Behavioural issues need to be addressed

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While this research was largely focused on house condition and performance, the homeowner interviews highlighted the need for information about what they could do differently in using and maintaining their home.

Homeowners lacked an understanding of key actions and behaviours to improve their homes - this was partly addressed through the upgrade plans but is an area that needs more work.

Typically, homeowners needed to understand:

  • The importance and need for preventative maintenance - especially the requirement for washing and painting cladding and windows, and keeping gutters clear.
  • How to ventilate a home in a controlled manner to keep mould levels to a minimum.
  • The best and least expensive heating options and their correct usage to maintain efficiency and keep costs to a minimum.
  • The importance of moisture removal at source through adequate mechanical ventilation used at the right time, as well as modifying behaviours such as clothes drying in the home.
  • The importance of addressing moisture ingress as soon as it occurs in order to avoid ongoing or more expensive problems in the future.
  • The use of curtains to retain heat and the importance of letting solar energy into the home when and where it is useful.
  • The importance of building up dedicated savings to fund maintenance issues that will either pay back in the long run or help to avoid larger costs in the future.