• Open curtains (including net curtains) during the day and close them at night. The sun is free heating.
  • Have thermal lined curtains (2 layers of fabric).
  • The right heater makes it easier to heat your home, and reduces the cost of heating. A heater with a thermostat and timer is best.
  • It is recommended to heat children’s bedrooms to 20°C, adults’ bedrooms to 18°C and living areas to 20°C.
  • Use door snakes and draught tape to stop cold air getting into your home.
  • Stop cold air getting into your home by stopping draughts around doors, windows and fireplaces.
  • Find out if your home is insulated. If it isn’t, you may qualify to have insulation installed for free.


  • Wipe wet windows and walls in the morning.
  • Pull beds and bedding away from the walls and keep mattresses off the floor.
  • Clean mould with white vinegar, spray onto mould or use a cloth or old toothbrush (for hard to reach corners), leave for 1 hour (to allow time to work) then wipe down with clean soapy water and cloth, rinse cloth thoroughly.
  • Open windows for 30 minutes each day (once in the morning, and once before you go to bed at night).
  • Dry washing outside, or in the garage/carport.
  • Use pot lids when cooking.
  • Open a window and close the door in the kitchen when cooking, and in the bathroom when you shower or bath, to let steam out.


  • Children should have their own beds/bedding if possible.
  • Create as much space as possible between the heads of sleeping children to prevent germs from spreading.
  • Working smoke alarms save lives. Call 0800 NZ FIRE for firefighters to visit and provide you with a free fire-safety inspection. You may qualify to have a free long-life photoelectric alarm installed.
  • Every time your child has a sore throat it could be serious. Don’t ignore it! Take them to a doctor or nurse straight away to get it checked.
  • Call Healthline on 0800 611 116 if you are worried about your child. Nurses are there 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to offer free health advice.
  • Avoid the use of unflued gas heaters as they release harmful gas and lots of water into the air, making your home damp.


Key tips for a warmer, drier home

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Last updated 26 October 2023.