How Is Smart Technology Changing the Way We Cool Our Homes?

It’s hot outside.  Your air-conditioner has been going ‘around the clock’ and it’s still struggling to keep up.  Worse still, you know you’ve got a hideous electricity bill looming at the end of the month…

This is the typical story of an Aussie homeowner during the summer months.  But thankfully, change is on the horizon!

We don’t have to live like that any longer.  With today’s innovative cooling solutions, we’re changing the way we think about cooling our homes.  Smart ventilation systems are reducing electricity bills across the country, providing cleaner, healthier air, and taking home comfort to another level.

The Odyssey Ventilation System is one that has been designed by and for Australians – and it’s right up there with the latest technology.  It’s not only changing the bottom line of electricity bills, it’s changing the way  we think about air-conditioning and what it can achieve.

So, how does the Odyssey system work?

The Odyssey is an air exchange system that draws hot, stale air from inside the house and replaces it with cooler outside air.  It works day and night, to draw out that stored heat from your home and creating a much more pleasant environment to live in.

On a hot day, the temperature in the roof space of your home can soar to a staggering 70°C! When the outside temperature is hotter than that inside the house, the valve to the home is automatically shut off and the unit works to exhaust hot air from the ceiling cavity. Preventing this hot air buildup in your roof means that your air-conditioners don’t have to work so hard to keep the house at a comfortable temperature.

This means no more hot summer nights tossing and turning and trying to stay cool!  The system works to bring that cool night air flowing through the home and expelling the stored heat from the day that radiates long after the sun’s gone down.

Can this technology really save me money?

Yes!

The Odyssey is a hybrid system that is driven by electricity and wind. Since it’s constantly exchanging the air in the home, it means that your air-conditioner doesn’t have to work so hard. Ultimately, this reduces the amount of electricity consumed, and knocks a significant amount off your monthly bill.  In fact, some happy customers have reported not having to use their air-conditioners at all on days when they would have previously!

So instead of either:

  1. sweating it out day and night to save on the power bill, or
  2. opening the electricity bill in fear and trepidation each quarter…

you can breathe easy, knowing that you’re saving yourself valuable dollars while providing a happier and healthier environment for your family.

Health Benefits of Home Ventilation

One of the most common causes of allergies, asthma and other respiratory complaints is mould inside the house. When we talk about mould, we don’t mean the grey stuff that appeared on that ‘too-old block of cheese’ – we’re talking about awful mildew that grows in the window tracks or on walls and ceilings.

Smart ventilation systems are proven to have significant health benefits.  Modern homes are tightly sealed to achieve energy efficiency. Unfortunately, this means that they are prone to moisture buildup inside, particularly during the winter months.  A lot of moisture can accumulate in the roof space, and although you might not be able to see it, moisture can lead to rotten timbers, corroded metal and stains on the ceiling plasterboard – not to mention throwing out mould spores for you to breath in…!

Smart home systems are here to stay

Smart home technology has become increasingly popular in Australian homes due in part to increased affordability. Almost every new home is equipped with some degree of smart home automation. Whether it be internal speakers, lighting controls, security systems or enhanced home ventilation control.

Are they easy to use?

Yes, they really are! Modern innovative ventilation systems are so easy to use!  They’re fully programmable and with clear, easy to read screens, they are a busy homeowner’s delight.

By using an air exchange system, internal moisture can be controlled by continually exhausting warm, humid air from the home and replacing it with fresh, clean air.  This helps to combat the growth of mould and mildew and also protects the home structure against damage.

As technology advances, we are changing the way we think about cooling our homes.  Instead of sweating it out in an effort to save money or relying on the air-conditioner 24/7, we are realizing that there are other, more natural ways of achieving a comfortable and healthier living environment.  Clean fresh air = happy home!

Natural Home Solutions are home ventilation experts with an outstanding team of experienced professionals. Call us on 1300 884 554 for more information on how a home ventilation system can help you, or to set up an appointment for a free quote in your home. We can help you decide the best solution for your home and budget.

How Do I Know Which Ventilation System Is the Best for My Home?

In generations past, our ancestors built wooden farmhouses that were sturdy, but draughty.  These homes were naturally well ventilated because they weren’t insulated and the wind found its way through all the chinks and cracks in the wood.  Efficiency certainly wasn’t a top priority back then!

House building, like every other industry, has progressed by leaps and bounds. Today’s modern homes have excellent air barriers and meet requirements for ventilation.

However, if your home has lingering odours, is often stuffy or has high moisture content (often noticeable on windows or ceilings) it is highly likely that it is poorly ventilated.  This will lead to the growth of mould (a common allergy trigger) and the likely cause of household odours.

Why is ventilation important in my home?

Ventilation is vital to creating a healthy atmosphere for people living in the house.  If you or your family suffer from respiratory conditions (e.g. bronchitis or asthma) or allergies, it is very important that your house gets the right amount of fresh air.  Also, excessive moisture inside your home could eventually undermine the integrity of its structure.

Types of home ventilation

The first thing that springs to mind in terms of home ventilation is opening up the windows.  And yes, that’s an obvious and easy way to air the house out.  However, it’s not practical all the time and it may be unformfortable for you if the outside weather is cold or wet, or extremely hot.  Also, it could be a safety risk.

Exhaust fans are a great way of shifting stale air from inside a specific room and drawing it outside.  Exhaust fans can be used in kitchens, bathrooms, laundries and indeed anywhere where there’s high moisture content. They are simple systems to install, although they require the expertise of a qualified electrician, and can be retro-fitted.

A Heat recovery ventilation (HRV) system (like our Odyssey Ventilation System) is one of the most efficient ways of ventilating a home.  HRV systems exchange the warm stale air from inside the house with fresh external air.  One of the most popular domestic systems in Australia, they have been proven to eliminate internal condensation and mould problems and greatly improve health conditions such as asthma and allergies.

With proper ventilation you can take the comfort and healthiness of your home up a notch.  With purer and fresher air, your quality of living will be improved, home odours will be greatly reduced – if not totally eliminated – and you can breathe easy knowing that your health is being properly cared for.

There are various effective ways of managing home ventilation, however, you need to consider your specific needs and climatic conditions.  What works well in a warm, coastal zone will not necessarily work well in a cold, snow-prone area.  It is a good idea to enlist the help of a professional before making your decision on what will work best for you.

Natural Home Solutions specialises in the installation of home ventilation systems. We can help you decide what sort of system will work best for your home or business. Call us on 1300 884 554 for more information or to set up an appointment for a free quote.

7 Reasons Why a Ventilation System May Be Right for You and Your Home

7 Reasons Why a Ventilation System May Be Right for You and Your Home

There are many benefits to be gained by installing roof ventilation or subfloor ventilation in your home or business. Below is our list of 7 reasons we hope will help you understand why installing a ventilation system in your home or business can be a good idea.

  1. Protect the structure of your home
    Termites love to make their nests in dark, moist environments. Unfortunately, most homes in Sydney have inadequate ventilation. This helps create the perfect environment for termites to nest and breed in subfloors. By installing a subfloor ventilation or roof ventilation system you can prevent against not only termites, but also protect your floors and roof frames from various types of wood rot associated with highly humid areas.
  1. Avoid mould and mildew
    Mould and mildew can grow and thrive in poorly ventilated homes and buildings – especially when winter sets in. This can cause a variety of health problems and has the potential to damage the structure of your house.
  1. Avoid SEVERAL respiratory problems
    In general, the air in our homes contains pollutants that can cause sinus, asthma, bronchitis and other respiratory problems. By installing the appropriate natural ventilation system, the air in your home is continuously refreshed with clean air from outside. Many studies have proven that fresh air from outside the home is much cleaner and contains less pollutants than the stagnant air inside. The result is that you and your family will breathe easier and suffer less from respiratory issues!
  1. Remove unwanted smells
    You may have a beautiful kitchen range hood that sucks away all the hot, greasy air and smells from cooking, or a terrific bathroom exhaust fan that can clear a steam filled bathroom in minutes. But where does all that hot, moisture laden, grease filled air go? Is it vented out of your home? Or is it trapped up in your ceiling cavity?
  2. Comply with building codes and standards
    It’s vital that this exhaust air is not trapped in your ceiling – the consequences can be damaging to both your health and the structural integrity of your property. If this air is being pushed into your roof cavity rather than being vented outside, then your home is not in compliance with the BCA (Building Code of Australia) and Australian Standards – this will reduce the value of your home.
  1. Avoid skin problems
    If you have pets or you cook at home often, the air in your home can become saturated with dirt, pet dander and dust all of which can clog pores, cause skin irritations, eczema, acne and other skin problems. Having a good ventilation system installed in your home helps removes a large percentage of these pollutants and can help reduce skin issues for you and your family.
  1. Save money
    By reducing the temperature in your ceiling, you reduce the workload on your air conditioner and fans. When they are used less and don’t have to work as hard, you will save money on your electricity bill.

There are so many ventilation products available on the market, how do you know what will work best for you? Which ones will actually do as they promise, and will they last?

We are Sydney’s trusted home ventilation specialists and can answer these questions and more. Our team is dedicated to helping you find the best and most affordable solution for your home.

Call us now on 1300 884 554 or send us a message to schedule one of our specialists to check your house, and we will provide you with a quote for the most suitable solution!

Does mould cause asthma?

Q: Does mould cause asthma?

Research shows that mould can cause asthma in people genetically predisposed to allergies.

Ever noticed spots of mould forming on the bathroom tiles or growing in the kitchen? It may seem harmless but new research has shown that mould around the home not only irritates those with allergies but can go as far as causing asthma in people who are genetically predisposed to the condition. A study done by the University of Western Sydney showed a strong link between certain household moulds and the onset of asthma. As explained by Connie Katalaris, professor of immunology, “The research showed very clearly, with this study at least, that certain indoor moulds can be linked to actually causing asthma in the first place in people who genetically predisposed,” The research looked at 36 different common household moulds and found three to cause asthma. Dustmite, cat, dog and cockroach allergens were also tested in the study yet only mould was shown to be linked to the onset of the condition.

How mould affects us

Living with mould is never a pleasant experience. As mould grows it releases spores into the air. It is when we inhale these allergens that the body begins to produce an allergic response that may present itself with hay fever type symptoms. These mould spores could affect those who already have weakened immune system more severely. For example, those who are receiving certain medical treatments or are known to have a condition that weakens the immune system. As Katelaris points out “It’s possible that mould could produce toxins that harm us in other ways, it’s a very poorly understood area”.

Invisible mould

Interestingly, many of the houses that had the largest recordings of mould spores also had little visible sign of the mould. This is because mould issue are often caused by poor building construction and therefore can occur in the structural part of the home such as the subfloor area and behind walls. When moisture is trapped in these areas with no airflow then mould can easily spread. Leaks, plumbing issues or just simply condensation build up in bathrooms is enough moisture to cause these issues also. Katelaris explains that the study makes clear that

band-aid treatments don’t work,… it has to be at the building level that remediation happens, not just buying anti-mould and wiping it off the wall.

Cleaning and preventing mould

The best way to deal with a mould problem is to prevent it growing in the first place. This will begin with identifying the places that moisture is entering your home and fixing them. So check any leaks in the roof, through windows or plumbing issues. Some sources of moisture such as condensation from showers, kettles and dryers are largely unavoidable. The best way of dealing with these is clear up excess water and supply adequate ventilation to remove trapped moisture. Installing an exhaust fan and a roof ventilation system will ensure that this moisture laden air doesn’t get trapped in roof cavity. The Victorian Department of health suggest when cleaning mould to use a damp cloth and a vinegar, detergent or alcohol solution. While many household cleaners promise results their main ctive ingredient loses potency over time. Likewise these cleaners tend to bleach the mould white instead of killing it. While cleaning mould is important, Katalaris points out that most mould occurs as a result of building structural inadequacies. Other tips to prevent and control mould in your home include:

  • Consider replacing porous materials, such as carpets, soft furnishing or fabrics that are mouldy.
  • Use exhaust fans or open windows when cooking, showering or using the dishwasher.
  • If possible, vent clothes dryers to the outside.
  • When washing mould off hard surfaces make sure you dry it completely: you should use a system of washing and rinsing with several separate buckets and cloths to help avoid recontamination.
  • Get a professional to examine your subfloor and roof cavity for excessive moisture build up and mould growth

Did you like this article? Was it helpful for you? Scroll down and leave a comment and let us know if your house is being affected by mould. I’m going to make sure all the questions are replied to with the best advice for you!

The value of Ventilation in Your home

The value of Ventilation in Your home

If we fully sealed our homes we would only get fresh air when we opened a door or window. We need ventilation to exhaust unwanted smells, water vapour and pollution, and replace it with fresh air, but we also need to manage ventilation so that we can turn it on and off as we need it.

Some people freshen up their homes by leaving their windows and doors open. It is a very practical method of air circulation. However it’s not possible during rainy, cold, hot and snowy weather. We don’t keep windows and doors open in these seasons, and due to this the interior of your home becomes stuffy. This may cause mould, heat and moisture problems. The roof is very important for your home’s well-being and also maintaining the quality of life within your home. A quality roof is the best option to protect you and your home from different elements like rain, harsh wind, heat, ice and snow.

Roof ventilation is vital in any kind of climate. Ventilation can move warm air out of the home and pull cool air into it. Without proper ventilation, you may face different problems in your home. There are different types of ventilation available, like ridge ventilation, turbine ventilation and static ventilation.

Ridge ventilation : Slim and stretched design that permits for distributed air exchange. Changes in wind direction won’t effect the productivity of ridge vents.

Turbine ventilation:  This is a reliable and is very simple to install.

Static ventilation: Comes in many shapes and sizes and must by installed by a professional.

Roof VentilationEach kind of ventilation system has its own benefits and choosing the right one for your home is very important. Natural Home Solutions is one of the most trusted companies in Sydney, offering a few different types of ventilation. Natural Ventilation is an ASIC Registered Company and is insured through Allianz. With more than 10 years of experience, we provide reliable and high quality ventilation solutions for homes and businesses across Sydney. Our experienced team are ready to provide you the best quote for your needs.

You carry and install systems manufactured by Edmonds, Odyssey, Supavent, Wind master, Turbobeam, Airomatic, Ecofan, Solar Brite, Roof Valve, Turboventura, Whirly Mate, Vent-A-Room and Cathedral. One of our experienced and qualified team members can do an inspection of your property and make recommendations as to which system would work best for you.

Natural Ventilation is well known for  skylight installation, subfloor ventilation,  whirly bird and more…

How to Stop Mould from Wreaking Havoc on Your Family’s Health

Although mould has some benefit – such as production of penicillin – these organisms can wreak havoc on your family’s health. Mould can spread rather easily in the Sydney environment, and persist in areas like carpets, tablets, cabinets, and chairs. These organisms also grow in areas we don’t usually see, like the back of the gyprock, ceiling tiles, pipes, attic, roof cavities and sub floor areas.

The good news is that you can control the growth of mould, and prevent it from escalating. Below are some tips for controlling mould growth.

Prevent Moisture

Moisture is critical to the growth of mould – without it these organisms won’t grow. You should immediately dry wet areas to prevent moisture from becoming a breeding ground for mould. This is can be easier said than done in Sydney.

Showers create litres of condensation every day, dry the walls and floor after taking a shower and ventilate the room. Avoid leaving wet clothes in the bathroom or washing machine – instead, hang your clothes to dry. Dry spills on the living room carpet right away.

Check for leaks in pipes that may cause dampness in your kitchen or bathroom. In case of floods, get rid of carpets, bedding and pieces of furniture that cannot be dried completely.

Moisture can also be prevented with proper ventilation. Too much moisture in the sub floor can cause dampness, rotting of wood and unpleasant household odours.  The installation of a sub floor ventilation system can prevent excessive moisture in the sub floor. A well-designed sub floor ventilation system removes ground moisture. After a heavy rainfall, check to make sure your sub floor is dry within 24 to 48 hours. If it’s taking longer, consider if you need better drainage or ventilation.

Winter is the prime time for condensation on your glass and even walls at times. Make sure you open your blinds in the morning to allow air flow behind them. Open windows during the day to stop any mould growth on your windows. As with most mould issues, one of the best preventative measures is natural ventilation.

Monitor Humidity

It’s easy to measure humidity – you can purchase a moisture meter online or from a local hardware store.

Even if you don’t have one, you can usually tell when you open up your home after it’s been closed for a day or two. Does it have a damp musty smell? If you have asthma you will feel it as soon as you enter a home with high humidity. If this describes your home, you’ll need to find the source of the moisture before it affects your health, or your home.

Other tips to remember in keeping your home free from mould is to regularly clean the roof gutters of your home. Having your roof gutters regularly cleaned and examined for damage can prevent leaks and the growth of mould in your house.

Indoor plants are beautiful, but are they growing mould inside your home? Mould loves indoor plants. Putting Taheebo tea into the water that you use in watering your houseplants can hinder the growth of mould in plant soil.

If you are having issues with musty smells and re-occurring mould, give us a call! We can inspect your home for free and will make some recommendations on how to remove mould and prevent it from spreading further.

Skylight Energy Efficiency

Skylights: A Unique, Interesting, and Energy Efficient Addition to Any Home

Skylights can turn any home from ordinary to spectacular. Most research shows that a home with a skylight will fetch a higher price than one without. Skylights bring out natural light that complements a home day or night with sunshine or moon and stars, adding value to the homes which have them.

A well-made and strategically designed skylight adds the illusion of height and spaciousness to a home. Punching several windows into one wide roof to make them into a work of beauty is difficult to manage and tedious to construct. This is another reason why the high prices of houses with skylights on the market are often not haggled.

Advantages of Skylights

Here are several advantages a house with skylights would have:

  • Maximising space: lots are now smaller in how they are parcelled or cut, requiring larger houses to be closer together and reducing privacy. The tubular variety of skylight on a bathroom or kitchen window brings in light without necessarily giving homeowners viewing access into each other’s homes.
  • Illusion: whether the view is from up or down, skylights give the illusion of a bigger space. Some tubular varieties provide excellent natural light even in the most tight of spaces such as laundry rooms and hallways.
  • Household economics: skylights help reduce a household’s energy consumption as they provide natural sunlight for illumination. Several skylights have diffusers that reduce indoor heat loss in winter. Tint or glaze is also available for skylights to reduce glare or limit the heat gain in summer.
  • Energy efficiency: less energy is consumed by a household that has a skylight in place. This is not only a money-saving measure to reduce electricity bills, but a less artificial way of obtaining light in that there is less dependency on lighting fixtures.

Cooling and Heating Concerns

Skylights today are constructed with low-E and double glazed glass to provide efficient glazing. This prevents heat from coming indoors during summer or escaping outdoor during winter. Opening skylights allows hot air to dissipate, and enables air conditioners to perform optimally.

Many skylights now have motors incorporated as a mechanism to open and close. The addition of a rain sensor enables the skylight to automatically close as soon as rain is detected. This makes it very convenient if the homeowner is away when it starts raining.

Why a House with a Skylight will sell for more

As a homeowner, a skylight improves the overall look of the home and makes it interesting. For selling purposes, a house with a skylight is a unique piece of property that will command a higher sale price precisely for that unconventional appeal. Quality skylights enhance houses for all the reasons mentioned.

Skylights benefit indoor gardeners who will see their plants thrive. A skylight will bring natural light into the house and improve air circulation. Energy efficiency, a better view of the night sky in the evening, and a general feeling of openness within the living quarters are some more benefits of using skylights. Basically a skylight makes a good impression on people, whether they are homeowners or home buyers.

If you would like more information on our range of skylights and which one would best suit your home and needs, contact us today on 1300 884 554.

Top 3 causes of heat in your home and how to combat them (Part 2 of 3)

Top 3 causes of heat in your home and how to combat them (Part 2 of 3)

Following on from our previous article: “Top 3 causes of heat your home and how to combat them”, we delve deeper into the first type of heating: Radiation!

To refresh your memory, radiation is the transfer of heat through electromagnetic waves. It is how the sun heats the earth and what causes your food to heat up in the microwave.

As mentioned in the previous article, darker colours absorb the sun’s radiation more effectively than lighter colours. Meaning, that a darker coloured roof will gain around 31% more heat than a light coloured one.

Changing the colour or painting your roof will go a long way to reducing heat and is far easier and cheaper than replacing it.

But you can now go a step further than just painting it a lighter shade, with specially designed, heat reflective paint that will reflect much of the sun’s heat. Click here if you would like to know more details about this special paint.

Driveways, paths and concrete patios all soak up a lot of heat during the day which they release slowly overnight. This all adds to how much heat your home absorbs during the day and how quickly it can cool back down when the sun goes down.

Thankfully all of these can also be painted with the same heat reflective paint that will significantly reduce the heat they soak up and store.

Another heat reflective solution to consider if you’re renovating, re-roofing or building is Sarking. Sarking is a reflective foil insulation that repels the suns radiating heat.

Although, if your roof is dark in colour it will still absorb heat and conduct it through the sarking and then heat up the roof cavity. Click here if you would like to know more details about the insulation foil Sarking.

An additional effective solution to minimize your roof soaking up the sun’s radiating heat may be to shade it from direct sunlight. Stopping direct sunlight reduces heat exposure to the walls and roof, lowering the temperature substantially.

You may think that planting trees may take a long time to provide shade and reduce heat/sunlight exposure but there are fast growing varieties that will show results in as little as three years.

Deciduous trees are a good option, as they will provide shade in summer whilst allowing the sun to shine through during the winter.

Click here and find a tree that will suit your garden from this website which will give you a brief description.

When planting any trees, but especially a deciduous tree, you should think about how close you plant them to the house.

Will they be over hanging your roof line?

How often are you willing to get up and clear your gutters?

How tall do you want it to grow? And possibly most importantly will their root systems affect any drainage or foundations in the area you plant them?

Once you’ve found the plant that suits your back yard and will provide the shade you look for in summer, don’t wait another day! Go today and plant it, you’ll be thanking yourself in the years to come!

One of the most common solutions people use for an overheated/hot house is cooling it with an AC. Installing a new AC on its own may cool your house to a comfortable 23 degrees but it will eat into your wallet and damage the environment at the same time. So why not look for sustainable, effective and long lasting solutions?

Why not combine your new AC unit with the above mentioned solutions that are not only environmentally sustainable, but will significantly reduce your need for your cooling system and be lighter on the hip pocket?

With so many different homes in as many different locations and environments there is no one simple solution to stop your home getting hot through summer. But by understanding how heat enters your home you can start today to plan what will work best for your home.

Each step you take will not only move you closer to having a comfortable house to live and sleep in, but also to avoid any big surprises on your electricity bill!.

Do you still have any doubts about the steps you have to take to reduce the consequences of the sun’s heat radiating into your home?

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Top 3 causes of heat in your home and how to combat them (Part 1 of 3)

Top 3 causes of heat in your home and how to combat them (Part 1 of 3)

In this article I’m going to show you the three ways your house is being heated up and explain what you have to do if you want to have a nice and comfortable environment for you and your family.

By the end of this article you’ll have a proper understanding about heat transfer and its types as well as the simple steps you have to take in order to have your house cool and fresh – stick with me and I’ll show you.

Let’s first take a look at why heat is transferred. Heat will always transfer from an area of high temperature to an area of low temperature until an equilibrium is reached. In the summer and wintertime your aim should be to slow this temperature movement as much as possible.

Now that we know why heat is transferred let’s dive a bit deeper into the concepts of this transfer and check out the three main ways that heat can be transferred into your home. The three ways are Radiation, Conduction and Convection, and are explained below:

Radiation – Is the transfer of heat through electromagnetic waves. It is what causes your food to heat up in the microwave.  Different objects, such as black and dark colored objects absorb and radiate this heat far more than silver or light objects will. The roof is the largest surface area of the home and is exposed to the sun all day. Dark colored roofs and walls will absorb the sun’s rays and transfer their heat into the home, particularly into the roof space. Most houses will have some form of protective insulation to stop this radiation entering the home. The downside of this insulating foil is that it is a good conductor of heat and therefore will still allow an amount of heat to transfer into the roof space.

Conduction – This transfer occurs when two objects are in contact with each other. It is what causes fry pans to heat up on the stovetop. It’s also one of the ways that heat travels from outside your home to inside. As your roof and windows start to heat up they conduct their heat into the air that touches them, which then easily flows through your house.

Convection – Is the transfer of heat through the movement of liquids and gases. It is why the water in the jug boils even though the heating element is only at the bottom of the jug.  In your home hot air leaks in through floorboards, gaps around the doors, windows and holes around the cornices and ceiling.  This airflow will minimize the effectiveness of your air conditioner. Trying to cool a room when convection currents are unattended is like attempting to fill a colander full of water.

OK… by now you must be asking yourself – I have all these heating problems at my place, what should I do to avoid or reduce them?

Well, I’ve got bad news and good news for you.

The bad news is, they cannot be completely avoided. If you live in Sydney, you are unlikely to completely avoid the sun heating your house. But don’t freak out, it’s all good!

Now I’m going to give you the good news…

For all these 3 problems there are simple solutions that are going to reduce the heat and keep your house nice and cool.

Radiation Solutions

  • Use light colours: Recent studies have shown that a light-coloured roof can have approximately 31% lower heat gain than a dark roof;
  • Insulation: An insulating foil screen is usually installed in most homes under the roof and over the ceiling. There are two types of insulation – Reflective and Bulky (but I’ll give more details about this two types of insulation in an upcoming article). You can check by looking through the man hole and checking if there is a protective foil underneath the roof tiles and if there is insulation on top of your ceiling. Insulation is the buffer between two air temperatures.
  • Shade: Shading on exterior walls and the roof will stop heat radiating into your house. Planting trees today, although this is a long-term solution it is extremely effective in lowering house temperatures in the summer and possibly the most cost effective and sustainable in the long term. If you still want the winter sun to warm the house consider some deciduous trees which will give you the best of both worlds. There is a good variety of fast growing trees which you will see the benefits of within 3 years

Conduction Solutions

  • Ventilation: Roof Ventilation such as whirly birds will quickly move the heated air within the roof space out before it flows into your home and heats up your insulation;
  • Insulation: The insulation can be installed not only on the roof but also in the walls in between the studs (wall frames) in which insulation can be fitted. This needs to be done during construction or a renovation though as you need access inside your walls.

Convection Solutions

  • Minimize air flow leakage: by sealing doors and windows with weather strips as much as possible you can minimize the air to flow throughout your home and attempting to make the roof and floor close to air tight.
  • Get rid of hot air: Minimize the amount of hot air in your roof space by installing an adequate roof ventilation system.

In our busy lives today sometimes it’s easier to let someone else do the “research” and sell you their solution to your problem. But do they really want to solve your problem or merely make a sale?

If your house is too hot, one solution may be to buy a bigger air conditioner. But will that help stop the problem of heat? Or merely mask it? I’m not anti A/C by any means, I love them! They do an excellent job at cooling the air in your home. However using a large A/C unit on its own to cool a house is a little like turning on your kitchen range hood to get rid of the smoke when your stove is on fire, but not putting out the fire… 

It’s going to help clear the smoke because this is what it is design for, but it’s not going to stop the fire.

Different types of heat require different methods to stop them. Each process whether it’s insulation, ventilation, air conditioning or planting trees serves its purpose. But combined, they’ll work together beautifully to create the comfortable environment you long for on those hot and stuffy days.

We’ve briefly looked at a variety of solutions that could work on your home, but with so many products on the market what works and what doesn’t? In our next article we look at a few solutions in detail.

Finally, do you think this information was useful to you? Are there any other questions you’d like answered? Leave a comment below and tell me what you think. Your participation is very important, and is what keeps this Blog going.

WHAT COMMON HOME DESIGN FLAW IS COSTING YOU MONEY THIS SUMMER?

WHAT COMMON HOME DESIGN FLAW IS COSTING YOU MONEY THIS SUMMER?

It seems like a pretty obvious flaw: forcing cold conditioned air to travel through the hottest part of your home. Unfortunately many houses these days have this issue which is wasting your cold air, and your money.

In summer your roof cavity becomes extremely hot – reaching temperatures of 70+ degrees. On hot days this can mean that up to 28% of your air conditioning is ultimately lost in the roof space before it even enters your home.  Governments have seen the issue of this wastage and there are guidelines to prevent this in their buildings.

Over a year, your house’s cooling capacity will be reduced by around 20% – which is no small amount.  A lot of people spend large amounts of money on solar panels to achieve similar percentages. Without being fixed this design flaw will increase your cooling cost by 15%.

On average Australians electricity bills are largely made up of cooling and heating costs – around 38%! To put that in solid terms, $142 is how much extra it costs to run a standard ducted system in your attic!

How can you fix it ?

The best solution is to move the air-conditioning ducts out of the roof cavity, but this is difficult and expensive to do in already existing homes.

Simplest solution – Remove the excess heat! Whirly birds offer a simple and easy way to extract the hot air from the roof cavity. They don’t require electricity and significantly lower temperatures in the roof cavity.

Insulation – wrapping the air-conditioning ducts in a thick insulation layer reduces the amount of cold air that escapes. Understand better how it works in this video:

Shade – more of a long term solution, but planting trees that shade the roof can significantly reduce the inside temperature of the home.

Most of these solutions are simple, inexpensive and will probably pay for themselves in a couple years through the money you save. They will not only reduce the amount of air conditioning lost in the roof but will also reduce the temperature in the home and the need for air conditioning.