Here we look at 5 things that can make your home warmer and drier, and don’t cost anything!


1. Cover the top of curtains. If there is a gap between the wall and the curtain rail, at the top of your curtains, then put a rolled up sheet over the top to cover this gap. Why? The warm air that sits at ceiling height is drawn to the cooler window, sinks through this gap behind the curtain, and cools. If the curtains don’t touch the floor, this cooling air will come out the bottom. The warmer air from the ceiling is then drawn in to fill this void, cools and falls. And the cycle continues. A sheet (or equivalent) will stop this cycle of heat loss. A great trick for bedrooms!

2. Ventilate. Once a day open the doors and lots of windows for 15-20 minutes. This will replace all the indoor stale and damp air, with fresh and drier air from the outside. Ideally do this before midday.

3. Let the sun in. Open curtains and nets when the sun is on the windows. Many of us like to leave out nets closed during the day, but this is restricting significant amounts of heat energy from coming into your home. For every hour that a 1 square metre window is facing the sun, about 1 kWh of heat energy will enter the house. That’s the same as running a 5 fin oil column heater for an hour, at a cost of about about 25-30 cents.

4. Dry your washing outside. Drying clothes indoors is one of the main contributors to indoor dampness. Picture the weight difference between a wet and dry load of washing. It might be around 3-5 kg, which is 3-5kg of water. Drying this inside means you are releasing 3-5 litres of water vapour into your home.

5. The bathroom window. Open the bathroom window during and after showering for around 20 minutes, and get all that nasty steam out. But don’t leave it open all day, which is seen in many Kiwi homes. The house is trying to heat up from the sun during the day, but much of this heat is heading toward the cold bathroom and out the window.


Ideally, you would ventilate in the morning, open curtains and nets, close the bathroom window, and you will come home to a warmer, drier house.