Qualifying Evidence of the Healthy Homes Heating Standard

To meet the heating standard of the healthy homes standards, there must be one or more fixed heaters that can directly heat the main living room. The main living room is the largest room that is used for general, everyday living – for example a lounge, family room or dining room. In many cases, the open plan kitchen and dining are deemed the largest living room.

Heater(s) must be fixed (not portable) and must be at least 1.5 kW in heating capacity and meet the minimum heating capacity needed for the main living room, and landlords must be able to prove that they have calculated the heating capacity in one of three ways.

So how do we ensure that we meet the heating capacity?

There are three options to calculate the minimum heating capacity required for heaters in your rental property’s main living area, and it is vital that landlords use and retain the evidence that the heater(s) they install meets the capacity.

Options include:

1. Using the heating assessment tool
2. Using the formula in the regulations
3. Using a professional to assess the required heating capacity to meet the heating standard.

The easiest and most commonly used option is the heating assessment tool, however, for more complicated room layouts, you may need to use the formulae in the regulations to calculate the heating capacity. You will more than likely require an industry expert to do this for you unless this formula, h = [t + v + (f × 40) ] ÷ 1000 makes sense to you, and then you have to calculate what all the letters mean, when most of us haven’t done algebra since high school!

These are the two commonly used options for assessing the required heating capacity of a rental property, and a professional healthy homes assessor is trained to use either of these first two options.

However, instead of using the heating assessment tool or one of the heating formula in the regulations, certain qualified specialists are able to assess what heating capacity is acceptable for your property to meet the heating standard. This option may be the most economic for developers to use as in many cases they have already engaged a heating specialist. It could also be used by landlords who have existing qualifying heating that they believe is acceptable but doesn’t meet the capacity required by the formula or tool, however that means engaging a specialist and incurring the cost to do so.

A qualified specialist is:

• A registered chartered engineer under the Chartered Professional Engineers of New Zealand Act 2002,
• An International Professional Engineer (IntPE) registered with Engineering New Zealand, or
• A person that has completed a tertiary engineering, physics or building science qualification (at New Zealand Qualification Framework Level 7 or above) and has at least 5 years of experience in heating system design.

Harcourts strongly recommends using a professional healthy homes assessor for options 1 and 2, to assess your rental property for healthy homes compliance to avoid making costly mistakes, such as installing a heat pump in the smaller living room and having to purchase another for the largest living room, or installing a heater that is too small and does not meet the required heating capacity, only to have to replace it with the right sized heat pump. For new developments, option 3 and using a qualified specialist may be recommended.