Reduce your heating and cooling needs

Reduce your heating and cooling needs

In the Canberra region heating and cooling accounts for 57 per cent of home energy consumption – the largest factor in your quarterly energy bill! Of the two, heating is the biggest contributor due to the region’s cold winters.

Taking steps to minimise your heating and cooling needs reduces your environmental footprint and energy bill at the same time.

The siting of your house on the lot is the first matter to consider. This decision will greatly impact how you can use the sun (and local wind patterns) to full advantage. Ideally you should aim to face key living areas to the north and allow sufficient space for your windows to catch the sun in Winter. Eastern and western faces should also be considered for Winter solar access where possible.

Each of these steps will contribute to a reduction in heating needs. Of course, the Summer months are about shade, sun protection and ventilation so ideally you should also think of any opportunities to use your land and orientation of the house for this purpose. Allowing space for deciduous trees (shade in Summer – sun in Winter) is an example.

Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

Get Adobe Flash player

Simple ‘passive design’ features included in your home will also help with heating and cooling needs without using mechanical appliances that consume energy. These design features and inclusions either manage or take advantage of the natural climate to reduce heating and cooling requirements in the home.

Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

Get Adobe Flash player

If your basic home design has been determined, there are still several areas to target to minimize your heating and cooling costs including through the inclusion of high performance windows and use of adequate shade devices and insulation.