We have been living through a hot summer. And let’s face it, temperatures during our summers seem like they are poised to go up. It is the reality of the climate now and is the reality of living in Sydney.
The good news is, there are some clever home additions and renovations that will keep your home cool and save you money down the track. Let’s take a look at four essential home renovations that will cool down your home.
A cooler home during the summer is a home you and your family will enjoy more. Plus we do our bit to save the planet.
A well designed addition where the designer understands how to deal with Sydney’s climate will be so much more comfortable than one where the designer has little idea about thermal comfort.
1 – Good Design of an Upstairs Addition
Basic Orientation: If the main rooms and windows can orientate North you will keep the worst of the early morning and late afternoon sun out in summer. Amazingly, the sun gets further into a North facing room in winter because the angle of the sun is lower at that time of year.
Avoid having unprotected windows facing East and West. Where there are good views in those directions the windows should be shielded from the sun with eaves, blinds or a veranda roof. Heat from direct sunlight cast onto a window will invite the heat into the room. Therefore you will want shades. Locate them to avoid sunlight blasting against your window panes.
Conversely a room which orientates South only will be possibly OK in summer but cold and gloomy all winter. If a room orientates mainly South consider introducing another window which faces East or west so there is direct sunlight into the room at least for some of the day.
The main thing added to the envelope of an addition is thermal insulation. This comes most often in the form of glass fibre batts.
100mm thick batts in the ceiling keep a lot of the heat out in summer and in winter. If you step up to 150mm thick batts a very high proportion of the heat from the sun is kept out in summer. About 90% of the heat gained in a house comes through the roof. So good roof insulation is very effective in reducing heat gain.
Wall insulation is also valuable and relatively easy to provide during construction. However, it is not so easy later on once we have completed and lined your walls. Filling up the walls with basic 90mm thick fibre insulation does the job pretty well. Going further, another material, known sometimes as Insulclad or Renderlook even more effective in increasing your home’s insulation values. It does this by adding a thickness of about 75mm of polystyrene insulation as an outside skin to the walls.
Another choice you can make is to use lighter colours. Lighter colours on your outer surfaces will reflect the sun rather than let the heat soak in. You can choose lighter-coloured metal sheet roofing, windows, walls, gutters, balustrades.
2 – Adding a Veranda or Roofed Patio To Your Home
A home addition such as a patio will not only block the sun and keep your indoors cool, it can also act as an additional outdoor room for the days when the indoor temperature becomes a bit too warm.
The patio itself serves as a shade and decreases direct exposure to the sun’s rays. On hot summer months, having a patio can cut down on cooling costs in your home significantly. It does so by stopping the direct rays of the sun from striking the sliding doors.
3 – Using modern windows
Windows are arguably the biggest weak spots when it comes to insulating your home. Most of the heat gain into a room in summer comes from the windows.
When the direct sun ray strikes a glass window pane it heats up the glass. This effectively turns your window into a radiator reflecting the heat across the room.
The science of glass has come a long way recently and many forms of reflective glass are now economically available in residential windows.
At the top end of the market, you can get double glazed windows which dramatically reduce the ingress of heat from sunlight and reduce heat loss in winter.
Take advantage of today’s modern materials, glazing technology, and closing mechanisms. The difference can be stunning. As a bonus, you get to transform the look and feel of your home at the same time.
4 – Cross-Ventilation
Typically you will want to avoid air conditioning. The design for your new accommodation should incorporate that. Ventilation from one side of a room to the other through opposing windows is extremely effective.
Similarly, we endeavor to design for air flows through one room to another or down the passageway and out the opposite end of the house.
This airflow becomes even more effective when it is let through a window which faces the prevailing wind. Cross ventilation keeps the temperature down and makes us feel cooler because of evaporation.
Add-Style Produces Home Renovations That Address Your Needs
Servicing Sydney’s northern suburbs and beaches, we know what it’s like to live with Australian heat. Over 33 years of designing and building on the Northern Beaches we have accumulated a lot of experience when it comes to the right home design.
We want to build you a home that is as comfortable in the summer as it is in the winter.
Call us now for a consultation and find out how we can design and build renovations that will cool down your home. Get a cooler, energy-efficient home that’s just right for you and your family!