Gen Less house warming

  • Insulate first - keep the heat where you need it.
  • Choose a heater that uses renewable energy, like wood, wood pellets or electricity (which is about 80% renewable).
  • Choose the most efficient model for the job.
  • Get advice from an expert on the best size and functionality for you.
  • Use and maintain your heater as recommended by the manufacturer.
  • Hold onto your heat – shut doors and curtains, and block drafts.

18˚C is a healthy temperature for any room being used – higher for children, the elderly and people who are ill.

World Health Organisation

The right heater for your room

A really good heater in the room you use most makes a world of difference to health and comfort. A smaller, cheaper one is fine for rooms you use less, like a bedroom or study. Factor in:

  • Price – a fixed, efficient heater might cost more but do a better job.
  • Running costs – cheaper heaters can be more expensive to run.
  • Output – make sure it’s the right size to heat the room.


Need some healthy home advice?

Eco Design Advisors provide free and independent advice on how to make your new or existing home warmer, drier and healthier. They can chat over the phone or visit your place. It's paid for by certain local councils, so get in touch if you live in Auckland, Christchurch, Lower Hutt, Invercargill, Nelson or Palmerston North.

Or, a certified Home Performance Advisor can visit and assess your home, and tailor an improvement plan.



  • Grants to buy a new heater

    Warmer Kiwi Homes is a Government programme offering insulation and heating grants to low-income home owners.

  • Steer clear of these

    Unflued gas heaters, also known as cabinet heaters, tend to be the most expensive type of heating and release toxic fumes and moisture into your house.

Heater running costs vary a lot

This chart shows how much it costs to get the same amount of warmth from different heaters. The cheapest to run are highly efficient, use the cheapest fuel and have no fixed charges.