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Passive cooling for Sunshine Coast Homes

Heat build-up is a common problem in many Sunshine Coast Homes, during our long hot summers.




Heat build up can be readily managed in an energy efficient home.

One cost effective way to control the temperature in your home is known as passive cooling. Passive cooling, and heating for that matter, is an excellent way to regulate temperature year round within a comfortable range. Instead of consuming energy, effective temperature control can be built into the design of your new home.

This means lower costs and comfortable homes right through the heat of the summer months. All new homes need to incorporate passive cooling at the design stage to get the best results.

There are several ways of incorporating passive cooling in Sunshine Coast Homes.


Windows and shading

Besides providing for natural light, windows can be designed to reduce heat gain, especially during the summer by double glazing or placing and sizing windows strategically. Glazing helps to insulating the building from heat gain or heat loss depending on the weather. Shading can help in passive cooling by keeping out direct sunlight into a building. Shading can be implemented by planting plants or by use of curtains, shutters or blinds. Tinting the windows can also help.


Orientation

Orientation comes into play during the construction of the home as it can influence the amount of solar access to a building. Further, the presence of obstacles such as existing buildings and the slope of the site can affect the amount of sunlight reaching the building. Achieving good passive cooling requires a site where during the day, the living areas face the north predominantly. .


Windows and shading

Besides providing for natural light, windows can be designed to reduce heat gain, especially during the summer by double glazing or placing and sizing windows strategically. Glazing helps to insulating the building from heat gain or heat loss depending on the weather. Shading can help in passive cooling by keeping out direct sunlight into a building. Shading can be implemented by planting plants or by use of curtains, shutters or blinds. Tinting the windows can also help.


Ventilation

Ventilation allows for air movement to keep a fresh supply of air circulating throughout the home. To achieve this, window placement, style and size need to be considered. Good ventilation helps in managing temperatures as the rising hot air is naturally exhausted from the building through pressure differences. Hot air rises, cooler air flows into the house, thus helping to maintain cool temperatures inside the building.


Thermal Mass

Thermal mass refers to the capacity of certain building materials to absorb, retain and release energy from the sun when they are part of the construction of your home. If you have spent time living in the Southern states, you might be familiar with the “heat bank”, which is a form of heating that was once very popular.

The “Heat bank” is essentially a metal box full of masonry bricks with a heating element inside. Timers turn the elements on during “off-peak” periods, when electricity is cheaper, to be released using a fan blowing over the hot blocks during times of peak energy consumption.

In the same way, building elements such as concrete, masonry and tiles absorb energy from the sun in the heat of the day and this energy, like it or not, is released into your home throughout the night. During winter, this is a good thing, but it is not so good in summer when we often need to crank the AC up to get the bedrooms down to a temperature where comfortable sleep is possible.

Generally speaking, thermal mass is a good thing in cool temperate regions, but The Sunshine Coast is subtropical, so avoiding or limiting thermal mass, and using forms of light weight construction with better thermal insulation properties is often a wiser choice.


Passive cooling is within your control

Contact Allison 0404 746 663 for an obligation free chat about how to build passive cooling and heating principles into the design of your new home on the Sunshine Coast


#passivesolardesign #sunshinecoasthome

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