Cool house

There’s an article in the paper today about how houses are designed to lock in heat over here, nowadays, not to keep it out and, as the climate heats up, that should change.

No human-driven climate change in the 1500s, but the builders had already got it right. Larder on the north side of the house, windows on the west and east, thick walls, relatively small windows. The article pointed out that a lot of houses and almost all offices have a huge amount of glass which then requires air conditioning to be bearable.

In hot weather, this house is lovely. Al and family called in the afternoon. I’d been eating lunch in the garden, under a parasol and we went indoors for home-made lemonade. The cool hit us very pleasantly, it was a comfortable temperature without the sudden chill of air con.

I’ve been drinking a lot, which isn’t my usual habit, but the heatwave is pressing in at last, so I drank a big glass of iced tea for breakfast, had lemonade for elevenses and lunch and again at teatime with the family, and a can of lager tonight. That’s vast amounts more than usual, I think there was a glass of water in there too, somewhere. I can’t be doing with the thing of carrying round a bottle of water. I do get it if you’re in a sealed, centrally heated or air conditioned building and I certainly drink constantly when I’m in a meeting (cue hot air jokes) but rarely otherwise. Anyway, it was the fact that the lemonade was home-made that made me want to drink it. It’s so delicious and not as sweet as anything bought.

5 comments on “Cool house

  1. Blue Witch

    The way new houses are thrown up, with no proper regard to future needs as the climate changes concerns me greatly. Such a waste of energy in store, and no built-in solar panels or waste water recycling facilities. If these measures were requirements for new homes, the costs would soon come down.

    Like yours, our house is hundreds of years old and shares all the properties you mention. Glass can have good insulation properties – but u-value costs, and developers won’t pay for anything higher than minimum spec as it impacts their profits. No-one seems to be thinking of things like this as ways to help meet net zero targets, it’s all about planting trees and forcing everyone to drive EVs, which simply is not the answer, or enough.

  2. Z Post author

    The new bungalow on the corner was described as being ready for green energy, but it wasn’t put in. The buyers, who paid a surprisingly large sum (but this was three or four years ago, it’s certainly increased in value since) added solar panels, at least. No mention of underfloor heating with the gas boiler, and this is best if you’re having a heat exchange system. As for the less expensive 16 bungalows opposite my field, nothing green was even mentioned in the particulars.

  3. Scarlet

    My 1920’s house is a home of two halves – kitchen, etc, facing north, living areas to the south, and it is still nice and fresh in the kitchen.
    Flipping hot everywhere else – I blame that on not having curtains, but grateful for the trees throwing a lot of shade.


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