Is your home hot during summer and cold during winter?
New homes within SA have to comply with 6 Star requirements, this was introduced by the Government as an initiative to increase the energy efficiency, thermal comfort and overall functionality within a new home. However if you are not in the market for a new home, there are a number of options available:
1. Install insulation – this is a minimal cost to improve your energy efficiency. A house will lose its heat through the ceiling, then the walls and floors, therefore ensure that you insulate firstly your ceiling
2. Limiting open plan spaces – where possible limit warm or cool air escaping into areas that are not used often. Look at fixing drafty doors and windows with new seals and limiting living spaces from sleeping spaces, when they are not being used
3. Ventilation solutions for hot, damp and cold spaces: if you have rooms which are facing either west or south or are always hot, musty or damp there are options that are available to fix this.
a. Improve the natural ventilation to remove hot air or mechanically ventilate mouldy and stuffy spaces to create healthy and fresh rooms
b. Roof space ventilation for hot air removal – mechanical ventilators work better than vents alone
Energy efficient or green homes work the best when the roof space is large and well ventilated and the roof sheeting is separated from the ceiling joists. This type of construction method will reduce summer cooling bills but also removes the moisture in the air derived from wet area fans.
4. Selecting the right colours for your home, can assist, as such light colours reflect sunlight and heat therefore avoid using dark colours for roof areas and cladding
5. Introduction of plants as a shading technique. By planting a large bushy deciduous tree on the western side of your house can protect your home from the afternoon sun and in winter the sun will be able to stream into your home
6. North facing living areas. Best way is to review your home and find out where the sun works well in your home and then you can adopt your living rooms to where it is warm and sunny during winter and cool and shaded during summer
7. Introducing window shading like window shutters – if you can limit or reduce the heat from the outside of your home this will assist internally as such if you have a window which faces north a shading device such as an awning can assist
8. It is important to keep the humidity levels down. Controlling the humidity also brings other benefits like an increase in efficiency of heating system and feeling comfortable at a lower temperature.
My Builder Friend
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