Nelson Lebo describes himself as a 'house doctor' and through his work as an Eco Design Advisor in Palmerston North, he's 'diagnosed' more than 2000 homes in the central North Island.

His role there is to help people manage their homes more efficiently, especially during winter.

"The house doesn't come with an operating manual," Lebo said.

"It's one of our most expensive, biggest investments that we spend the most time in, and there is no operating manual."

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Nelson and his wife Dani Lebo run an eco-school near Whanganui where they teach a certificate in permaculture. They're now ready to take their 'house doctor' service nationwide.

During the Covid-19 lockdown, the Lebos noticed people quickly adapted to using technology to communicate and saw it as the perfect opportunity to change their business model to reach a wider market.

"Everybody's talking about the new normal and new ways of doing things," Lebo said.

"Working from home, working remotely and Zooming, and we want to apply that model to home consultation. I'd like to be able to advise people remotely whether it's on email, whether it's a Skype session or Facebook Live."

Sources of condensation and damp are not always obvious yet can result in unhealthy homes and large power bills. Lebo has a Phd in Science and Sustainability Education and is passionate about warm, dry homes for everyone. But, he says there is too much information on the internet and a lot of it is confusing or contradictory.

"What people are craving is someone to help them through the confusing information that's out there.

"Also, there are actually quite a few things that can be done for free."

The Lebos are pitching their business model to large organisations such as district health boards, councils, iwi or companies who want to offer additional staff benefits.

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The organisation pays the membership and their employees, members, or constituency get free access to his house doctor service.

Replacing home visits with virtual consultations will save time and money, allowing for many more diagnoses, and making the business model a little bit greener.

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