Our country is known the world over for its welcoming climate and sunny disposition.
However, that’s not to say it never gets cold. In winter, temperatures dip all across Australia, forcing many of us to rug up or switch on costly heating appliances. Many areas in New South Wales and Tasmania in particular are often subject to sub-zero conditions in the chilly months.
So, what are you going to do when the mercury in the thermometer starts to drop? With the price of power rising 72 per cent in the 10 years prior to 2013, as stated by the Australian Parliament, you’re probably not going to be turning on the electric heater.
How are you going to heat your home?
Your best bet, therefore, lies in passive heating. This term applies to key design principles that centre around efficiently heating your home without relying on power-hungry devices such as electrical heaters, heat pumps and home ventilation systems.
The Australian government’s Your Home initiative urges anyone designing a new home to think carefully about passive heating. Not only is an energy-efficient house going to greatly reduce your carbon footprint, you’re also going to appreciate the lower utility bills.
How can you passively heat your home?
Effective insulation can save you up to 40 per cent in heating and cool bills.
Insulation is perhaps the easiest and most practical way you can keep your home at a comfortable temperature. It regulates indoor climates by trapping warm air and preventing cold air from entering. In doing so, good insulation can save you up to 40 per cent in heating and cool bills, according to the Department of Industry and Science.
The type of insulation you choose will depend on where you live. Bulk insulation, comprised of materials such as glass, wool, polyester, natural wool and recycled paper is typically used in colder climates. Those who are planning on building a home in very hot and sunny regions, such as areas in Northern Territory, might consider reflective insulation, which deflects heat and helps to keep your home cool in summer.
Australia’s a sunny place, with most of the country receiving more than 3,000 hours of sunshine each year. Make the most of this by facing the longest side of your home to the north. Further enhance your home’s passive heating by positioning windows in such a way that they’ll capture the sun’s rays, flooding your home with light and natural warmth
Selecting the right type of window glazing is an important process. Up to 87 per cent of a home’s heat is gained through windows, according to the Window Energy Rating Scheme, so you’ll want to make sure your choice of glazing is appropriate for your home’s climate.