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Why: Newer models of log burners can function
in a much more eco-friendly fashion than
traditional burners. The net carbon emissions of a
log burner are zero — provided your wood supply
comes from a renewable resource — as it is simply
releasing the carbon which has been sequestered
into the growing timber. Burners work best when
they are fired with dry wood, rather than damp
wood, which improves efficiency and minimises
How: If your home has a good thermal envelope
the ability to retain heat with insulation or
window glazing — log burners can be a very
efficient means of heating. They can even be fitted
with a wetback to heat water, allowing for yet
more energy efficiency and power savings.
Cost: Log burners range from about $1500 to
many thousands, but they can be very cheap to
run if you use good-quality wood. Improving the
thermal envelope of your home can increase the
efficiency of the log burner further, which will
make it a better investment.
Why: For every kilowatt of energy that a heat
pump consumes in an hour, an average of three
kilowatts of heat will be generated — an incredible
gain from minimal use of energy. On average, 75
per cent of our electricity comes from a renewable
How: Heat pumps are particularly efficient
because the outside unit simply draws heat from
the external air and transfers it to units inside the
home. This is much more energy efficient than if
the unit was generating heat itself.
Cost: Installing a cheap single unit heat pump
generally costs around $1000. A multi-unit system
can cost from around $2000, but will allow a larger
area to be heated. Regardless, the costs will be
made up for in energy savings, thanks to heat
pumps being so efficient.
Why: Pellet burners are fired using sustainably
sourced pellets made from recycled sawmill
waste, including shavings and sawdust. The pellets
burn very cleanly, making them carbon neutral,
producing no negative effects for the community
and environment. There will, however, be a minor
carbon cost to the actual production of the pellets.
How: Because the pellets are loaded into the
back of the burner and automatically fed into
the fire, you can have precise control over the
rate of burning and the strength of the fire. Some
pellet fire installations can even be controlled
with a thermostat, or switched on and off with a
timer. For this reason, pellet burners are the most
efficient environmental option when it comes to
Cost: The downside of pellet burners is that
they’re expensive. A single storey flue starts at
around $4000 to buy and install, with the added
expense of buying the pellets.
Various types of insulation can have significant
effects on the efficiency of home heating systems.
Glass, wool and polyester insulation can all be
placed in ceilings, walls and under floors, as a new
or retro fit installation.
Glass and wool can both contain high
proportions of recycled fibre, either from New
Zealand or overseas, depending on the plant of
manufacture. Polyester is petrochemical-based —
derived from petroleum.
While the World Health Organisation used
to say glass fibre was a carcinogen, it has now
removed that classification. Glass and wool come
out as being the best types of insulation when
— New Zealand Herald
eople on the West Coast
are being urged to take
simple steps to make sure
their houses are warmer
and drier this winter and save on
Christian Hoerning from the
Energy Efficiency and Conservation
Authority (EECA) says it is hard to
keep a draughty house warm and
comfortable but the problems are
usually fairly cheap and easy to fix.
It is autumn and that means cooler
days are on the way. Spending a few
hours draught proofing your home
will pay off with a warmer, cosier
home when winter arrives.
One of the first steps is to check
hinges and catches or latches. If they
are loose, tighten them up. Weather
stripping can be used to seal gaps
around many doors or windows and
it’s easy to use. If you get draughts
from around door or window trims,
seal behind them with clear or
For gaps under doors, you can fit
draught excluders, either brush strip
types or for external doors, spring
loaded automatic seals. Damaged
rubber seals around aluminium
joinery can easily be replaced.
If you have an unused fireplace,
you will get a lot of draughts. Block
the chimney with a rubbish bag
filled with shredded newspapers or
you can buy inflatable bags. Make
sure no one tries to light the fire with
a blocked chimney.
If you have holes in floorboards,
cover from underneath with a small
square of timber.
Unsealed skirting boards and
cornices can be dealt with by
using flexible silicon-based or latex
sealants to seal the top and bottom
of skirting boards and cornices, or
remove them and foam the gap
where the floor and wall or the
ceiling and wall meet.
People may be surprised to learn
there are gaps around electrical
wiring and plumbing passages
through walls, floors and ceilings.
Seal using silicone sealants (for
smaller gaps) or polyurethane foam
(for bigger gaps). These passages
are often hidden so don’t forget to
look behind kitchen and bathroom
cabinetry and inside wardrobes and
hot water cupboards.
Air leakage and heat loss can
be a real problem with older
style recessed downlights. Most
downlights installed until mid-2012
cannot be sealed or covered as it
could cause a fire hazard, so holes
are required in insulation to create a
The best solution is to replace these
old style downlights with modern IC
or IC-F rated LED downlights that
can be insulated over, or removing
them altogether. Surface mounted
or suspended light fittings allow you
to plug the holes in the ceiling and
can be insulated right over.
If your house is not insulated or the
insulation is old or needs topping
up, you will struggle to stay warm. If
you can do it safely, get a step-ladder
and peek through the hatch of your
ceiling into your roof space to see if
you have insulation.
Add a top-up layer of insula-
tion if it:
• Is less than 12cm thick (it should
be thicker than the height of the
• Doesn’t cover the whole ceiling
• Has gaps in it, or places where it
is squashed or tucked in.
Check under your house — if you
have old ripped foil insulation (don’t
touch this as there is a small risk it
could be live) or old bulk insulation,
you will need to get it replaced.
1. Talk to your electricity company about
which plan is best for you. Most companies
provide options including direct debits at a
flat rate all year round, pre-payment meters
and low use rates for people who are very
2. Most of your electricity bill will go on
hot water so use less if you can. Set your
washing machine on a cold wash and rinse
your dishes in cold water. Take short showers
instead of baths. Showers use 60% less water
3. Fix dripping taps. A dripping hot tap can
cost $80 a year but a washer to fix it costs less
4. If your hot water cylinder is old, keep the
heat in by using a hot water cylinder wrap.
These are available from hardware stores.
Make sure the thermostat is set to produce
a temperature of 55degC at the tap (this will
also prevent scalds).
5. Always turn the lights off in rooms when
you leave them. But if you are using energy
efficient light bulbs it is better to leave them
on if you are returning within ten minutes.
6. Appliances that have a standby function
(such as tvs, stereos, mobile chargers,
computers or microwaves) should be turned
off at the wall. This can save you up to $75 a
7. Clothes dryers can be very expensive to
run so try not to use them unless you really
have to. Heated towel rails are also expensive
and cost around $120 a year to run.
8. Make sure there is generous air space
behind the back of your fridge and try to
locate it out of direct sunlight, or in a cooler
room like the laundry. Don’t open the fridge
door too often or leave it open.
9. Make sure you cool food before putting
it in the fridge. Turn off your second or ‘drinks’
fridge — this could be costing you $190
When cooking keep the oven door closed.
Always keep lids on pots and use as little
water as possible to cook foods.
Simmer rather than boil food and if possible
use a microwave, as this uses 30-40 per cent
less power than a conventional oven.
Defrost food naturally if possible, (in the
fridge is best) rather than in the microwave.
10. Insulate your home - subsidies for
landlords and homeowners
Insulation is the best way to keep your
house warm and save on heating costs.
The government has subsidies available in
many parts of the country to help landlords
and homeowners save hundreds of dollars on
ceiling and floor insulation, draught stopping
and hot water cylinder wraps.
— M inistry of Social Development
Accredited and approved Fujitsu,
Toshiba and Mitsubishi agent
Competitive prices and quality
Free no obligation quote
Your heat pump expert
62 Tancred Street, Hokitika 2 Swainson Street, Greymouth 0800 533 338 firstname.lastname@example.org
“WE GUARANTEE TO BEAT
ANY ADVERTISED YUNCA FIRE
PRICE ON THE COAST.”
Be warm this winter
Buy NOW & SAVE!
We are proud stockists of:
Yunca Multi-fuel & Wood Fire
Fisher Multi-fuel & Wood Fires
Rinnai Gas Fires
Gazco & Jetmaster Fires
Natures Flame Pellet Fires
Waghorn Butler Chippie Fires
Winz quotes &
(03) 768 7291
or 027 655 7001
Bone dry mill offcuts
Boot, trailer or truck loads
Wood and Kindling
A good quality underlay
prolongs the life of your carpet
and makes it feel softer and springier.
It also helps soundproof a room and
provides extra insulation against heat loss.
CALL IN AND SEE OUR
DREAM WALK DISPLAY IN STORE
COAL MINES LTD
Public weighbridge available
Suppliers of Industrial and Household Coal
bag – trailer – truck load
GILES CREEK COAL
FAST Nut Coal
(All incl GST)
Kaiata Yard – Ph 7687439 or 7685658
434 State Highway 7.
(All sizes of household coal available)
Reefton Mine – Ph 7328360
Hokitika Yard – Ph 7557733
We also fill all other
LPG bottle sizes at
Ph 03 768 0311
Easy fixes for cold, draughty West Coast homes
What are the most eco-friendly heating
options this winter?
10 easy ways to save money and cut your electricity costs
Newcastle St, Cobden Ph (03) 768 5771
+ free hard hat
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Westland Lawnmower Services
NORTH SHORE, COBDEN
Setting the Standard
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