September Snaps – Day 11 (Heating tips)

by Diane on 11/09/2012

Today was probably the craziest weather day we’ve experienced since moving to New Zealand.

I spent lunch time shopping on Cuba street without a coat, because it was super warm and sunny outside. But temperatures dropped dramatically during the afternoon. When I left the office it was already cold enough for me to wish I had a winter scarf, beanie and gloves. There were first reports of snow in Petone, and shortly after I arrived at home, some serious hail started to pour down. It wouldn’t surprise me if our backyard was covered in snow by tomorrow morning.

How timely to find Meridian’s (our energy provider) quarterly magazine in the mail today. This issue included the winning tips from the ‘save energy and stay warm’ competition they ran in the previous issue.

Heating & energy saving.

Amongst the valuable tips:

  • Put your oil column heater in front of the fire to heat it up before wheeling it next to the bed for sleep time.
  • Double insulation by backing you curtains with blankets.
  • Keep a thermal blanket (yes, the ones you use to keep people in emergency situations warm!) in the hot water cupboard and wrap it around you in bed to stay warm at night.

As a European who grew up in a country much colder in winter than New Zealand, but with sufficient buildings to live in, such comments always make me cringe. No wonder NZ has the second highest rate of asthma worldwide.

The interesting thing is that it’s not even overly expensive here to turn your house into a healthy place. It didn’t take us too long to get heat pump, insulation and double glazed windows installed. The energy savings are enormous and I can always come home to a warm, dry and mould free home. This will probably be one of the few mysteries in New Zealand I’ll never get my head around.

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