How To Make Sure Your Home Ventilates Well

Did you know that a properly designed energy efficient home can utilise the air that moves naturally around it to help cool it on hot days?

During all seasons we rely on a properly sealed building envelope to help maintain a temperature in our homes.  
In summer we have to work with the change in temperature across the day to make the most efficient use of cooling systems.

A well sealed building helps keep cool air in and hot air out during the day, but it won’t prevent heating of the house.

One of the biggest challenges in Adelaide and the Hills is that our sea breezes come from the South to South West.  

This means that moving air through a home can be difficult as it has to find it’s way through a labrynth of bedrooms and hallways before reaching common areas on the northern side.

In order to ensure that homes with excellent northerly aspects ventilate well on hot days, your home design needs to consider air flows which can be easily driven by Sea Breezes.  

This means ensuring that air can be captured and brought through the house, especially via the western elevations then expelled to the north.  

This process is commonly referred to as cross-ventilation.

Another form of ventilation which occurs almost naturally in two storey homes, and can generated in a single story home is stack effect.  This occurs when air is drawn in at lower levels and expelled at higher levels via the hot air rising and pulling in cooler air at the ground.

In single storey homes we use specially designed vents in the ceillings which utilise the rising hot air in the ceiling space to draw cooler air into the house.

This lowers power bills as it cuts down the need for late afternoon air conditioner use.

We have 5 top tips for making sure your home design ventilates well in the few cool hours of the evening and night that we get in Adelaide;

  1. Ensure rooms in the house are orientated and set out to allow easy flow of air through
  2. Where possible select windows with large openings, such as sliding or casement windows (rather than awnings).  Casement windows are ideal as they open like doors so can also catch the wind and funnel it into the house.
  3. Ensure your roof space is well ventilated using whirlybirds or Condor Vents
  4. Try to minimise the amount of direct light that falls on the outside paving of the house.  This reduces the amount that the air is heated up as it passes into the home.
  5. Where possible have gardens and plants near by to window openings as these help to moderate the temperature of the air as it enters the home.

In our next blog we will give you the 4 tips to correctly shading your homes windows and doors to maximise their protection from the sun during the hottest times of the day.

Would you like a more detailed look at air flow through your home?

You can download the second in our series of guides on designing an energy efficient home right now.

Click the link below to download the guide to making sure your home ventilates efficiently to improve comfort and save on your energy bills.

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