers not foot toasters.nz . Insulate first – particularly the ceiling. use a cheap fan heater to help the heat pump get the room up to temperature.consumer.30 Winter Warmer #7 Top 10 tips 31 Winter Warmer red wine #7 Consumer’s Top 10 Heating Tips 1 Reducing dampness will make you feel warmer and reduce mould and allergy-causing dust mite populations. 7 2 3 Oil-column and other convection heaters can create a “pool” of hot air above the heater. A glowing fire and a glass of red are perfect on a winter’s night. 10 6 www. switch off the fan heater. If your heat pump tends to freeze up on cold mornings. while leaving the rest of the house cold. Our experts have put together one of our best wine guides ever. Temporary double-glazing is a cheap way of reducing heat loss through windows. gamay noir and montepulciano. We sampled 50 wines from New Zealand and Australia.consumer.org. A dehumidifier reduces dampness and delivers more heat to the room than it uses in electricity. the higher the heating costs. A heat-transfer kit will help stop a woodburner from overheating the lounge.org.nz www. Set heater and other thermostats at the minimum temperature you find comfortable.org. The higher the thermostat is set. For spot heating you need a radiant electric or portable fan heater. Woodburners and natural gas flued heaters are next best. It’ll only cost 30 cents for half an hour or so. Use a small desk fan to mix the air and even out the room air temperature.nz www. And to spice things up we’ve added some unfamiliar grape varieties such as tempranillo. 8 4 5 9 Heat pumps deliver the cheapest heat to your home.
insulation. For more information on efficient heating.. comfortable and healthy home. Make the most of winter by keeping cosy.consumer.org. warm and healthy. and tips on how to have a warm. ventilation. Heating your home is most efficient when you’re using the right products for your needs..And lastly don’t forget . visit the ENERGYWISE website www.nz .
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