Usually we ask: “Where is home to you?”. Today I would like to ask: “What is home to you?”
A home is usually a reflection of ourselves. It reflects our personality, our hobbies, our culture and our way of living.
My home needs to be comfy and welcoming, full of light and air. It has to be the place where I am happy to go back after a day at work or better outdoors.
Indoor comfort is the key element in my home!
(Image source: www.sourceable.net)
What is Indoor Comfort?
Comfort is a state of mind, defined by the Cambridge Dictionary as “a pleasant feeling of being relaxed and free from pain”. Indeed, comfort is the personal sensation of feeling comfortable and depends from a variety of issues, including:
– air quality (2)
More specifically, thermal comfort can be defined as a condition of mind which expresses satisfaction with the thermal environment. Due to large variations from person to person, it is difficult to satisfy everyone within the same thermal environment.
The most important environmental factors contributing to thermal comfort are:
– air temperature
– radiant temperature (ie. the temperature of the walls, floor, windows etc)
– air speed
– the amount of physical activity
– the amount and type of clothing worn (2)
About Perth climate:
Perth is the sunniest city of Australia and I love it 😉
Summer days could be very hot, but usually in the afternoon the “Fremantle Doctor” (a cool southwestern sea breeze) will provide a great relief.
Winter are usually not too cold (compared to Europe), but early morning temperature can be around 5 degrees.
Is my home comfortable?
Unfortunately, my (rented) home is not very comfortable 😦
Even if it was built only 10 years ago and a bit of insulation has been used in the construction, it doesn’t make me very happy, especially when the weather gets a bit extreme.
In hot summer days, when the outdoor temp is 35 degrees, inside it can reach 30 degrees.
In cold and cloudy winter days (outdoor temp around 12-15 degrees), indoor temperature will vary between 15-18 degrees. It goes up to nearly 20 degrees only if outdoor is a very sunny day with temp around 24 degrees.
What does it mean?
It means that, if I want to feel comfortable inside my home, I have to turn on the air conditioning in summer and the reverse cycle heating in winter. So I can feel better from a thermal point of view, but I still don’t feel very comfortable because of:
1) Air speed: driven by the air con system, both in summer and winter
2) Air humidity: especially in winter time it can get really dry
3) Environment and costs: air con uses a lot of energy and costs a lot of money!
What can we do?
We can build better, starting from the building orientation and envelope insulation, following solar passive design principles.
Have you ever heard about it?
Typical proportion of heat loss from dwellings (source: www.qualibuild.ie)