Three simple tips to beat the chill this winter

Woman holding warm mug outside

It's official; it's been one of the coldest weeks of the year. The Met Service reports that the weather all across New Zealand has been decidedly chilly, and it'd be no surprise if you've felt the goosebumps even in your own home.

Here are just three simple ways you can take the bite out of the weather and make your home that little bit warmer.

Pumpkin soup

Put a lid on it

One of the primary contributors to a cold home, along with mould, mildew and rotting wood, is dampness. There are all sorts of different sources of excess moisture; doing the dishes, having a shower, even just breathing can all contribute to a damp and cold home.

Don't worry, we aren't going to tell you to hold your breath as long as you can - but we are going to tell you to put a lid on it; "it" in this case being your pots and pans when you are cooking. Doing so could reduce the three litres of water a day Consumer NZ tells us could be permeating your home as a result of cooking. It's an easy solution, and might help beat back the cold.

Curtains up

Curtains and blinds are an important insulating factor for your home, but it isn't always about the material or the thickness. In fact, Consumer NZ found that the actual fit of the covering is generally more important than the curtains themselves.

Floor-length curtains are more effective than shorter ones, in fact, net curtains are better than short thermal curtains. Find yourself shivering? Consider getting longer curtains. Simple as.

Beat the insulation trend

New Zealand houses have a bit of a reputation for lacking good insulation. We're certainly getting better at installing it as we start to realise how important it is to be dry and warm in our own homes, but we've still got a way to go before we get full marks.

Wall insulation is the worst offender, especially in rental properties. According to a 2012 report from BRANZ, about 80 per cent of rental real estate has little to no wall insulation, compared to 45 per cent of owner-occupied housing. It's a bit more of an undertaking, but thankfully for renters, the Warm Up New Zealand scheme may give your landlord the opportunity to give you a warmer home for only half the usual cost. It might be a good time to chat to them about insulation.

Of course, if you're a landlord yourself and want to improve your rental yield, it might pay to access your current equity and upgrade the heating measures in your current property. Warmer homes mean happier tenants, and happier tenants stay for longer. Get in touch with Squirrel to find out your options.