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The ins and outs of insulation

To begin with, landlords need to adhere to the Residential Tenancies Act, which require rental properties to have ceiling and underfloor insulation that’s at least 90mm thick (and in good condition) as at 1 July 2019.

 

HHS states that insulation in all rental properties should be at least 120mm thick (by 1 July 2024 for existing ceiling insulation or after 1 July 2021 for new tenancies). 

So, properties that may comply under the Residential Tenancies Act, with ceiling and underfloor insulation, may not be compliant under HHS – and will still need to be upgraded. Clear as mud.

 

Luckily for most properties, the standards can be straightforward to meet – and it doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg.

Pump up the heat

To meet the new standards, rental homes must have fixed heating devices in living rooms, which can warm rooms to at least 18°C.

 

Heat pumps for the most efficient way of using electricity, and ensure it’s the right size to heat the main living room to at least 18°C.

 

For colder climates, a gruntier model of heat pump can perform effectively down to minus 15°C, or consider wood burners for colder regions (check the Ministry for the Environment’s list of authorised wood burners for your region).

In terms of heat pumps, there are various systems available, give us a call to organise a free quote.

Getting clear on 

Rental homes must have the right size extractor fans in kitchens and bathrooms, and opening windows in the living room, dining room, kitchen and bedrooms

SmartVent is a cut and dried option. It’s one to look into, as they have a range of options for all types of homes.

The sensor technology monitoring temperature & humidity also effectively control condensation, so they work in the bathroom as well as other rooms.

When it comes to the kitchen extraction system or rangehood, they should be able to exchange the air in the kitchen at least 15 times per hour or every four minutes. Basically, divide the number of cubic feet (length x width x height) in the room by four to get the minimum CFM required.

It pays to choose the appropriate ventilation system depending on the size of the home, the number of rooms and size of extractor fans attached to it. 

ventilation

Sort moisture and drainage

Rental homes must have efficient drainage and guttering, down pipes and drains. If a rental home has an enclosed sub-floor, it must have a ground moisture barrier or suitable alternative if it’s possible to install one.

 

In sub-floor spaces, install polythene sheeting that is at least 0.25mm thick over the ground under the house. 

 EcoHome Program has years of experience installing ground moisture barriers, which is most economically installed at the same time as underfloor insulation.

Get past draughts

The standards state that rental homes must have no unnecessary gaps or holes in walls, ceilings, windows, floors, and doors that cause noticeable draughts.

And, unused chimneys or fireplaces must be blocked.

 

Stopping draughts is a relatively low cost measure and the government has indicated that gaps greater than 3mm that let air into or out of the home will require sealing.
 

While 2024 may seem far in the distant future, ideally all landlords renting out older homes should upgrade their properties to meet HHS requirements by 1 July 2021, in case of a change of tenancy before 2024.

 

Any upgrades made under HHS to meet the 2008 Building Code are sure to improve re-sale value for a healthy profit, as well as a healthy home.

HELPFUL LINKS

BRANZ

EECA

Insulation Association

Tenancy Services (new laws with Insulation

CONTACT US

EcoHome Program Ltd

Phone 0800 4 326 466

Email info@ecohomeprogram.co.nz

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