Everyone knows that a cold home is uncomfortable and not very enjoyable, but a lot of people don’t realise that having a consistently cold home can negatively affect your health.
In 2018, the World Health Organization (WHO) developed their ‘Housing and Health Guidelines’ which looks directly into how better housing conditions can improve people’s health and save lives. This report looked at a number of different factors that cause health problems and the recommendations and solutions on how to have a healthy home.
Two of the key topics this report investigated were optimal household temperatures and the effects of insulation on your health.
What is the optimal household temperature?
WHO found that cold air causes the body to function differently and increases the risk of health issues including respiratory problems, high blood pressure and asthma. They compared adults who were living in houses with temperatures below 18°c to those living in houses with temperatures above 18°c and found more health issue occurred to those living in colder homes.
Based in this investigation they recommend that the ideal room temperature for your home is 18°c which will help protect you and your family’s health during the colder months. If you have babies or are elderly, increasing the room temperature to 21°c is recommended due to being at higher risk of poor health.
Does insulation have an impact on your health?
This report also investigated whether insulation made an impact on people’s health. The study looked at homes where at least one person suffered from respiratory issues such as asthma. They discovered that people living in homes that were well insulated had less severe respiratory symptoms, better mental health and lower rates of the winter colds and flus.
What can you do?
Keeping your home at 18°c whenever occupied (day and night) will allow you and your family to stay healthy and lowers the risk of some health issues. This can be achieved by ensuring your home is well insulated and you have a reliable and effective heating source.
At EnergySmart we want New Zealanders to be living in healthy warm homes and offer free in-home assessments to check whether you have sufficient insulation and heating. We are also a provider of the Warmer Kiwi Homes Subsidy which allows eligible low-income homeowners up to 80% off the cost of ceiling and underfloor insulation and a Heat Pump.
Contact our Customer Services team on 0800 777 111 to check your eligibility.
Reference: WHO Housing and health guidelines: https://www.who.int/publications/i/item/WHO-CED-PHE-18.10