Friday, 30 November 2012

How Cool are You?



One of the major reasons for my move to Brisbane was the weather. I originally come from down south and I hate being cold, so for the majority of the year I find the weather here pretty damn nice.

However I do struggle with the humidity during the height of Summer. The weather is definitely heating up, but up until now I haven't really put a great deal of thought into how I intend to keep cool in new house.

I have lived in both good and poorly designed homes, and the difference to your comfort levels is truly amazing. When you're renovating an existing dwelling it is almost impossible to follow each and every sustainable design principle. However our new design has allowed for good cross-ventillation and will be insulated throughout, and there are all the other design features like window overhangs, minimal glazing on the Western side, etc. But there are still those days and nights when there's not even the slightest breeze to give any relief from the heat and humidity. 

I personally think that ducted air-conditioning is overkill - it's expensive to install and run. I was originally proposing to install ceiling fans, particularly in the bedrooms, and perhaps a split-system in one of the living rooms, but I'm now starting to wonder if this will be enough.

I certainly don't want to retrofit A/C after I've moved in, but until I've lived in the house throughout a Summer, I won't know exactly what it's going to be like. Do you think ceiling fans are sufficient during a Brisbane Summer or would you go for a fully ducted air-conditioning system?










10 comments:

  1. I agree you will prob not know for sure until you live in the house but I think if you were going to put air con anywhere it should be the bedrooms as there is nothing worse than being unable to sleep because it is too hot and sticky...

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    1. I put our A/C on today (our unit faces west) but after 10 minutes I got too cold - and I set in at 24 degrees. Seems like I can never be quite comfortable with A/C. xx

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  2. We have fans in every room and they are fantastic. The previous owners also installed aircon in each bedroom and a big one in the lounge/dining/kitchen area. Betsy is oriented east/west so our lounge room is north facing. Liongirl's room gets the full western sun and I use aircon in her room to cool it down at bedtime and then turn it off when I go to bed.Both kids mostly have the fan overnight and it also keeps the mozzies at bay. We sleep with just the fan and rarely use the air con- our room is south facing. The lounge room air con probably gets used about 6-8 weeks out of the year but currenty we have pitifal cross ventilation and this should improve after the reno so hopefully we will use it less. I too think ducted would be expensive to install and run and we definitely don't need it at our place. But not having any aircon in that west facing bedroom and lounge room would be pretty awful.Hope this helps. mel x

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    1. I'm all for fans in bedrooms too, but they have to be whisper quiet otherwise I find the noise distracting. Surprisingly enough, my old house was one street away with the same orientation and a bedroom in the N/W corner and it wasn't that hot. We had one split-system in the living area and it cooled the whole upper level nicely. Luckily there is a tall building and large, established trees on our Western side to block the afternoon sun, so hopefully it won't be a problem. We get really good cooling N/E breezes here - maybe it's got something to do with the proximity of the river. xx

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  3. For me, fans are fine. They keep the mozzies away, flush air through the house, and let you keep the windows open at night if you need. We might put a small aircon in our loungeroom/kitchen soon - because that is where you usually go first after coming inside. Having said that, I've survived 26 years without aircon (but we get bay breezes in Sandgate).

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    1. Hi, and welcome! Yes - those bay breezes certainly do make a difference (we lived on Bribie for a while.) Look forward to reading all about your adventures.

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  4. Hi - I personally think ducted air-con is overkill but I must say I do enjoy it when I visit people who have it. I vote for fans in all rooms with a split system in the living area (this is what we have) - I hate sleeping in air-con so dry. xcb

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  5. Hi there!

    I am a fan of A/C to the maxxxxx! I am dying at the moment, but we get extreme dry heat and it is unusual for us to have humidity, so it is like an oven turned on high right now.

    I agree it depends on your house and the feel of it once you get in there. In my old house we would of died without A/C as the bedrooms were all west
    in the sun, and it was a little hot box.

    The new house has a lot more flow through, and doors that open onto gauze verandas so fans are ok usually unless it is a stinker of a night.

    I will do a post on this too as I am in the process of sorting out some A/C. x

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  6. We run a split system in the lounge and a little 1970s AC unit in our bedroom for a few hours before bed. We meant to rip it out when we moved in here, because it's the ugliest thing in the world. But it works fine and we couldn't quite justify it.

    Lucinda has a fan in her room but that's it for us and fans. I wish we had more. Next house.

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  7. We have reached 40 already , so for us ducted really is the best option, just hate the bills when they arrive.

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