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Heating Up Rental Homes

Thursday, June 06, 2013


Heating 

As we embrace for another cold winter consider your tenants by making their winter more bearable, especially if they have children or elderly living in the home. The World Health Organisation recommends that the temperature inside the home should not be lower than 18degrees.

It goes without saying insulate first and then look at choosing an efficient heating system for your house as this will help maintain healthy indoor temperatures while lowering powerbills for your tenants.

Heating accounts for about 29% of the power bill. So there are several factors to consider when looking at choosing the right heating for your rental properties, including the amount of heating needed, and the running costs for your tenants.


There are many heating systems to choose from Rental Heating Tips

Convection heaters are inherently inefficient because they focus on warming the air. And only heat small areas like kitchens or small bedrooms.

Low temperature electric radiators, usually oil-filled, offer an efficient, comfortable and healthy heat source with a reasonable response time. Models with thermostats and timers are easier to manage efficiently. Radiators are mainly used for heating small to medium bedrooms.

Heat Pumps are becoming increasingly popular and for good reason they are the most efficient heating system on the market. Heat pumps do not generate heat but extract it from one body of air and transfer it to another. They use the same principle as your fridge/freezer at home, compressing gas and then allowing it to expand, extracting heat as it does so.  Even if the air outside is freezing heat pumps can extract heat energy and transfer it inside to keep you warm. In summer the system works in reverse, extracting heat from indoors and transferring it outside leaving you comfortable and cool. Heat pumps are designed to be unobtrusive in their size and style, with low noise levels. 

How much does it cost to run? This depends on the amount of heating required. Heat pumps transfer heat from outside air and in this way produce three to four times more heat. Its efficiency is 300% to 400%. This means for 5kW of heating you pay for around 1.5kW of electric energy. Heat pump heating is roughly one quarter the cost of electric heating and about one third the cost of gas heating! So definitely some good savings for you and your tenants. Look for energy star rated heat pumps.

Check out the graph below this shows indicative running costs for different types of heating systems. Note that actual running costs can vary depending tenant’s lifestyle.



Other tips for a warm healthy home

  • Make sure the ceiling and underfloor insulation is up to code
  • Use draught stops for windows and doors – snakes along the bottom of internal doors
  • Use thermally draped curtains – up to 20% heat loss is lost through windows with no curtains

Ella Te Huia has been working in the home energy efficiency business for over 15 years. Currently she is the Director of Greenstar Energy Solutions staff of about 60 employed whereby they provide home energy solutions, insulation, heating, ventilation, home energy audits and solar photovoltaic systems.  Through Greenstar, you may obtain up to 70% subsidy for insulating your rental properties this winter.  Ella will be guest blogging on the APIA website and sharing healthy home and smart heating tips with investors all through this winter.  


What are your winter warming tips for your rentals and tenants?  Sound out by leaving a comment below.


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