Gab Learns

Gab asks the questions every Kiwi wants answers to..

Gab thought she knew a thing, or two, about heating. Well the basics, at least.

She knew if the heater was on it would heat the surfaces and area of that room, and if she added another layer of clothing she’d feel warmer.

However, it wasn’t until she started working with the team at Oculus that she realised how she was heating her home, and how she was keeping herself warm was all wrong.

Lesson One: Heating

Image module
Image module

Heating your home well can be easily achieved, but if your home isn’t insulated well it is like sleeping with a blanket only covering your legs! 

Gab wants to know how to locate energy leakage in her home, what an R Value is and how to minimise energy loss through doors and windows.

Lesson Two: Insulation, Energy Leakage and Draughts

Who knew windows were key to keeping your home healthy? There is more to windows than we know and Gab wants to know why we need to do more than just open windows and doors to ventilate our homes properly.

She dives into condensation, why thermal curtains won’t solve the world and why double glazed is better than single (both windows and doughnuts).

Lesson Three: Windows, Ventilation + Condensation.

Image module
Image module

So what exactly is the building envelope? Why is it important? And what can I do if mine isn’t sound?

Gab wants to know what makes up the envelope and how every part of the enclosure plays a role in keeping homes healthy.

She discovers the three components and what we need to take note of.

Lesson Four: The Building Envelope

Mould. There’s nothing good about it, and no level or amount of it should be found in your home.

Gab wants to know where mould comes from, what is it and what it needs to live.

She learns there are three things that mould needs to grow, and what we can do to eliminate mould to ensure we live in a healthy home.

Lesson Five: Mould

Image module
Image module

Have you ever rented a property? Lived in a rental while you looked to buy your own house, or perhaps renting is your preference?

When renting a home there are plenty of things you should look at, loads of questions you should ask, and why? Well, to make sure you are living in a warm, dry and comfortable home (even if you don’t own it)!

Gab asks these questions and learns the answers – many of which are very similar to those you should ask/learn when looking to purchase a home.

Lesson Six: Renting a Home

Gab may not be overly enthused by the stigma around owning a home – however for the love of Gab Learns she dives into it.

She finds out what it is you should be looking at before moving in, how to recognise a ‘cover up’ and where money is best spent on improving the performance your new home.

Lesson Seven: Buying a Home

Image module
Image module

Designing a home – the crème de la crème of owning a home. But what questions should be asked, and who should you enlist to help your dream home become your forever home? 

Gab finds out where to start, what to ask and which professionals to speak to..

Lesson Eight: Designing a Home

Spring has officially sprung. So, what does this mean for our home? Do we need to spring-ready our home? Like our wardrobe, do we need to put our winter one away and make room for the new season? How do we know, and what should we know?

Gab makes way for her spring/summer wardrobe, and then finds out where to start with her home

Lesson Nine: Spring has Sprung

Image module
Image module

It feels warmer, maybe not summer warm but spring warm! We no longer need our winter coats, the heater isn’t on as often and we’re starting to feel warmer in our homes. But what happens when it’s TOO warm?

Gab asks about what it is we need to know as we move into the warmer months and why shading is such an important contributor to home comfort.

Lesson Ten: Shading 

Heading into warmer months, spring is here, and summer is coming. But what does this mean for how we feel in our homes? We have just spent the last six months warming up our home over winter, and it’s cosy – but potentially too warm as the seasons are changing. So, what now…?

Gab learns about air movement and why this is key to keeping you, and your home cool this spring and summer.

Lesson Eleven: Air Movement

Image module
Image module

Spring is here (if you watch the video, you can tell from our clothing), and that means allergies are here too (noooo!)

We vaguely know why we react the way we do when spring rolls through, but what can we do about?

Gab asks what we can do to keep the pollutants out of the home, and the allergies at bay.

Lesson Twelve – Allergies

We’re into a new season of Gab Learns, and while in previous podcasts and articles we covered housing concepts, however we now dive deeper into specific projects.

Gab welcomes Denise Martin to the hot seat to ask questions about being part of a national project for Housing New Zealand (now Kāinga Ora) and answers our questions about the retrofit of a Starblock.

Lesson Thirteen: Starblock Retrofit

Image module