Look for a warm and dry house when buying or renting

  • 12 May 2011
  • Home Energy Centre

Here are some things to think about when buying or renting a home:

Does it take advantage of the sun? The main living areas should be north facing, to encourage heating from the sun.

Is the home well insulated? Insulation stops heat escaping, making the house easier to heat and more energy efficient. Good insulation also reduces health problems associated with cold, damp homes.

Is the home well ventilated? Poorly ventilated homes are unhealthy because moist air causes condensation associated with poor health. Check window frames for water damage; a sure sign of condensation and poor ventilation.

Are there signs of mould? Mould is a sure sign of a damp house. Check ceilings, especially in the bathroom and kitchen.

Do the windows stop heat loss? A lot of heat is lost through windows. Double-glazed windows are best - alternatively look for well-lined floor to ceiling curtains.

How efficient is the hot water system? Hot water heating is expensive and can waste a lot of power and money. The cylinder and pipes should not be warm to touch. If they are, they may need to be insulated or replaced.

Are the appliances energy efficient? The appliances in a home can contribute significantly to your power bill. Check the energy efficiency of the existing appliances by looking for the energy rating or by using a power monitor to measure how much power each appliance uses.

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