Warm homes help to slash medical bills
5:00AM Thursday May 03, 2007


Savings in health costs by insulating homes outweigh the cost of installing the insulation by almost two to one. Photo / Kenny Rodger

Improving heating options in homes dramatically improves the health of asthmatics, according to the findings of an Otago University study.

The Housing, Heating and Health Study, led by University of Otago Wellington researcher Professor Philippa Howden-Chapman, was carried out in 412 New Zealand homes over the winters of 2005 and 2006.

It found the health of asthmatic children improved significantly when ineffective heaters were replaced with cleaner, more cost-effective heating sources.

Households in the Hutt Valley, Porirua, Christchurch, Dunedin and Bluff took part in the study.

Each household had asthmatic children aged 6 to 12 years. The main forms of heating were plug-in electric heaters or unflued gas heaters.

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