Healthy Homes Heating

September 2022

Reading Time: 3 Minutes

Does it Have to be a Heat Pump?

The Healthy Homes standards dictate that landlords must provide fixed heating devices to heat the main living areas of their rental properties. Heat pumps fit the bill, but they’re not the only option. We look at the alternatives.

What is the Healthy Homes Heating Standard?

To meet the NZ Healthy Homes Standards, rental homes must have a fixed heating device (or devices) that can directly heat the property’s main living area to 18˚C. The heating source may be in the room or provided via a duct or vent located in the room. While heat pumps are often fit for this purpose, other heating devices may be acceptable if they meet a required minimum heating capacity.

Find out more about Healthy Homes Standards and its requirements at our Healthy Homes Hub.

What is the Minimum Heating Capacity?

First up, it’s important to work out the minimum heating capacity required to heat your living space. The easiest way to calculate this is to use the heating assessment tool. This tool takes into account the features of a rental property that may make it easier or harder to heat. Once this calculation has been made it’s possible to assess suitable heating methods.

The Government introduced a new heating formula for modern dwellings and certain apartments in May 2022. The heating assessment tool can calculate the required minimum heating capacity using both the new and original formula.

Read more about the recent changes to the Healthy Homes Standards.

Which Heating Methods are Acceptable?

Aside from heat pumps, wood burners, pellet burners or flued gas heaters are accepted heating sources. Once you have worked out the heating capacity required for your space you can assess which heating method is best suited.

For some small spaces, a fixed electric heater may suffice.  If the required heating capacity for your room is over 2.4 kW you can’t use an electric heater to heat the space, unless you’re topping up existing heating that was installed before 1 July 2019. Heat pumps and electric heaters must have a thermostat to meet the requirements.

Find out more about existing heating regulations.

Which Heating Methods are Unacceptable?

Open fires, unflued gas heaters and other forms of unflued combustion heater are unacceptable. Unfixed heating devices such as portable heaters will not meet the standard.

Does Geothermal Heating Meet the Standard?

Geothermal heating is one alternative heating method that may be used to meet the Standard even though this form of heating does not have a stated heating capacity. However, this heating method is mostly limited to properties in Rotorua.

Find out how geothermal heating can meet the standard.

Should I Engage a Healthy Homes Assessor?

Meeting the Healthy Homes Standards can be confusing. Engaging a professional Healthy Homes assessor to complete a thorough assessment and provide advice on the best heating options for your space is a great idea for landlords.

As an alternative to the heating formula or tool, certain qualified specialists are now able to assess the required heating capacity to meet the heating standard.

At Crockers, our Property Managers receive regular training on the multiple areas of law applicable for landlords, and can help provide the processes and guidance to ensure you meet all of your legal obligations. Find out how a Crockers Property Manager can help you or request a Property Management information pack here.

 

Read more about Healthy Homes Standards and its requirements at our Healthy Homes Hub.

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