As summers get hotter each year, Australians are looking for solutions that can effectively cool their homes with minimal impact on electricity bills and the environment. Passive cooling techniques based on harnessing natural resources are being increasingly employed by homeowners to keep temperatures down even on the hottest days.
The Australian Window Association (AWA) estimates that 40 per cent of a home’s heating energy is lost through windows and up to 87% of a home’s heat is gained through windows.
However, there are a number of cost-effective ways to minimise both heat gain and heat loss in a home.
According to the Australian Government’s Your Home guide to environmentally sustainable homes, shading windows, walls and roofs from direct solar radiation, and using lighter coloured roof materials to reflect heat are some of the ways to improve the efficiency of the home’s envelope and minimise heat gain in the home.
Passive cooling is one of the most effective ways to keep temperatures down in your home naturally; this can be achieved by enabling free flow of air, which will increase evaporation, decrease humidity and carry heat out of the building. Air movement can be enabled through well-designed and positioned windows, doors and vents, and unrestricted breeze paths.
Cooling requirements typically peak in late afternoon or early evening, and this is when cooling breezes naturally occur. Harnessing these breezes by maximising their flow is an essential component of passive design.
Screens from Crimsafe Security Systems are proven to improve the energy efficiency of a window by up to 53 per cent. Crimsafe screens are designed to keep harsh UV rays out, while allowing fresh air to flow freely inside your home.