Cool Down Energy Bills With These Hot Tips

Sunshine Coast Council

Our region enjoys a sub-tropical climate that is hot and humid in summer, and mostly cool and mild in winter.

Whether your home is on the coast or in the hinterland, you can enjoy a healthy and comfortable indoor/outdoor lifestyle all year round.

Implementing even a few of the following tips will make a difference to how your home feels, improve comfort levels and help lower energy bills.

Sunshine Coast Council has developed a free educational design booklet, online course and smart phone compass to help you better understand our local sub-tropical climate and how the sun in winter and summer influences the liveability of our homes.

Use sunlight to illuminate and warm your home

Let the sunshine in – especially to your living spaces. The northern side of your home will have the best exposure to the sun for natural light and warmth. Large windows or sliding glass doors – facing north – are a great way to let winter sunlight in.

To make the most of the sun and daylight, consider planting deciduous trees around your property that provide shade in the summer but allow sunlight through in winter.

Image credit: Family Tree House, Phormarchitecture+design, Christopher Frederick Jones

Insulate for warmth in winter and to stay cool in summer

A well-insulated roof can significantly cut your heating and cooling costs. Add wall and floor insulation, and shading to windows and doors, and your savings will increase even more.

Bonus tip, building and design experts suggest carefully selecting suitable building materials helping to keep heat inside the home in winter and outside the home in summer.

Image credit: Family Tree House, Phormarchitecture+design, Christopher Frederick Jones

Free design and renovation resources

Sunshine Coast Council Mayor Rosanna Natoli said she encouraged locals looking to build, buy or renovate to get their hands on the Cool Homes for the Sunshine Coast booklet, to help make smarter design decisions.

“Now is the time to think about the winter season that lies ahead, as good design can help you save on electricity costs – especially if you don’t need to rely on heating,” Mayor Natoli said.

“We also have the ability to enhance our quality of life and enjoy an indoor and outdoor lifestyle, especially if we have a home designed to make the most of our wonderful weather.

“Living on the Sunshine Coast is, of course, very different to living down south and there is a lot we can do to make our homes more comfortable for our different seasons.”

Council’s free online course will give you the knowledge and confidence to buy, build or renovate a home that is best suited and most comfortable for the Sunshine Coast climate and lifestyle.

Image credit: Family Tree House, Phormarchitecture+design, Christopher Frederick Jones

Understanding the Sunshine Coast climate

Owners are advised to consider the location of rooms, create and merge indoor and outdoor living spaces, look to achieve more air flow, choose the right building materials, use sunlight to illuminate interiors and shape gardens and trees for shade.

A thoughtfully designed home will work with the climate. It will keep the heat out in summer and the cold out during winter.

It will allow the warming sun into your home when it’s cold and cooling breezes to flow through your home during the hotter months.

Rewards of a home designed for the climate

  • Your home will feel comfortable all year without relying on air conditioning and heating.
  • You’ll enjoy an indoor/outdoor lifestyle in every season.
  • Your home will have increased light in winter and shade in summer.
  • Your health and wellbeing will benefit.
  • Your energy use will be reduced, so you will have lower electricity costs.
  • Your home will likely retain or improve its value.

7 ways to create a comfortable Sunshine Coast home

1. Consider the location of your rooms to maximise sunlight

2. Create and merge indoor and outdoor living spaces

3. Let breezes in

4. Use sunlight to illuminate and warm your home

5. Choose the right building materials

6. Create shade

7. Include gardens and trees

More useful resources

Visit the Sunshine Coast Design website for more resources to help with your home design or renovation

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