Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Blistering Australian Heat Requires More than A/C

5 Ways to Cool an Australian Modular Home

First in a series of articles by Laura Collings Digital Marketing Specialist for Australia's Westbuilt Modular Homes

Each year, Australians regularly face high temperatures of 104° or higher. Solely dependent on air conditioning to cool your house could become quite expensive. If you are looking to build or purchase a modular home, what options can you utilize to cool your interior space?

Cool your Australian modular home by facing its long walls north and south. Design it with ventilated roof space and use self-cooling building materials. Plant trees or use awnings for shade and use air conditioners or fans to cool it further.

Modular Home Layout
The placement of your house can make a big difference. When setting your modular home on your lot, try to position it that the long walls face north and the south. If your shorter walls face the east and west, the sun will have less effect on the temperature inside your home.

Don’t fill your western walls with windows to avoid the sun’s heat toward the end of the day. As it is cooler in the morning, eastern windows won’t affect you as much.

Modular Home Design
Modular home designers, Westbuilt recommend that you choose a design with well-ventilated roof space. Good ventilation will create a continual flow of air through your attic spaces to replace the warm, damp air. Not only will this keep your home at a cooler temperature, but it can also reduce the possibility of moisture damage.

Use light-colored tiles on your roof to reflect the sun’s heat rays. Studies have shown that the plywood underneath light-colored roofs remain 5-7° cooler than those under darker-shades. This simple tip can make a large impact on your internal temperature.

Self-Cooling Building Materials
Upgrade your ceiling and under-floor insulation to increase its resistance to heat. While you can upgrade your wall insulation to be more energy-efficient, it can be very expensive in a modular home for such little improvement. If you are choosing where your budgeted funds go, there are better cost-efficient ways where you will get more value.

If you live in a hot climate, make sure that your windows have good ventilation to encourage airflow. Avoid sacrificing light by using an energy-saving glass designed to block some of the sun’s heat. Use thermal breaks to minimize the heat transferred through the window frames. While these upgrades may be more expensive up front, the benefits will be reflected on your future energy bills and your day-to-day comfort.

Air Conditioners and Fans
Lower the temperature in your modular home by using an energy-efficient cooling system. The most popular option is the split system. These units have used inverter technology to help you keep your energy bills lower. They are very low maintenance and you only need to clean the filter every few months. This affordable system is best used with the aid of ceiling fans to help circulate the air.

If you have a larger modular home, you may need to install a ducted system. Though they are more expensive than the split system, they can cool every room in your house. They are quiet and can be controlled very easily. For cooler climates, you will also have the option to heat your home when needed.

Shading your Modular Home
If you live in climates that cool down in the winter, consider adding an awning over your windows. In the summer, when the sun is higher in the sky, the awning will shade the windows. As winter sets in, and the sun moves north, its rays will reach your windows and help warm your home. Awnings can reduce the solar heat affecting your home by up to 65-77%.

Plant large trees in problem areas where the sun influences the heat of the house. Focus on the western and northern sides which will receive more direct sunlight during the warmer parts of the day.

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