Keep warm keep well

Jenny Dobson, a lucky Hastings resident, is now keeping well and warm after winning a promotion to have her house insulated for free.

Mrs Dobson entered the competition on tips on how to stay warm and well over winter which was run by Hawke’s Bay District Health Board and Health Hawke’s Bay.

Winning the competition means Mrs Dobson now needn’t worry that the cold, of her previously uninsulated 1950’s home, will affect the health of her three young grandchildren when they visit as the house will now be drier and warmer whenever they come to stay.

Caroline McElnay Medical Officer of Health said more people get sick over winter and one of the ways to combat illness was to stay warm and keep active.

Dr McElnay said cold houses affected everyone who lived in them – “children find it difficult to concentrate and it may affect their homework and conditions such as arthritis become worse in damp cold houses”.

“When the temperature drops below 9-12 degrees blood pressure increases and people with a heart condition may put themselves at a greater risk because of the cold - the ideal room temperature is 21 degrees,” she said.

Tareha O’Reilly an Energy Advocate from Energy Options Limited who installed the insulation at the Dobson’s house said the family would notice an immediate difference - “there will be no more rising damp through the wooden floors and it will improve the well being of everyone who lives in the house or who comes to stay”.

Hundreds entered the competition which was so successful the DHB and Health Hawke’s Bay plan to do it again next year.

Anyone wanting more information regarding insulation and home heating can phone Energy Options 0800 15 15 65.

Anyone whose home was built before 2000 is eligible to apply for government funding to install insulation and clean efficient heating. If you have a community services card you may be eligible for further funding towards the cost of insulation.

Shown above: Tareha O’Reilly from Energy Options with Jenny Dobson and Dr Caroline McElnay (bottom) helping with the insulation.

HBDHB MEDIA RELEASE: 28 September 2011