The traditional solution we look for in artificially altering the indoor climate with air conditioning is misguided, argues

Velux says that by mechanically altering the climate, home owners are adding costs to a household that could otherwise be saved in a more energy-efficient house. And then there are also the ongoing energy costs for running the system .

But with architects, designers and builders now concentrating on providing more energy efficient housing, it is possible to live in a home that requires no air conditioning and still be comfortable all year round, says Velux.

Passive solar energy should be considered when planning the house, providing an opportunity for cooling afternoon and nightly breezes to be directed inside the home to let nature deliver the comfort without the ongoing energy costs.

One of the best ways to introduce cooling air flow into a home is with openable skylights. Modern, energy efficient skylights feature double glazing that allows a double benefit – beautiful natural daylight without uncomfortable heat gain during the day and screened ventilation at night. Electric models offer rain sensors that will close the skylights automatically if the weather turns nasty and timer functions for complete control of the air.

Natural light and ventilation isn’t restricted to new homes. Openable skylights can be installed in existing homes to transform the indoor environment and improve the comfort level – even in an Australian summer.