Keeping your house warm and dry

Published: 26 September 2018

Every household releases around 8 litres of moisture into the home every day from activities like cooking, showering and breathing. The more moisture there is in the air, the harder and more expensive it is to heat.

Helpful tips to keep your house warm and dry

Helpful tips to keep your house warm and dry

In the last 3 years Housing New Zealand have upgraded many homes to improve the lives of their tenants. Here are some simple things you can do to help reduce moisture, making it easier to heat your home.

Wiping the condensation off windowsWhole house

  • Use thermostats and timers so your heaters only come on when you need them and automatically turn off once the right temperture is reached.
  • Open curtains in the morning and close them just before dark to keep in the warmth.
  • Air rooms in the daytime with an open window.
  • Wipe condensation off walls and windows.
  • Stop cold air coming in under the door by blocking its path with a 'door snake'. You can make one by rolling up a towel or filling up an old rugby sock.

steaming pot on a stoveKitchen

When you're cooking:

  • keep lids on pots, and make sure the pot fits the element and the lid fits the pot.
  • use your rangehood
  • open the window.

bed away from the wallBedroom

  • Keep beds and furniture away from walls.
  • The trapped air can cause condensation to form between the two, and mould will be in among your shoes and clothes before you know it. Always leave a gap so the air can circulate freely.
  • Keep wardrobe doors slightly open.
  • Avoid putting mattresses directly on the floor.

shower steaming with an open windowBathroom

  • Open the window when showering and keep your bathroom door closed up to half an hour after showering.
  • Use your extractor fan. 

Keeping Power Costs Down

Keeping the power bill under control is always a challenge, but it is especially difficult in winter. Here are some easy ways to cut down on power, helping you save cash and the environment.

Remember to take a sensible approach to power saving, and don’t let yourself get so cold in winter that your health is affected.

Keeping your power costs down factsheet [PDF, 211 KB]

Housing New Zealand's Programmes

Housing New Zealand has several programmes to help ensure our tenants are well informed about how they can maintain their homes to keep them warm, well-ventilated and as dry as possible

Warm and Dry Programme

The Warm and Dry programme, introduced in 2015, is tasked with upgrading older Housing New Zealand properties to ensure the home is as dry and warm as it can possibly be for winter. The programme initially started with properties where we had vulnerable tenants with significant health issues, and is now in progress to address all properties across the country starting with Housing New Zealand’s older properties. To date around 30,000 houses across New Zealand have been upgraded. Many of our homes built in recent years don’t require this work as they already comply with new building standards.

The Warm and Dry programme ensures that all properties have thermally backed curtains, appropriate heating, extractor fans in the kitchen and bathrooms and carpets to replace bare flooring. We look at all aspects of a house that need attention. For example, instead of just fitting thermal drapes, we will ensure any draughty window joinery is repaired.

With an ageing housing portfolio in some areas, we are aware of the need to adopt a structured and well co-ordinated approach focusing on the houses requiring the most work first.

Read our warm and dry programme factsheet [PDF, 903 KB]

Rheumatic Fever Prevention Programme

Rheumatic fever is a serious but preventable condition. In New Zealand, Maori and Pacific children are most vulnerable, and there is a strong link between housing conditions and the disease.

Housing New Zealand’s Rheumatic Fever Prevention Programme focuses on reducing the risk for vulnerable children in our homes. When a family is assessed by Ministry of Health as being at risk, we carry out housing-related interventions to improve the quality of their home and to keep it warm and dry. These ‘interventions’ may involve installing mechanical ventilation in the kitchen or bathroom; fitting or replacing carpets, drapes and insulation; or installing new heating sources.

Winter 2018

In May this year the Government, in conjunction with MSD and HNZ, announced the Winter 2018 programme. No one in need of housing should go unsupported this winter.

We want to ensure that anyone in urgent need of housing support contacts Work and Income who are ready with a raft of support options to help people.

We want to make sure that everyone who approaches Work and Income for help this winter is supported in some way.

More information and contact details for Work and Income are available on their website(external link).

Read the Minister's announcement on Beehive.govt.nz(external link)

Thermal upgrade for homes in the Hutt

Housing New Zealand is thermally upgrading 66 properties in Lower Hutt this winter to ensure that they are warm and dry for families in need.

The pilot is improving the thermal performance of these homes through insulation, double glazing, thermal curtains, ventilation and new heating to ensure a healthy indoor living environment. Housing New Zealand will be closely monitoring how this pilot performs with an eye to thermally retrofit up to a further 200 homes in the Hutt and other parts of the country.

Read more on the thermal upgrade

Media release - 30 May 2018

Media release - 26 September 2018

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