You’ve found your dream house during your summer property search, but will it be just as perfect all year-round?
08 January 2019|5 minutes read
The time of year you view a property can have an impact on its look and feel. Some factors may even make or break whether you put pen to paper this season. As you enter your summer property search, be aware of the factors that can change the whole vibe come winter, so you’re better prepared to make the right buying decision, and are just as in love with your property inthe cooler months, as you are in the heat.
Orientation is the positioning of a building in relation to the seasonal changes in the sun’s path and wind patterns. Essentially, you need to consider the direction of the property to confirm whether it will make the most of natural sunlight and airflow. If it’s facing the ideal direction based on your climate, not only does this make your home more comfortable, it’ll also see you saving on energy bills and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
When considering orientation, don’t disregard the Aussie climate, in most places in Australia, your property will be faced with extreme heat rather than extreme cold during its life. This is why a north-facing orientation can appear ideal – the position of the sun means your property receives less radiation in the summer and captures more in the winter. Ideally, the living zone of your property – kitchen, living room and garden – should be gaining the most sun. You can’t deny the allure of light-bathed living zones!
Next on the list, airflow – a seriously important consideration in our climate. Sure, you need to take note of the windows and doors, but the internal structure of the property is key, too. For a home that’s breezy and cool in summer, and warm in winter, you’ll want openable, high-level windows, which capture winter sun and ventilate rising hot air in summer. Smaller, well-shaded openable windows are also ideal, as they will increase cross-ventilation to the south, east and west. To get the best out of natural ventilation all year-round, open planning and narrow, elongated buildings feed passive cooling. An ideal property would also be home to outdoor living areas that are shaded and even better, fitted with ceiling fans.
Of course, the location of your property can mean sun and air filtration is subject to change. For example, if you have a view, the property design should be making the most of it, and may sacrifice design elements that insulate more heat in winter. Or, living in an apartment, it may be more difficult to shade balconies due to building restrictions. Ultimately, whether opting for coastal, acreage or an inner-city townhouse, asking about orientation and ventilation is essential for comfortable living.
When on the hunt in summer, check windows, shutters, outdoor spaces and room positioning. Calculate the direction the property is facing and whether this is ideal for your lifestyle – do you rather morning sun in the bedroom or kitchen? Checking design factors like these off the list could mean less money out of your pocket that would’ve been spent on maintenance, renovation and utility costs, and a home that you love living in – the dream!
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