South Australia Study Calls for More Heat Stress Resistant House Designs
March 16, 2018 --
The study shows that older, double-brick homes can be more resistant to heat than some homes being built today. Dr Hatvani-Kovacs, a Research Associate with UniSAís School of Information Technology and Mathematical Sciences is therefore calling for a change in the Building Codes of Australia.
Researchers found that an older double brick home with a 2.6-star energy rating and a newer home with a 6-star energy rating used the same amount of energy to cool their respective interiors in a study of typical, single storey brick veneer houses.
Dr Hatvani-Kovacs said that homes might have a higher energy rating simply because they have a better overall performance over the course of a year, since they performed better during the winter months, but they are not energy efficient in summer. She said that housing designs needed to be more energy efficient and heat stress resistant.
Dr Hatvani-Kovacs claims that for Australians it has become too easy to simply turn on the air conditioner and says that it changes our behaviour. We end up demanding lower temperatures in summer because thatís what our bodies have become acclimatised to.
Air conditioning installation should not take the place of well-designed houses with natural shading and ventilation. Planting deciduous trees on the north and west sides of the house, for example, provides a very effective barrier against the sunís rays in summer, whilst allowing most of them to pass through unhampered in winter. Installing outdoor blinds also helps to maintain a cool home without the excessive use of air-conditioning.
Building a veranda around the house is another way of preventing the sunís rays from beating down directly onto the house. These days some homes are even built with no eaves, let alone a veranda. It is no wonder that home occupants invest in top of the range air conditioning installation.
Lighter and reflective roof colours, reflective foil insulation in roof cavities and strategic orientation should all be included in a range of measures taken to deflect heat away from the home. Double glazed windows can rarely be found in Australian homes, but these keep houses warm in winter and cool in summer very effectively.
Dr Hatvani-Kovacs says that building codes need to be revised to include energy ratings that specify how efficient homes are at heating the house in winter and cooling the house in summer, instead of the overall rating that they are given today.
Dr Hatvani-Kovacs says building codes need to incorporate separate energy ratings for heating and cooling to give home owners a more accurate assessment of their efficiency.
Bettmon Air Conditioning services and repairs HVAC systems all over Sydney and regularly conduct air conditioner maintenance on units that have been worked very hard. By thinking ahead, closing curtains before leaving the house on a hot day and opening doors and windows to let a breeze through during cool evenings and nights, reliance on cooling systems can be reduced. This will in turn reduce the need for air conditioner maintenance and unit replacement, reduce energy consumption and has the added benefit of increasing comfort.
Company Name: Bettmon Air ConditioningContact Person: Media Contact