Sylvia’s home is situated in a wonderful north western facing location opposite Lake Weeroona. The home has spectacular sunsets over the Lake that can be seen from the lounge. At 88 years young Sylvia doesn’t like sitting around much, so she keeps herself busy going for walks and working in the garden. When indoors, Sylvia spends most of her time in the lounge room, kitchen or sewing room.
There is an extension on the home with lots of doors and a 30 years old air conditioner that she believes isn’t effective. She leaves the doors open during the day to let the air conditioner try to cool the whole home.
“Once it gets hot it stays hot and it
doesn’t cool down very quickly …
Even the carpet gets red hot.”
Unlike its occupant, Sylvia’s home is showing its age. Doors no longer close properly and there are leaks in the roof. The western orientation of the home is a real challenge.
Sylvia used to have external blinds that made her home much cooler but they were taken down when they become inoperable and were not replaced. Sylvia has made her own temporary curtains at the front of the house to try to stop the heat.
Air conditioning does not work because of inadequate zoning. Draught proofing the property is an challenge because of the fresh air supply needed for the gas heater. Most of the western facing bedroom windows do not open; and as the one window that does faces the road. Sylvia doesn’t feel safe to have it open at night.
Two actions were taken to help Sylvia cope with heat waves – cooling her bedroom down at night and then reducing the heat load in the lounge room. External shading was installed to eliminate the sun strike on the lounge room and Sylvia’s bedroom.
Draught proofing was done to reduce the heat ingress from the west but without increasing the fresh air intake for the gas heater.
Sylvia’s home could be much cooler if internal doors were closed during the day to stop the heat from migrating through the home and opened at night to allow the cooling breeze to cool the home down. Clearly that advice needs to support Sylvia’s need to feel safe in her home.