You’d nearly need a foreigner to visit to realise how cold your house is,” Dermot McElroy of Heat Pumps Ireland jokes when he learns I’m originally from Canada. “Or, you’d need to spend time in a colder country, where heating is more of a priority.” We’re talking about my early experiences in Ireland. I moved here in March 2013 – not the warmest time of year. In truth, during those first months in our draughty bungalow, I had never felt colder.

My husband and I are currently building a new home on the farm. During the design process, when asked what was on my wishlist, I only had two items: consistent heating and on-demand hot water. Luckily for me, new Irish builds are increasingly airtight; with better insulation and ventilation systems, making them comfortably warm when combined with an efficient heat source.