Author Archives: chris@framelink.co.nz

5 reasons why you should consider wall insulation

1. Costs less to heat and cool your home

One of the many benefits of wall insulation in homes is the reduced costs spent on electricity bills. Wall insulation causes heat flow resistance, keeping your home warm in winter and cool in summer. Lowering the costs of heating and cooling can be done by having quality insulation in your walls, floors and ceilings. This reduces the heat transfer into or out of your home keeping the temperature right year-round. CosyWall provides quality wall insulation products that will benefit both you and your home. To learn more about wall insulation here.

2. Provides year-round comfort

Wall insulation provides year-round comfort for your home by creating a barrier that separates outside and inside air, keeping the temperature in your home consistent. In the winter, cold air enters your home through the walls, floor, and ceiling cavities. Insulating your home keeps the cold air out while trapping the warmer air inside. In summer, the reverse is also true. Warm air also comes through the walls, floors, and ceiling cavities. Again, insulating your home can trap the cooler air inside and keep the heat out to provide a comfortable home through all seasons.

3. Helps prevent condensation and mold from growing

Many New Zealand homes are cold and damp, primarily due to a lack of floor, ceiling, and wall insulation. Insulation can help reduce excess moisture in your home allowing for a warmer and dryer home, especially through the colder months. Installing wall insulation in your home will help prevent condensation and mold from growing throughout your home, making it a healthier and dryer place to live.

4. It’s low-maintenance and lasts a lifetime

After insulation is installed there is no ongoing maintenance required. It is an investment that will benefit your home and family for years to come without any upkeep. Most insulation products have a lifetime guarantee, when you insulate your home with CosyWall, you can be sure your house is set for the future.

5. Makes your home more energy efficiency

One of the important benefits that come from an insulated house is the amount of money you can save on trying to heat and cool your house. According to experts, heat loss without insulation is around 18-25% through the walls, 12-14% through the floor, and 30-35% through the roof. This shows that without insulation, your home is susceptible to fluctuating temperatures. This results in more money spent trying to keep a steady temperature through winter and summer. With insulation, the heat loss slows down to 10-15% for the walls, 10-20% for the floors and only 5-10% per cent for the roof. This decrease in heat loss is what helps cut down the energy you use to heat your home. Learn more about energy efficiency here.

Insulation keeps your house cool in summer and warm in winter

Here’s why Insulating your home is one of the best investments you can make

Insulating your home is the way to go when it comes to creating a warm and cosy home year-round. Keeping it warm in winter and cool through summer means you can cut down the money spent on endlessly trying to heat your home. Insulation will slow the rate of heat loss through walls, ceilings and floors, trapping in the warmth in winter and keeping it out in the summer. Learn more about the benefits of wall insulation here.

CosyWall supplies insulation that

  • Slows down the heat movement through walls and building materials.
  • Prevents the cold from getting in or the heat from escaping, keeping you and your family warm in winter and cool in summer.
  • Provides an energy-efficient way of heating and cooling your home, cutting down your costs.

Insulation is an investment that benefits your home both now and in the future by increasing the value and quality of your home. Once you have insulation, you will be able to enjoy the ease of keeping your home at the right temperature through every season. Insulation uses thermal resistance ( called the R-value) the higher the R-value the higher the thermal resistance in your home. Insulation works by trapping small pockets of air between fibres keeping your home at the right temperature. CosyWall strives to provide your home with quality, lasting insulation to create warmer, healthier energy-efficient environments by keeping your home warm in winter and cool in summer.

The difference between having insulation Vs not having insulation in your home

Poorly insulated houses
  • Allows the warmth to seep through the building materials.
  • Bigger electricity bills.
  • 18-25% of heat is lost through the walls, 12-14% through the floor, and 30-35% through the roof.
Insulated houses
  • Insulated houses slow down the heat movement within your housekeeping it warmer or
  • cooler for longer.
  • It adjusts to the seasons for year-round comfort, keeping your home warm in winter and cool in summer.
  • 10-15% of heat is lost through walls, 10-20% for the floors and only 5-10% per cent for the roof.

Learn more about home heat loss here.

The New Zealand government now has regulations to keep your home up to minimum quality standards. If you’re starting a new build or renovating an old home, insulating your walls, floors and ceilings should be a top priority. CosyWall can help provide insulation that slows the airflow inside your house providing you with a more energy-efficient lifestyle year-round.

How does Home Heat Loss and Heat Gains work?

Understand Home Heat Loss and Heat Gains

It’s that time of year again when everyone starts running down to the shops to buy a new heater. Very few people truly understand the fundamentals of home heat loss and heat gain and understanding this might save you in the long run.

The laws of Thermodynamics

No matter what you, if it’s 5 degrees outside and 30 degrees inside, the cold will always try and suck the heat out of the home. We go over the basics of thermal insulation in our recent article here, but in this scenario, cold air is always trying to sneak inside through every little gap, nook, and cranny in your home. This is a process known as infiltration.

The reverse is true where the hot air is also trying to escape through every crack in your home. This process is known as exhalation. If you think about it, it’s kind of like your home is trying to breathe both air and temperature in and out.

The total of all this air leakage is called home heat loss and is measured by a heat loss rate in Btu (British thermal units) per hour. The point of insulating your home is to provide a thermal barrier to slow or prevent this rate of home heat loss.

Understanding Home Heat Loss

If your home is poorly insulated or there is damage to your home, the rate of heat loss might be quite high. This means cold air is easily getting into your home and warm air is fast to escape out of it.

Dampness, mould growth, and difficulty heating up the home are several symptoms that reveal a lack of insulation.

On the other hand, a well-insulated generally has a low rate of heat loss. Insulation provides a barrier that means your home will better retain its heat while being more energy-efficient.

Understanding Home Heat Gains

Your home’s inside temperature is affected by the actual outdoor temperature and humidity levels. Home heat gains come from the outside weather, all your electronics, heating sources, and even the people who live inside. Unfortunately, on a very warm day, it can become very uncomfortable to live in and you want to try and remove all this excess heat.

Cooling systems work to remove unwanted heat from a space and relocate it. This is essentially what a heat pump is designed to do. By using an air conditioning process that takes advantage of the relationships between pressure, temperature, and volume, we can extract heat inside the home and redistribute it outside while replacing it will cooler and dryer air.

Uninsulated homes are very difficult to heat. Heat gain’s in these homes typically far exceed the rate at which you can efficiently cool it down. Insulating your home provides a thermal barrier that is just as effective in the summer as it is in the winter. Insulation will help work slow the rate of home heat gains making it far easier to cool down your home and control your inside temperatures.

Your home heat loss and gain weak points

Now that you understand a little more about home heat loss and home heat gains, it’s important to understand where the weak points in your home are.

For a typical kiwi house, your roof accounts for 40-50% of your home’s heat loss in the winter. The roof also adds between 50-60% of your home’s heat gains in the summer. Installing decent insulation in your roof cavity is one of the most important things you can do for your home. Luckily, most homes have a fairly good level of roof insulation although sometimes it’s worth looking at topping this up, especially in older homes.

Uninsulated walls are the next large issue area accounting for 30-35% of your home’s heat loss. They also contribute between 15-25% of your home’s heat gains. Building standards have traditionally not been very good in New Zealand. Many older New Zealand homes won’t have any wall insulation. A lack of insulation is the primary cause of damp walls and wet windows. We highly recommend you resolve this issue as soon as possible.

Next up are your windows, as much as 20% of your home heat loss and gain happens through your windows. Upgrading single pane glass windows and joinery to double glazing is a great way to solve this issue and fix this part of the home’s thermal barrier.

Finally, underfloor insulation can prevent as much as 10% of your home heat loss and gain. It’s not always possible to add underfloor insulation to your home. Homes built on piles provide a gap to install polyester blankets under the floorboards. This can help complete the home’s thermal envelope.

Talk to an insulation expert about your home heat loss and gain.

If in doubt, it’s always best to discuss your home insulation needs with an expert. Talk to the team at CosyWall Insulation today to find out more about how to fix your home heat loss and gain issues.

Noise transfer in the home can be a big problem! Here’s five ways you can solve it!

Thanks to the lightweight design and construction methods used in New Zealand, combined with noisy appliances and loud entertainment gear, noise transfer in the home has become a big problem. That’s not even discussing your neighbors who love to throw house parties every Saturday night. Thankfully there are several steps you can take to reduce noise transfer in the home so here are our top five tips to start controlling it!

Insulating your walls lowers noise transfer in and out of the home.

You may not realise, but some insulation materials have amazing sound dampening properties. For many kiwi homes, wall insulation is an afterthought and unfortunately, many builders only provide the minimum thermal levels, if any at all.

Choosing a blown insulation product like CosyWall Insulation not only provides an effective thermal insulation barrier, but because the material is blown into the walls at such a high density it also works to lower noise vibrations and prevent soundwaves from penetrating your walls.

It’s best to chat with an insulation expert about choosing the right insulation material if the sound is an issue for you.

Minimise uniform surfaces

Flat surfaces such as walls and ceilings are great for bouncing sound waves around the house but terrible for controlling noise transfer. If you’re thinking about building a new home, it’s important to make sure your architect or draftsperson considers this in your design. The more angles and less uniform surfaces in your home the harder it is for sound to bounce.

Choose the right doors for your home

Doors play an important role in controlling noise transfer in your house. Selecting the right doors is one of the easiest and least expensive ways of controlling sound in your home.

Doors are typically hollow and have no insulating layer inside. Hollow doors do a poor job of blocking soundwaves. Spending a little more money on solid doors made from denser materials helps prevent noise transfer.

Upgrade your windows

Replacing your old single-pane windows with double-glazed ones will help filter out those unwanted frequencies. Double Glazed windows have the added benefit of improving thermal efficiency. They also work to reduce noise transfer in and out of your home. There are many amazing joinery manufacturers here in New Zealand who could help you upgrade your windows.

Consider your flooring

Your choice of flooring can have a profound impact on the noise levels in your home. Timber and Bamboo floors look great but can create substantial noise issues. This is why it’s so important to prepare your subfloor correctly. Hard floors like concrete and tiles will be quieter than timber however you really can’t go past carpet for soundproofing.

For more information chat to the team at CosyWall Insulation! We’d be happy to discuss ways at reducing noise transfer in your home.

The Basics of Thermal Insulation

Thermal Insulation is an important part of every house and helps keep your house warm in the winter and cool in the summer. To understand how thermal insulation actually works however we need to take a few steps back and take a look at some of the science around heat transfer.

What is heat transfer and how does it work?

The first thing to know about heat transfer is that heat will always try and move from the warmest areas to the coolest ones, seeking a balance. In the home, the greater the temperature difference, the faster heat will try and flow into the coldest area. Research tells us that the three methods of heat transfer are conduction, convection, and radiation. Let’s have a quick look at these.

Heat transfer through conduction

Conduction refers to heat transfer at the molecular level within a certain material. The material might be a solid, gas or liquid but heat transfer happens when there is a temperature difference between two materials, and they come into contact with one another.

conduction-heat-transfer

Molecules are agitated when heat is conducted from one particle to another. The rate of heat transfer will increase or decrease depending on the difference in temperatures between the two materials, and the thermal conductivity of these materials.

Heat transfer through convection

When a fluid, such as air or a liquid is heated and travels away from its source, it carries the thermal energy with it. This type of heat transfer is called convection. The fluid above a hot surface expands, becoming less dense and it rises.

convection-heat-transfer

A good example of convection heat transfer is a hot air balloon. A hot air balloon rises because warmer air is less dense than cool air. Since the balloon is less dense than the air around it, it becomes positively buoyant and rises.

Heat transfer through radiation

The final heat transfer method is through radiation. In this example heat actually travels through light, either as infrared light or other types of electromagnetic waves. The energy is freely transferred through a direct line of sight or through translucent materials.

radiation-heat-transfer

A great example of radiation heat transfer is simply looking at sunlight. As sunlight impacts a surface it starts to heat up. If you’ve ever stood barefoot on a sandy beach in the middle of a hot summer’s day you’ll know what I mean here.

Different materials act differently to radiation heat transfer which is why some surfaces get hotter than others in direct sunlight.

So I understand heat transfer, how does this impact my home’s thermal insulation?

Really only convection and radiation heat transfer directly impact the home. That’s why thermal insulation is mainly designed to combat these types of heat transfer.

Thermal insulation is a material with a high thermal resistance value. Thermal resistance levels are measured by an R-Value. The material creates a barrier to avoid heat transfer between the inside and outside of the home.

So to better understand how thermal insulation works, let’s look at two different scenarios.

Thermal insulation for radiation heat transfer

Let’s say you’re in the middle of summer and your home has no thermal insulation in the roof. Radiant heat from direct sunlight at the hottest time of the year will cause the home to heat up.

This radiant heat will quickly pass straight through the roof and walls heating the inside air of your home and creating an oven-like environment inside.

Adding thermal insulation to your roof and walls means would stop the radiant heat passing through these surfaces, preventing the house from heating up as quickly.

Thermal Insulation for convection heat transfer

Let’s say you’re in the middle of winter and again there’s no thermal insulation barrier in your roof or walls. Naturally, you’ll put a heater on to try and warm the room. Unfortunately, because of the large temperature difference, the heat will quickly escape from the house however it can make it incredibly difficult and costly to keep the house warm.

After adding a thermal insulation barrier, heat will no longer be able to escape the house. This means that the heater will be far more efficient at warming up the home. It also means the heat will remain inside for longer, resulting in a far more energy-efficient home.

Talk to an insulation expert about completing your home’s thermal barrier

If you’re interested in adding thermal insulation to your home it’s best to talk to an expert. Our team will be happy to provide a free assessment of your property and provide advice and direction on the best way to fully insulate your home. Once your thermal barrier is in place you’ll notice the difference instantly.

Getting your insulation right is critical to creating a sustainable home

It seems global warming is on everyone’s minds these days. We’re launching reusable rockets into space, all our vehicles are becoming electric powered and governments around the world are invested in developing renewable energy sources. New Zealanders are slowly moving away from traditional energy sources such as gas and coal and moving more to sustainable and renewable ones such as solar.

Over the next decade most of us will change to electric vehicles and many of our household tools like lawn mowers and weed eaters will be replaced with battery operated alternatives. While all this innovation is great, New Zealand households are going to be looking for ways to create energy efficient, sustainable home’s.

What is a sustainable home anyway?

A sustainable home is designed or retrofitted to optimise it’s use of water and energy. The obvious advantage of a sustainable home is a significant reduction in energy consumption, but by making these changes you’re also making a contribution to improving the environment. By replacing older inefficient systems with new low-impact and high-performance materials, you help to create a healthier environment for yourself, your family and our planet.

With this in mind – here are 5 things you can do to retrofit your house into a sustainable home.

Reevaluate your home’s insulation

Until recently, insulation standards in New Zealand have been pretty poor. Having a high-performing thermal envelope around your home is key to creating a energy efficient, sustainable home. If there is little or no insulation in your roof and walls, any effort you put into heating and cooling your home easily escapes through gaps in your thermal envelope.

Talk to an insulation professional like CosyWall Insulation. We’d be happy to give you advice on what you could do to seal your thermal envelope and improve the insulation standards of your property.

Install Solar Panels

It’s getting easier and cheaper to install solar panels to your home. With the right setup, you can generate all the power you need for your home and lifestyle. Kiwi’s that can power their homes with clean energy means that you’re lowering your carbon footprint and avoiding fossil fuels.

Upgrade your appliances to energy efficient ones

Appliance manufacturers have got really good at creating low energy, efficient appliances. Dishwashers, dryers and fridges all use a lot of power, especially the older ones. If you are upgrading, make sure you look for the energy rating stickers on the front of these appliances when deciding what to buy.

Install high-performance windows for a sustainable home

Windows can account for up to 50% of your homes heat losses. High-performance windows make a huge difference in lowering your heating and cooling bills. New technologies like double glazing, special coatings and better construction methods mean new joinery performances much better today and helps you out on your journey to creating a sustainable home.

Change out those old light bulbs to new LED lights.

This goes without saying but LED technology is over 90% more efficient that older lightbulbs. The small investment in upgrading the lights in your pales in comparison to the future savings you’ll make from having your house running on LEDs.

If you’d like to know more about creating a sustainable home, the team at CosyWall Insulation would be happy to help. Give us a call if you’ve got any questions, we’d love to hear from you!

Are you living in a cold house? It might be due to poor insulation.

You know winter is just around the corner when you start piling on extra layers. It’s not always easy to understand what causes a cold house and there are a number of factors that could influence this however, the most likely cause is poor insulation.

We’ve been insulating homes for many years and we’re sorry to say older New Zealand homes are generally poorly insulated. For most our customers, we find there’s poor insulation in the roof, and it might have deteriorated over time. We also find there is little to no insulation in the walls and floors leading to a cold house. This usually means large energy bills over winter because all your heat is quickly escaping through gaps in your home’s thermal barrier.

In these uncertain times, staying well is of paramount importance and we love helping our customers create warm, dry and healthy homes. If you’re considering insulating or re-insulating your home here are a few things worth considering.

Check the quality of your current insulation

Is your roof insulation thick enough and in good condition?

This might involve a trip to the attic. Grab a ladder and poke your head into the ceiling and shine a torch around. Can you see any insulation in the roof? This might look like insulation blankets placed on top of the floor joists or a loose-fill material that covers the ceiling.

Have a look at the condition of any existing material. Is there a good amount or has it started to deteriorate? If your ceiling insulation is less than 200mm thick it might need to be upgraded. If heat is escaping through your roof it’s going to create a cold house that’s costly to heat up.

Between 40-50% of your home’s heat loss occurs through the roof, so it’s important to make sure the roof cavity is well insulated. If you’re unsure, take a few pictures and send them through to us and we can help provide some advice and direction.

Do you have any wall insulation?

If you’ve got a cold house, this might be caused by a lack of wall insulation. It might be difficult to find out if you have wall insulation, and usually, you’ll need to remove your wall lining to know for sure. You’ll generally be able to tell if your walls are uninsulated because you’ll usually find they are damp or wet on a winter’s morning. Another way to see is simply by tapping on the walls – do they sound hollow or have an echo?

If your walls are insulated, you’ll usually find the noise is deadened but most walls in older New Zealand homes have never been insulated. It’s important to fix this as soon as possible as between 30-40% of your home’s heat loss occurs through the walls.

If you’re unsure, have a chat with our team and we’ll be able to arrange a free home assessment. We’ll come and inspect the home and make sure your walls are insulated.

Do you have any underfloor insulation?

If you’re able to get under your house have a look to see if there are insulation blankets under the floor. Is the material in good condition or are there gaps?

Having underfloor insulation is important to complete your home’s thermal barrier as between 5-10% of your home’s heat loss happens through your floors.

Poor insulation or missing insulation will typically result in a cold house.

So you’ve checked your home and you’ve found some issues. If parts of your home are uninsulated, this will lead to gaps in your thermal envelope. Over winter, your warm inside air is always going to try and escape outside and insulation creates a thermal barrier, which stops or slows this process from occurring. Any gaps in your thermal envelope will mean that air can easily escape out the home and this is why your home is so cold.

By fully insulating your home you’re effectively sealing your thermal barrier which not only creates a nice warm environment inside, but also reduces your home’s energy costs as you’ll be putting less effort into heating and cooling your home.

If you’re interested in understanding more about your home’s thermal barrier check out our article about it here.

Did you know insulation can help soundproof your home?

One of the added advantages of insulation is that it helps create a barrier that reduces noise transfer, particularly in your walls. Because the insulation is such a dense material, sound waves find it hard to penetrate and once your home is insulated, you’ll notice a reduction in the amount of noise that enters your home.

Let the experts sort out your home insulation.

All your home hardware stores will sell insulation and if you’re brave and you know what you’re doing you can try installing new insulation yourself. We’ve found DIY insulation has mixed results as if it’s not installed properly you can still end up with gaps in your thermal barrier.

The best and most effective solution to warm up your cold house is to give us a call and we’ll make sure a qualified installer does the job the right way. Usually, the process of fully insulating your home only takes a day or two. Insulation can be easily installed without removing the linings from your walls/roof and once we’re done, the only evidence we were ever there will be the cosy inside environment you’ll now be able to enjoy!

Understand what causes black mould and what you can do about it

Mould is a form of fungus which can be black, white, orange, green or purple. They are small organisms that can live almost anywhere indoors or outdoors and reproduces lightweight spores that travel through the air.

Most of us are exposed to small, harmless amounts of mould every day, however, when these little spores land on a damp spot in your home, it can start to grow. Prolonged exposure or exposure in high amounts can lead to serious health issues.

Health issues caused by mould

Many people are unaware that black mould can cause health issues. When mould is found in high levels inside your home it can cause allergies, lead to asthma attacks and in severe cases even lead to respiratory infections. The deadliest mould is called Stachybotrys which is more commonly referred to as “black mould”. This is one of the most dangerous types of mould and can cause flu-like symptoms, diarrhoea, headaches, memory loss and severe respiratory damage.

How does black mould grow?

For black mould to grow indoors, it needs moisture and food. Black mould tends to thrive in warm and frequently moist environments such as your kitchens and bathrooms. Moisture is a key factor influencing mould growth indoors. Controlling indoor moisture can dramatically help to limit its growth. Moisture control is crucial as, in the right conditions, mould can begin to grow indoors in as short as 24 to 48 hours. One of the best ways to control moisture in your home is to fully insulate it, ensuring its thermal envelope is sealed. While most people have wall and floor insulation, typical New Zealand houses lack wall insulation. Uninsulated walls can easily let moisture into your home.

Black Mould does not need a lot of water to grow. A little condensation in a bathroom or around your windows can be enough for mould to start growing. Common sites for indoor mould growth include bathroom tiles and grout, the corners of your walls, areas around windows, near leaky plumbing, and around sinks. The most common causes of moisture in your home include roof leaks, condensation due to high humidity, poor insulation, cold spots in a building, or leaks in plumbing fixtures.

Besides moisture, mould also needs food in the form of nutrients to grow. Mould can grow on virtually any organic substance. Most buildings are full of organic materials that mould can use as food, including many building materials and household furnishings.

What can you do to avoid mould growth in your home?

Weather conditions in New Zealand widely vary between the summer and winter months making it difficult to control moisture and condensation.

One of the best ways to control moisture in your home is to fully insulate it, ensuring its thermal envelope is sealed. While most people have roof and floor insulation, typical New Zealand houses lack wall insulation and uninsulated walls can easily let moisture into your home.

CosyWall Insulation is an excellent insulation product that can be installed in virtually any New Zealand home. It is blown into the wall through small holes from either the inside or the outside of the home which are then patched up following the installation so you’ll never know the process was done. You will instantly notice a much more stable inside temperature which, among the many other benefits, will help you control the moisture inside the home. Controlling moisture in your home will in turn help prevent black mould in the future.

Contact the team at CosyWall Insulation today for a free assessment of your home.

What is a carbon footprint and why is it important?

You may have heard the term carbon footprint before but you may not be entirely sure what it means or how it applies to you. Simply, a carbon footprint is a measurement of how much extra carbon dioxide you are responsible for releasing into the atmosphere.

If you think back to a time before cars, planes and fast food, humans lived a much simpler life. A typical family lived in a house built of wood, cooked using firewood and farmed their food. These people contributed little to no carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and therefore did not have a carbon footprint. Everything that family would use and grow would be a part of the natural carbon cycle. This is the process where carbon is captured through photosynthesis and released again when living things respire or when wood burns.

Today, the typical human being releases about 4 tonnes of carbon dioxide each year. Different countries have different averages. The average American releases about 20 tonnes a year as opposed to the average Indian who releases only 1 tonne. All this extra carbon dioxide goes into the atmosphere and contributes to global warming. Cars, aeroplanes, how we heat and use electricity in our homes, the clothes and food we buy, our leisure activities and how we build and manufacture all produce emissions.

What changes can you make to lower your carbon footprint?

Individually we all need to be focused on reducing our carbon footprint by making smart lifestyle decisions and purchases. Here are some smart choices you can make to help lower your carbon footprint.

Insulate your home

Insulating your home is a great investment you can make in reducing your carbon footprint. Insulating your home makes it easier to heat in the winter and cool in the summer. Fully insulating your home by ensuring it has ceiling, underfloor and wall insulation helps complete your thermal envelope. This helps to separate the inside and outside air and is effective at stopping heat transfer in your home. Whatever energy you spend into heating or cooling your home will be retained longer and require less energy. Not only will this save you money, but because you are using less energy, you are having a positive impact on your carbon footprint.

Reduce the amount of time you spend in your car

Using your car every day burns through a lot of energy. Using a car powered by fossil fuel is particularly bad for the environment. Here are a few ways you can reduce your dependency on your car.

  • Try doing one weekly shop rather than heading to the supermarket every day.
  • Use public transport or try to carpool where possible.
  • If the option exists, try cycling or walking to work now and then.
  • Think about upgrading your car to an electric or hybrid vehicle.
  • See if you could work from home now and then.

Making a few smart changes to how you get around will help lower your carbon footprint even further

Make smart food choices

We all need to eat but making a few small changes to how, what and where we buy can also make a difference.

Most of us will buy the bulk of our food from the supermarket but how does it get there? Usually via big diesel trucks. Buying local produce means the food has to travel less to get to the supermarket in the first place.

Eating less meat is another great choice as it takes a lot of energy and grain for an animal to mature. That energy and grain could be used instead for human consumption. If everyone had a meat-free day even once a week it would have a significant impact on our global carbon footprint!

Washing and drying clothes

Your appliances use a lot of energy. Using your washing machine on a cold wash will significantly reduce the amount of energy it takes to clean your clothes. Hanging them outside to dry rather than using the dryer is another smart decision to lower your footprint. Buying the right appliances also makes a difference. Look out for energy labels when purchasing your appliances and make sure they have a high energy efficiency rating.

Change to LED Lights

You may not realise it but filament light bulbs are very inefficient. Only about 3 percent of the energy used is converted into usable light. Changing to LED bulbs will save on your power consumption as they are almost 100% efficient.

Recycle

Recycling unwanted materials is also great as, while it uses energy to recycle and reprocess them, it takes less energy to reuse them than producing fresh raw materials.

Lets work together to make a difference

Living in New Zealand we can be a little bit removed from the effects global warming is having on our planet but even in recent years, we have experienced many severe weather events that can be attributed to global warming. The bottom line is that if we don’t make the right changes now, it will be too late.

Get an idea of your current carbon footprint by taking a short 5-minute quiz here.

How to fix condensation issues in my home?

If you have been living in your home a little while you may have noticed that parts of your home’s walls get very damp. This is usually because of condensation issues in your home and is usually a good indication that your home’s walls are not well insulated. If damp or wet walls are not addressed quickly, this can lead to mould developing inside the home which in turn can damage your walls and furniture and seriously affect the health and wellbeing of your family. In this article, we are going to look at what causes condensation and steps you can take to deal with the issue.

What causes condensation in my home?

Condensation starts to occur when warm air and cold air meet. It can also occur when there is a lot of humidity in the air and not enough ventilation. It is most evident in the winter months and is usually a result of your efforts to keep your house warm. Everyday activities such as cooking, showering, and drying clothes can also release moisture into the air which can also lead to condensation issues in the home.

For older New Zealand homes, there may be many breaks in your home’s thermal barrier which allows air in and out of your home. When the inside warm air starts mixing with the outside cold air it cools down quickly, releasing the water molecules from the air. These turn into liquid droplets that attach themselves to cold surfaces such as your walls and develops into condensation.

Condensation tends to be less of an issue during the summer months as we are always opening the windows and doors to let fresh air in therefore keeping the home ventilated. In the winter months, we typically keep all the windows and doors closed so the cold air doesn’t come inside but, if the house isn’t well ventilated, this can cause condensation issues to quickly develop. While most houses have extractor fans in the bathrooms, these small fans are usually not enough to keep the entire house ventilated and when the outside air temperature starts to drop you can start to notice damp and wet walls.

While a little bit of water may not sound like a major issue, if left unattended, it can create the perfect environment for black mould to grow which can lead to several health issues including respiration problems, skin rashes and sore or itchy eyes.

What can you do to fix condensation issues in the home?

Luckily, there are some simple steps you can take to fix your condensation problems and ensure that your home’s thermal envelope is closed. The first thing you want to do is prevent the outside air getting into your home. There could be several weak points in your home contributing to this issue including:

  • Gaps around the windows and doors in your home
  • Poor insulation in your walls, underfloor or roof
  • Leaks in your roof
  • Damage to your homes cladding
  • Poor ventilation in your home

If there is damage to your home and it is not weathertight these issues need to be immediately addressed. Leaving your home exposed to New Zealand’s harsh climate for extended periods of time can lead to an expensive repair bill and numerous health issues.

You could also invest in better extractor fans and/or a dehumidifier to remove moisture from the air however, in most situations the underlying issue related to condensation build-up is either poor or no insulation.

Insulating your home is the single best thing you can do for your family’s health and wellbeing and in New Zealand, homes usually only have the minimum standards of insulation. When we inspect most homes, we find that there is a little bit of insulation in the roof and under the floor but usually no insulation in the walls. Insulation is designed to provide a barrier that keeps the outside air temperature out and the inside temperature in. If the walls are not well insulated, all your heating efforts are easily lost through the walls. By insulating your walls, you are helping to close your home’s thermal envelope and helping to permanently fix condensation issues in your home.

Insulation products like CosyWall Insulation can be easily blown into the walls of your home without having to remove the linings. It is pumped into the walls through small holes which are patched up after the installation so you will never know the process was done. Additionally, because it is blown in at such a high density, it will never shrink or slump inside the walls and with a 50-year durability rating, the insulation will last the life of the home.

Talk to the team at CosyWall Insulation today about organising a free home assessment for your property.