How to design a home for a hot climate

With summer now on its way, we can look forward to beach days, outdoor entertaining, and expensive electricity bills…We’re blessed with amazing weather in Queensland, but it comes with a price! But what if we told you that by designing your house correctly, you could minimize the running costs of trying to keep it cool? Here’s how to design a home for a hot climate.

1. Track the sun

Shelter your home from the summer sun with a house that faces in the opposite direction to the winter sun, and make sure your living spaces are shaded in summer. Orientation is everything when designing for hot climates.

2. Choose the right materials

Build in well-insulated north-facing rooms, to allow your home to retain cool breezes in summer. Use light-coloured external materials which reflect heat away from your home. Consider installing solar water heating to reduce energy costs for hot water and pool heating.

3. Minimise air leaks

Build your home around a central feature, which will help hold in the cool breezes. Insert vents to allow the movement of air from other areas into your home. Vents can be built into windows and doors or applied to external wall and ceiling surfaces.

4. Upgrade your insulation levels

Building codes in Queensland set minimum insulation levels to ensure our homes are cool in summer, and warm during winter. Insulate your roof, floors and ceilings to keep your house cool.

5. Make use of the shade

Angle awnings over windows and doors, to protect from direct summer sun. Install awnings around patios and decks to create shade for outdoor living areas. A good block of shade will keep the temperature up to eight degrees cooler than being out in the sun!

6. Create a stack effect

Stack effect ventilation is a natural ventilation principle that draws cool air into your home and exhausts warm stale air out. This principle can be applied to your home, either by designing windows and doors to create a stack effect or installing ducted fans in key areas.

So there you have it! If you’re planning a home renovation, here are 6 tips to design a home for a hot climate so you can stay cool in summer and reduce those expensive electricity bills!

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