Many New Zealand houses are woefully ready to take care of summer season’s excessive warmth. Photograph / 123RF
Be it black-out shades or chilled sheets, Kiwis have lengthy had their very own hacks at cooling down sizzling houses with out air con – now a researcher desires to listen to extra about them.
Many New Zealand houses are woefully ready to take care of summer season’s excessive warmth.
A current Stats NZ survey of 6700 houses discovered 36 per cent have been sitting at 25C or extra over summer season – and generally even above 30C – in contrast with a cushty indoor vary of 20C to 25C.
A 3rd have been additionally colder than 18C over winter – or beneath World Well being Organisation requirements – one thing linked to individuals renting poorly-insulated houses and struggling to pay for on a regular basis wants.
This winter “power poverty” and its vast public well being impacts has been the main focus of Dr Kimberley O’Sullivan’s analysis at Otago College.
“Largely that has meant that we have targeted on whether or not individuals might be heat sufficient in winter – however truly it means being cool sufficient in summer season too.”
She identified six of New Zealand’s prime 10 warmest years occurred within the final decade, and the nation was seeing extra frequent and extreme sizzling days, which got here with their very own implications for well being and power use.
“During the last 20 years we have additionally had speedy uptake of warmth pumps, and over half of New Zealand households with a warmth pump have reported utilizing it for cooling in summer season,” she mentioned.
“So now households have each a mechanism for energetic cooling – and a better want for lowering dwelling temperatures in summer season.”
In a newly-launched research, supported by the Marsden Fund, she sought to reply how not solely Kiwis have been managing summer season warmth flows via their houses, but in addition how this was altering over time.
“I am particularly in search of the varieties of information that’s generally known as know-how – or what individuals know from expertise,” she mentioned, including that included how Kiwis have been utilizing measures starting from curtains to warmth pumps.
“This yr, I will begin with a postal survey in areas with extra excessive summer season warmth to get some preliminary solutions to questions like how snug individuals discover their houses in summer season, in the event that they attempt to modify the temperature, whether or not that is modified over time, and whether or not they really feel they know sufficient about these points.”
She was significantly eager to listen to from a number of generations of the identical households, and what recommendation had been handed down.
“I additionally wish to be sure that we’re together with Māori whānau, Māori have lived in Aotearoa longest and could have knowledge to supply.”
Lastly, the three-year venture would compile temperature and relative humidity data utilizing information loggers in a pattern of homes, and the way individuals have been utilizing power all through every day of every week.
“So far as I am conscious, these approaches have not been mixed like this earlier than to take a look at these questions – they usually positively have not been used like this in New Zealand,” she mentioned.
“One factor that can be fairly difficult I believe is to usefully weave all the information again collectively to make one large story or image, integrating every part on the finish in a manner in order that the sum is bigger than the elements.
“The elements as particular person research would all be helpful, however I am hoping to return out with one thing further by combining them.
“If we’ve got a very good image of what individuals know and do, in addition to what their wants are with regards to managing summer season warmth at dwelling, then we would be capable to tailor completely different recommendation and insurance policies the place they’re wanted.
“The aim is that this can assist to boost our resilience to local weather change and enhance public well being and wellbeing.”
Three suggestions for retaining your property cool
• Simple fixes: Preserve out the solar by shutting curtains and blinds. Open doorways and home windows in numerous rooms to maneuver air via your property. Match safety latches to go away home windows open whilst you’re out.
• Create shade: Plant deciduous timber to shade your own home in summer season. They’re going to let solar via after they lose their leaves in winter. Set up exterior window shades – equivalent to blinds, awnings or louvres. Eaves or roof overhangs above north-facing home windows block summer season solar.
• Use followers: Desk-top, ground and ceiling followers use loads much less power than air con. When you have a warmth pump, strive the fan-only setting along with your home windows open.
– Supply: GenLess