What does a healthy home look like?

Information sourced from Genless.govt.nz, an EECA initiative.

A healthy home depends on good heating, insulation, ventilation, drainage and draught reduction, government standards tell us. Find out more about how each of these contribute to a warm and comfortable environment at your place.


A healthy home should have one or more fixed heaters that can directly heat the main living room to a minimum of 18°C. As a rule of thumb, between 100W and 150W is required for every square meter of area in a typical NZ home, and so a small living room with 10 - 13m2area will require a 1.500 kW heater. To calculate the minimum heating capacity needed for your room, use the government’s Heating Assessment Tool.


Good insulation makes houses easier and more cost-effective to heat. It stops heat escaping easily and keeps the home drier and less prone to mould. Ceiling insulation should be at least 12cm thick and will ideally be thicker than the height of the ceiling joists.


Ventilation is important for a healthy home. A healthy home should have windows that can be opened in the living room, dining room, kitchen and bedrooms. Extractor fans in the kitchen and bathroom are also necessary for reducing dampness.

Moisture ingress and drainage

A healthy home needs efficient drainage to help remove storm water, surface water and groundfall. Gutters, downpipes and drains are important to make sure water falls from the roof and away from the house.


Draughts contribute to lower household temperatures in Winter. This can cause spikes in your energy bill. To reduce draughts, unused fireplaces should be blocked off. Minimising gaps or holes in doors, floors, walls, ceilings, windows and skylights also helps to contribute to a draught-free, healthier home. For a healthier home, complete the Green Building Council’s HomeFit Self-Assessment Checklist

You can help make a difference!

Help to keep thousands of Kiwis experiencing hardship warm this winter by making a donation to Whānau Āwhina Plunket and Variety - the Children's Charity.