The world keeps getting warmer and, with sustainability more important than ever, simply building bigger air conditioning units isn’t a good solution. Luckily, there are many ways you can keep your home cool by making smart decisions during the design or renovation process.
What’s Your Home’s Orientation?
If you’re building a new house, you are at a huge advantage because you will have some control over the orientation of the home and its windows. If the site permits, the house should be oriented so that more of the windows face south. During the summer months, far more sunlight enters a house through east or west facing windows than through those facing south or north. If you know the predominating direction of summer breezes, you can also orient the house to take advantage of these.
Install Window Shades
South-facing windows can effectively be shaded with fixed overhangs because the sun is much higher in the sky in summer than in winter. On east and west windows, fixed overhangs do not work well for shading because the sun’s path through the sky is fairly low. For these windows, use exterior coverings that cover the whole window and can be retracted.
Focus on Insulation
Older houses in New South Wales are notorious for their lack of proper insulation with bedrooms that freeze in winter and warm in summer to oven-levels. Unwanted heat comes in through windows, roofs and walls in these houses. Installing lots of insulation in the building envelope will go a long way toward minimizing unwanted heat gain. The house should also be airtight so that when you want to close up the house during the day to keep heat out, you can do so effectively.
Choose a Reflective Roof
A light-coloured, reflective roof will help to keep unwanted heat out of your house. The best roof should not only be reflective but also be effective at radiating heat away from your home, rather than storing it.
Use Thermal Mass to Your Advantage
Providing thermal mass in the house can help reduce air conditioning requirements. Use of thermal mass, such as a brick chimney, plaster walls or slate floor, can prevent a house interior from getting too hot during the day.
Daylight heat is absorbed by these high-mass materials and effective flushing can then get rid of that heat at night.
Design for Effective Ventilation
When the outdoor temperature and humidity are low enough, homeowners should be able to ventilate the house, exchanging warmer indoor air with cooler outdoor air. It often makes sense to close up a house during the daytime and then carry out “night flushing.” For this to be effective, enough operable windows must be provided.
Consider the Weather When Building Your New Home
The experts at New Living Homes can help you figure out the best option for your Sydney block of land. Our house and land packages are designed to make the most of the Australian weather and keep your family comfortable in all seasons. Contact us on 1300 366 766 or check out our many, customisable designs!