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Thread: NZ housing

  1. #1
    moggy's Avatar
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    Default NZ housing

    I know the subject has probably been done to death, but I would like to give the positive side of NZ housing.
    We own a 15/16 year old house. It is build from hardiplank and is up on piles.
    It has loft insulation and I believe wall insulation ( I don't know without drilling into it)
    Our problem is with keeping the place cool - not keeping it warm.

    Current temperatures in Chch is max 14 during the day. Today we came home to the house being 26C, this evening without any heating being on, it is still 24C. Yes it does get the sun all day, but there is no double glazing and it has a tin roof.

    So not all NZ houses are damp and draughty

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    Quote Originally Posted by moggy View Post
    .So not all NZ houses are damp and draughty
    Great to hear a positive comment regarding NZ housing for a change. I'm sure it'll give heart to the many folks who are now locked into the thought, and not without good reason, that all NZ housing is dank and draughty.

    Probably the best time to view houses would be in the winter time and a vital ingredient in the positioning of a house would appear to be that it gets plenty of sun.
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    Am really glad to hear that not all NZ housing is cold and draughty...

    I moved moved up north (of the UK) last year and I've since got used to being called 'nesh' which I think pretty much means that I feel the cold... which is sooo true... so hearing how cold the houses were was somewhat worrying me and was imagining myself huddled up with about 10 jumpers on around a fire...

    However I have a question... obviously I've read that central heating as such doesn't exist over there and that there are other alternatives that people have talked about such as heat pumpts etc... but what I don't get is WHY they don't have central heating... do most houses just have electricity rather than gas??? Is it possible to buy a central heating system (or even bring it with me from the UK and install it)???

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    Quote Originally Posted by loopylu View Post
    However I have a question... obviously I've read that central heating as such doesn't exist over there and that there are other alternatives that people have talked about such as heat pumpts etc... but what I don't get is WHY they don't have central heating... do most houses just have electricity rather than gas??? Is it possible to buy a central heating system (or even bring it with me from the UK and install it)???
    There will be a fair percentage of people who just can't afford to have heating installed and also a lot of born and bred kiwis who have never experienced the luxury of it, therefore don't understand what all the fuss is about. I think it's becoming more popular now with the influx of us British wimps who are demanding our home comforts. Up until recently, the main form of heating in the kiwi home was by woodburner and these are still very much in evidence.

    Heat pumps are reckoned to be reliable, easy to use, clean and reasonably cost effective once you've overcome the initial cost of installation. In fact, we're just on the verge of having a heat pump put into our NZ home and will wait with baited breath for the verdict from Taffy and WG on both the effectiveness and cost of running it. It's a ducted system which means that heat is taken from one large heat pump and spread around the house via ducts to each room. It's a bit more expensive to install than having a couple of smaller heat pumps heating just parts of the house, but then the whole house will be covered. A heat pump takes the damp out of the air, which makes the air heat up quicker and, in turn, is less expensive to run. They are NZs answer to central heating.

    I don't think there's any piped gas to houses in NZ unless, maybe, they have it in the towns and cities, but I haven't heard of it. I've only heard of gas room heaters, which run off cylinders. but they're notorious for dumping damp into the atmosphere so not a good idea. Most heating in NZ, that doesn't involve a wood or pellet burner, is powered by electricity.
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    'Fraid the rental we are in is cold, cold, cold. We are up in the "winterless north" and can only be very very grateful we are not in this house further south!

    The design is excellent for summer though - high ceilings and wider than average roof overhangs which restrict sunlight entering the house. Ideal for Australia. :rolleyes: The high ceilings also prevent dampness which affects only one room - the smallest bedroom which is south/west facing and has a normal ceiling height.

    There is no central heating in this house, only an open fire which is really quite useless for heating. Electric heaters have been necessary, but usually for only the first couple of hours in the morning after waking up ... it is often warmer outside than in. Last winter we did make good use of hot water bottles.

    Can't remember the temperatures or humidity of other houses I've lived in here in NZ in the past. None had central heating and all had a woodburning stove which proved very effective.

    I've gone for a heat pump in the newbuild house with a heat transference system from the area of heat pump to three of the bedrooms (to keep the kids warm). Also, a woodburning stove will be installed (a little one that I can cook on if there is a long powercut). The good thing about most heat pumps is that they can be used in summer too, as an airconditioning unit.

    :smiley:
    Glenda
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    Aucklanders to get log-burning instruction
    5:00AM Tuesday April 17, 2007
    By Angela Gregory

    Throw another log on the fire. But not just any old bit of wood - environmental bureaucrats in Auckland want clean-burning logs used in fireplaces and wood-burning stoves.

    The Auckland Regional Council is warning homeowners about the polluting effects of domestic fires and is launching a campaign to educate householders about responsible fireplace use.

    But it admits our attachment to a roaring log fire could make it a hard message to sell.

    Next month the ARC will launch the first stage of a campaign to educate people on how domestic fires are contributing to Auckland's growing air-quality problem.

    While there is no intention to ban fires in the Auckland region, the council says it wants to encourage better practices - such as the use of dry wood rather than wet or green wood that smokes more when it burns.

    More here .
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    Now I do like an open wood fire... so maybe living without central heating wouldn't be so bad :rolleyes: ... providing I use the right wood of course

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    Open fires are great to huddle around but not much good for heating a larger area. They aren't really a recommended form of heating in NZ and you don't get much heat for your $$$.

    You can get a very similar effect with a woodburner and, if you pick the right type, you can run central heating off it.

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    Outside of the main cities, no one is on mains gas (not everyone, us included is even on mains water or sewerage)

    Our log burner
    Is pretty efficient, it also has a wetback for our hot water. If we light it, we burn about 4 logs an evening.This heats up the sitting room, dining room, kitchen and bedroom and also if it is on a little bit longer than usual the bathroom (on the other side of the wall to the log burner)

    It is not a logburner that can be used in a city though, as it would not pass the emmissions test, but not a problem to us here as out nearest neighbour is 3km away.
    It is possible to get central heating installed and as we already have a wetback I am thinking it would be fairly easy to put radiators in to heat the other two bedrooms.However we are waiting till we have been in here a full year before changing any heating. We have been told that we are frost here (yes and on the south island) so we may not need any better heating.

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