Living in Australia’s climate is great! You get warm temperatures, pretty much all-year-round and even the coldest days aren’t all that cold. If you’re planning a new build, you want to take advantage of the good weather – but you don’t want to spend the long summers wishing you were cool.
There’s so much you can do with your new build, making the most of the weather and saving yourself money at the same time. Here’s a few hot tips to help!
Use Solar Power
There are plenty of ways to use nature to your advantage in a hot climate. This mostly stems from the sun and the ability to transform its energy into our energy. Solar panels are what I’m talking about. Ever since we’ve started taking climate change seriously, the popularity of solar panels has increased dramatically, as more people become aware of the advantages of use of a nearly-infinite resource to power their homes. Solar power isn’t so much a short-term investment, as a long-term one. You won’t see an immediate return on that investment, but in the long-run, you’re looking at thousands, if not tens of thousands of dollars per year in savings.
Build Adjacent Windows
One of the main things you can do to encourage and increase airflow in your home is to open a window on one side of the house, and then on the other side - fairly adjacent to the first. This will create a channel for the air to flow through and act as a natural coolant system, rather than just letting the air in through one window and trapping it inside. This is tip that is relatively inexpensive, and if you can do this for multiple windows, you can have them all open and have maximum airflow, reducing the need for an air conditioning unit.
Location, Location, Location
When you’re building a new house that you’d prefer stays cool in summer, pay attention to where the sun rises and sets. If you want to spend lots of time outside on your back verandah enjoying the breeze, you don’t want to be sitting in direct sunlight. If your main living space is at the side of the house where the sun shines all afternoon – you might consider switching it around. Don’t want to change the layout? Consider your windows instead – how big are they, and will they have adequate covering (such as built-in blinds)?
Buy An Air Conditioning Unit
Given how hot Australian summers are, if you’re building new – this is the one item you don’t want to leave out of the planning. They’re one of the best purchases you can make! Buying an air conditioning unit, or building your house with one already installed upon construction, is a really good investment. It will keep the air in your house at a constant temperature and stop the build-up of mould and mildew in the humidity and the heat. If there isn’t a breeze that allows you to open the windows, the AC is a great next step.
Insulation Is Critical
Building a home with proper insulation, using the latest insulative technology, will keep your home cooler than if you build it without insulation. But it doesn’t just help in summer. Winter nights are known to bring cold air, and sometimes it can get a bit icy, particularly if you live in the valleys or mountains. Having the right insulation will help you all year round, keeping you cooler in summer and warmer in winter.
Living in a hot climate requires you to think a bit like a civil engineer - how can you best use the heat your advantage? Get in touch with your experienced builders for further guidance before you start your home plans.