As we head deeper into spring, the Gold Coast is looking to get a whole lot sunnier – especially with summer steadily approaching.
The Bureau of Meteorology records temperatures to range between 16.9 and 25.3 degrees celsius over the month of October. For some, this can already lead to some warm days in their Surfers Paradise property.
In November, things will look to heat up even further with temperatures forecasted to hit between 18.9 and 26.7 degrees celsius. On particularly hot afternoons, you may find it tempting to power on the air conditioner and enjoy temporary relief from the sun. But what is this small pleasure costing your wallet?
According to the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science, heating and cooling is responsible for 40 per cent of household energy usage. This means flicking on the air conditioner or fan could be accounting for a large chunk of your electricity expenses. If you want to save on your energy bills, take a look at how passive design can keep your home crisp and cool without needing to flick a single switch.
Passive design refers to practices or features that control the air flow and temperature without the consumption of energy. Depending on whether you're aiming to heat or cool, it often utilises natural sources such as the sun, the shade and breeze from the wind.
A presentation from the University of Waterloo notes that passive cooling has two main strategies:
Shading is a terrific way to prevent excessive heat from the sun. Glass that is left exposed to an open sky is often the greatest source of heat gain. Man-made solutions such as window awnings, shutters and pergolas can block up to 90 per cent of this direct heat from the sun, which can generate the same amount of warmth as a single bar radiator.
Special types of glazing also helps to deflect undesired heat. When applied to windows and doors, it'll allow sunlight in and keep your home bright. At the same time, it'll reflect longer-wavelength infrared light and in turn, heat.
Living awnings can be defined as deciduous trees and bushes that help shade a nearby property from the sun. This is an effective form of passive design as deciduous greenery sheds its leaves annually in autumn and grows them again as spring arrives. This means that in autumn and winter when its coldest, a bare tree will allow much-needed daylight to enter and warm up the home. Conversely, the tree will grow back its leaves in time to block out the sun and keep it cool inside over the spring and summer.
Having plenty of vegetation around your Surfers Paradise property will allow it to stay protected and shaded in the hottest of days.
Sometimes, effective solutions are also simple ones. The act of keeping windows open where possible will allow air to flow through your home. This will help vent your home of unwanted heat, as well as increase air velocity. In layman's terms, it'll feel more comfortable to have a cool breeze against your skin.
The best way to implement these principles are simply by look out for them in your hunt for real estate in Surfers Paradise. Keep an eye out for well-placed deciduous trees, awnings and shades when visiting open homes.
Give Ray White Surfers Paradise a ring and see how you can get started on your house hunting journey.