Good quality, well installed insulation helps keep the heat in during winter and keep it out during summer. This makes your house easier and cheaper to heat properly, and more comfortable and healthy to live in.
It's estimated as many as 600,000 New Zealand houses have insufficient ceiling or underfloor insulation, and insulation can move or become less effective over time.
The order of priority for insulating your home should be:
Having a professional to install insulation for you
EECA recommends using a qualified professional to install or upgrade your insulation, as even small faults in how the insulation is installed can compromise its performance.
The Insulation Association of New Zealand has a list of qualified members on their website.
Warm Up New Zealand: Healthy Homes offers free ceiling and underfloor insulation for low-income households in many parts of the country. You may qualify if:
- your home was built before the year 2000, and
- the home owner or main tenant has a Community Services Card, and
- you have children under 17 years, adults over 65 years or someone with high health needs living in your home, or
- you are a landlord with eligible tenants.
To find out if you qualify, contact an insulation service provider in your area.
Installing insulation yourself
If you are considering the DIY approach, everything you need to know about installing insulation is in the New Zealand Standard NZS 4246:2006 Installing insulation in residential buildings. It's easy to follow with lots of colour pictures, and it's free to download.
As with all DIY projects, there are safety considerations. The Insulation Association of New Zealand's Induction Booklet gives lots of helpful advice about safety.
New builds and renovations
It's much easier to get your insulation done properly at the outset than fix it up afterwards. There are some specific considerations - find out more about designing to keep in the heat.
Cantabrians insulating during repairs
Canterbuy homeowners can now have insulation installed in walls and other normally difficult to access areas that have beocme accessible during the earthquake repair process. There are specific conditions to be met, and the homeowner is required to meet the full cost of having this work done (there is no government funding available for this).
The process is slightly different, depending on who is managing your repair process.
- For EQC customers, more information can be found on the EQC website, or read this information guide.
- For Southern Response customers, more information can be found on the Southern Response website, or read this information guide.
Finally, remember to block up the draughts
Even well-insulated homes can be hard to heat if they're draughty - find out how to block up the draughts.
- Ceiling insulation
- Underfloor insulation
- Wall insulation
- Double glazing and other forms of window insulation