Our District

Maximise comfort and health, by upgrading your insulation.

A chill is in the air. If you are indoors and feeling some drafts it’s time to look at some ways to make your home warmer for winter. As Richard Morrison explains, it’s all about insulation and curtains.

No ceiling insulation.

Degraded insulations that needs a top up blanket.


Insulation moved by contractor.

The effects of no ceiling insulation. 

Prior to 1987 there was no requirement for home insulation in the Building Code. The Building Code has been upgraded twice since then. Even today the insulation values are very much a minimum and should be increased significantly in new builds and when upgrading insulation in existing homes.

From my building and design experience all insulation needs to be upgraded on a regular basis and be installed as per the manufactures recommendations. Trades people move the insulation and don’t replace it properly; vermin damage the insulation, and insulation products all break down and degrade over time.

The benefits of an insulation upgrade in a home: I’d been suggesting that a friend upgrades the ceiling insulation for 4 years. The insulation had compressed and shrunk and was about 30- 40% of the original minimum requirement. 
He eventually had it done just before winter.  I rang a couple of months later and asked “had he had noticed a difference?” He said yes, they were saving wood, and his wife said, “the home is warmer”.
I guessed at a wood saving of 10-15% and my friend said, “let’s see at the end of that first winter”
After the first winter my friend confirmed they had reduced wood use by 30-35 %, and his wife reinforced that their home was warmer and more comfortable to live in.

Ceiling insulation; under floor insulation; a damp proof membrane on the ground; full length 3 layer curtains with a pelmet or close fitting curtain track; upgrading your down lights to IC rated lights; upgrading the draught proofing around all doors and windows - all these contribute to a warmer, healthier home. There are lots of no cost/ low cost tips you can do today that will help save money and make your home warmer and healthier.

Last month bought the curtain bank to , this service has now closed, but Community Service card holders can still visit the Sustainability Trust Curtain Bank in Wellington, which also operates remotely from Ōtaki, for free made to fit curtains.