There are many elements to consider when you are designing your new home, and heating and cooling are ones that deserve extra attention. There are many options available and you should also consider designing your home to capitalise on natural methods too.
Passive heating and cooling techniques
In a cooler climate, you may welcome sunshine in and in a warmer climate, you need to be mindful of the house becoming too hot. This is not as trivial as it seems. If you can keep your home at the ideal temperature, you will not need to use energy to warm or cool your home and it will save you money. Well designed eaves, carefully positioned trees, windows and doors can assist you keeping the sun, wind and cold out or in, when you want.
Underfloor heating takes a few hours to heat up but gives a wonderful, even heat across your home. It is not ideal with wooden floorboards, but is more suited to tiles or concrete. If the weather is changeable where you live, it may not be suitable as it is not instantaneous.
A fireplace gives a radiant heat, wonderful character to your house design, and can warm your home fairly quickly. However, it can be laborious in terms of collecting, storing and kindling firewood. It is also not ideal for people who may have asthma or allergies as particles of ash and dust able to escape into your home.
Reverse cycle heating and cooling (split system, ducted or portable)
The quickest way to cool your home is with an air conditioning system as cool air is pumped into your home. Likewise, you can warm your home speedily via this method. Keep in mind that forced air systems are not recommended for those with allergies.
Fans are an inexpensive way to cool your home but are not very effective in hot climates. If you live in a cooler region, which experiences only a few hot days, it is a good choice.
Evaporative cooling takes the air from outside and pushes the hot air out. It does not work in a humid environment but in other climates it is ideal and cost efficient. Evaporative cooling is said to be the most healthy as it continually draws in air from the outside.
Consider the climate, the type of home you are building and your family’s unique situation when choosing heating and cooling options for your home. It may involve choosing more than one system, to ensure your ongoing comfort.