Auckland heating experts Heat Pump Guys says there is a lot of misinformation swirling around landlords on what the requirements are for the new heating standards coming in. The company says landlords need to pay attention to some aspects of the new standards.
New Government rules will require every rental home in New Zealand to have a heater in the living room and an extractor fan in the kitchen and bathroom. The new standards are part of the Government's healthy homes standards.
The standards set minimum requirements for heating, insulation, ventilation, moisture and drainage, as well as rules to stop draughts, in all residential rental properties across the country. From mid-2021, all rental homes will be required by law to have a heater that can heat a main living area to 18C.
Kitchens and bathrooms will have to have extraction fans or rangehoods and, where rental homes have an enclosed subfloor space, property owners will need to install a ground moisture barrier to stop moisture rising into the home.
From July 2021, private landlords must ensure their rental properties comply with the stands. All Housing New Zealand houses and registered Community Housing Providers houses must comply with the healthy home standards by July 2023. By July 2024, all rental homes must comply with the new standards.
Heat Pump Guys believes that in many rentals the electric panel heaters are not compliant. If the room heating requirement is more than 2.4kW then a heat pump is the only form of electric heat pump allowed. Home owners can use the heating assessment tool (https://www.tenancy.govt.nz/heating-tool) to assess what the heating requirement is.
Heat pumps also must be sized correctly to ensure performance in all weather conditions to heat the living area to 18 degrees. As heat pumps draw heat energy from outside, the colder it is outside means the heat pump output drops off. This is really important when the winter temperature outside drops to between 0 and 5 degrees - if the unit isn't sized well, or is of poor quality, then the required 18 degrees inside temperature won't be achieved.
Heat Pump Guys believe landlords are getting sucked into buying really cheap units at the moment. “Some providers are just trying to go as low as possible. However, working with many landlords and property managers we've found ongoing reliability is much more important than initial cost. A few hundred now can save months of annoyed and complaining tenants if the heat pump doesn't perform,” said a spokesman for the company.
The company provides reliable installation of heating equipment. “Good installation is very important to ensure the unit runs efficiently, does the job and maintains the manufacturer warranty. The installers should be qualified and experienced with New Zealand heat pump installation practices. Heat pump installation is not a DIY activity,” said the spokesman.