How should I position my windows to increase natural lighting?
Monday, 22 June 2015 3:06 PM
One important factor to consider when designing your own home is window positioning.
Well-placed windows can flood your house with natural light, providing a beautiful ambience and bringing warmth into your rooms during winter. Letting in some light from Mother Nature is not only aesthetically pleasing, but also essential for keeping your rooms at an optimal temperature, allowing you to cut down costs on both heating and cooling.
With 11 per cent of the average Australian power bill going towards lighting the home, according to the Victorian Government's Switch On initiative, some cleverly positioned windows can help you save even further on utility costs. Most of Australia receives more than 3,000 hours of sunshine per year, but how can you make the most of this natural light in your new home?
The Australian climate is a moody mistress. During summer, the early morning and late afternoon sun can be absolutely scorching, while winter temperatures are known to plunge drastically overnight.
With this in mind, you'll want to double check your floor plans and think about how you position your windows. A wall of glass facing the sun is going to help you thaw out in winter but will be unbearably hot during the summer.
Generally speaking, most Australians should try to position the longest wall of their house facing north.
The sun is located solar north of Australia - be careful not to get this confused with magnetic north, as the two differ quite significantly.
Generally speaking, most Australians should try to position the longest walls of their houses facing north according to the Australian Government's Your Home guide. This provides maximum sunlight exposure in winter, while the sun's higher position in the warmer months means that much of the heat can easily be blocked by your home's eaves.
Of course, you'll also need to take trees, natural features and other buildings into account, all of which may hinder the flow of light into your home.
Naturally, not everyone will be able to position their homes perfectly to capture the optimal amount of natural light. Treat these situations as an opportunity to get creative with window positioning.
Outdoor reflective surfaces such as lakes and other water features are great for reflecting sunlight - get your windows aligned with these natural light diffusers and enjoy basking in the sunshine. Inside, make the most of mirrors and white surfaces to bounce the light around into dim corners.
Still not quite sure about where your windows should go? Pop into your nearest GJ Gardner branch and have a chat to our expert team - they'll be more than happy to help!