How to Prevent Overheating in Your New Home
Climate change has increased the rate at which homes and other buildings overheat during the hotter months of the year. It is therefore prudent for people who are planning to build new homes to consider design features that minimise the likelihood of overheating. This article discusses some concepts that you can discuss with your preferred home designer so that you avoid overheating in your new home.
Buildings that only have windows on one side (single-aspect buildings) are more likely to overheat when they are compared to buildings that have windows on several sides. Cross-ventilation helps to ensure that heat gain is minimal since breezes will be flowing into and out of the building through the windows on the different sides of that building. Overheating can therefore be controlled by designing windows into different sides of your new home so that cross-ventilation takes place.
Internal and External Shading
You can achieve the twin objectives of having an aesthetically appealing home that keeps overheating at bay by selecting a design that incorporates internal and external shading. For example, shutters and louvres over all windows reduce overheating while giving your home a unique character. Better gains can be obtained in case you opt for automatic shading systems. Manual systems are less likely to be used frequently due to the difficulty that may be associated with accessing the operating systems of those shading devices.
Windows present a dilemma when the subject of overheating is considered. First, larger windows allow more fresh air and light to enter the building. This makes the building to be more attractive to its occupants due to the increased comfort that natural light and fresh air bring. However, those same windows can promote overheating due to the solar gain through the voids created by the window openings. One way to balance these conflicting interests is to increase the mass (such as the thickness of walls) of the buildings in order to make it harder to the building to overheat due to the large windows installed.
Each of the design approaches above has its own pros and cons. For instance, glazing ratios can make a construction project more costly due to the additional wall thickness specified. Conversely, internal and external shading is relatively inexpensive. Discuss the pros and cons of each approach with your architect. That professional will come up with a building design that may incorporate a combination of those concepts so that you reduce overheating cost-effectively.