This section presents additional information about the indoor environment, specifically about New Zealand households with no source of heating.
Houses with no source of heating are likely to be cold and below recommended temperatures. They may also be more likely to be damp and mouldy. Regional climate differences across New Zealand may also influence home heating patterns. Cold homes can cause respiratory problems and other serious health problems . Indoor temperatures below 16°C increase the risk of respiratory infections, and below 12°C stress the cardiovascular system .
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In 2013, 44,800 households did not have a source of home heating, which is 3.0 percent of households. This percentage had increased from 2.4 percent (33,200 homes) in 2006.
Houses in northern New Zealand were more likely to have no source of home heating. Northland, Hamilton and some parts of Auckland had higher proportions of homes without a heating source.
Figure 1: Proportion of dwellings with no heating source, by territorial authority, 2013
Drop in use of bottled gas, wood and coal fires
Some forms of home heating can also affect our indoor and outdoor environment.
The use of bottled gas decreased from 26 percent of homes in 2006, to 15 percent in 2013. In some homes, bottled gas is used with unflued gas heaters. These heaters release carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide and water vapour .
The use of wood and coal fires dropped steadily from 1996 to 2013. While providing home heating, these fires can contribute to outdoor air pollution. For more about wood and coal fires and their contribution to air pollution, go to the wood and coals fires webpage.
Figure 2: Percentage of households using different fuel sources for home heating (%), 1996-2013
Cold, damp and mouldy houses impact on our health and our children's health. Cold homes have been linked to cardiovascular disease and respiratory health .
Information about this data
Fuel types used to heat dwellings
Source: Census (1996, 2001, 2006, 2013), Statistics New Zealand
Definition: The household form of the Census asked about fuel types used to heat dwellings. The data only refer to private occupied dwellings. The outputs available from Statistics New Zealand were:
- Mains gas
- Bottled gas
- Solar power
- No fuels used in this dwelling
- Other fuel(s)
- Response unidentifiable
- Not stated.
Multiple responses were possible, and households were included with every fuel type they identified. Therefore the total number of responses will be greater than the total number of private occupied dwellings.
1. Braubach M, Jacobs DE, Ormandy D (Eds.). 2011. Environmental burden of disease associated with inadequate housing: A method guide to the quantification of health effects of selected housing risks in the WHO European Region. Copenhagen, Denmark: WHO Regional Office for Europe. Available online: http://www.euro.who.int/en/health-topics/environment-and-health/Housing-and-health/publications/2011/environmental-burden-of-disease-associated-with-inadequate-housing.-a-method-guide-to-the-quantification-of-health-effects-of-selected-housing-risks-in-the-who-european-region
2. Howden-Chapman, P., Pierse, N., Nicholls, S., Gillespie-Bennett, J., Viggers, H., Cunningham, M., et al. (2008). Effects of improved home heating on asthma in community dwelling children: randomised controlled trial. British Medical Journal 337: a1411. doi: 10.1136/bmj.a1411
3. Fisk W, Eliseeva E, Mendell M. 2010. Association of residential dampness and mold with respiratory tract infections and bronchitis: a meta-analysis. Environmental Health 9(1): 72. doi: 10.1186/1476-069X-9-72