With temperatures consistently above 30 degrees and all-too-frequently punching upwards of 40 degrees, we need our houses to be oases of cool through those long summer days.
Unfortunately, Aussie homes are about as heat resistant as a “plastic bag” says the co-author of a paper calling for the Building Code of Australia to boost heat resistant housing.
“The real concern is, with newly-built buildings that are compliant with the building code, they might get over-insulated and have very high airtightness, but at the same time they lack the natural ventilation and have a lack of shading devices,” University of South Australia research associate Gertrud Hatvani-Kovacs told the ABC.
“They behave like a plastic bag and do not let the building cool down, so their energy efficiency can be very counterproductive.”
So what to do about it? Well changes to the building code would be effective in the long term. But that doesn’t help those of us living in air-conditioned plastic bags today.
So here are some tips from Dr Hatvani-Kovacs to help you stay cool without always relying on air con.
- Retreat to the south facing part of your house which is typically the coolest area.
- Roll up rugs on a concrete slab floor to dissipate the heat into the ground as much as possible.
- Shade your windows and open them at night.
- Put a wet blanket over an open window to cool air as it enters your home.
- Don’t discount the old ceiling fan.