By the time you get to 4 or 5 years of age you have most likely become very familiar with the seasons.
There’s really no mystery to it and even though each season may be a little different, each season arrives like clockwork. It’s so predictable you could set your watch by it and in fact that’s what a Sundial is.
Predictably as winter approaches, daylight hours become shorter and shorter until we reach the Winter solstice which is the shortest day of the year. After the winter solstice the days gradually become longer and longer until we reach the equinox which is when the length of both day and night are exactly the same.
After the equinox we start heading towards the Summer solstice which is the longest day of the year. This is all very predictable and it’s all to do with the very reliable pattern that the sun follows.
The path of the sun on a daily basis is so well known that we can predict, with 100% accuracy, the exact time of both sunrise and sunset (over flat surfaces such as the sea) each and every day well in advance. It is even possible to predict both sunrise and sunset centuries in advance and accurately calculate the time of a sunrise or sunset on any calendar day in the past.
Seasonally speaking, we literally know what’s going to happen well before it happens and with very reliable accuracy. Having this knowledge allows us to organise our domesticated crops and for those who live in climate zones with extreme temperature variations, prepare ourselves for what we can usually anticipate accurately as the seasons run through there cycle.
Even the animals are programmed to set themselves up for the seasons. Some more so than others when you compare ants and grasshoppers and whilst we are on this subject there are those variations in preparedness within the human population.
A wise man would not go out on a winter’s night if he was not prepared for the cold air that would follow and yet people spend hundreds of thousands of dollars building new homes without preparing those dwellings for the seasons that they know will arrive in due course.
Why would they do such a thing? They prepare for the immediate smaller things and yet lack the attention to detail when it comes to preparing a home to thermally perform well.
Everyone likes the temperature in the sweet spot. That is, no one likes to be too hot or too cold, but if you live in an area that has significant temperature variations throughout the seasons, and don’t prepare for it, you will pay a price.
The thermal performance of a house is determined well before it is ever built.
The legal requirements that force even the uninitiated to build a more thermally stable home will at least increase the possibility that the legacy of homes that are more thermally comfortable to live in, and, as a consequence require less energy to operate, will be increasingly scattered amongst the suburbs.
If a home is orientated correctly and the size of the eaves have been mathematically calculated and constructed to consider the latitude of the dwelling and height of the ceilings, then every lucky dog in those homes can look forward to experiencing cooler summer conditions and a warm and comfortable winter.
On a cold Winter’s day, being in a home that allows the sun to flood through the windows more and more each day as the mercury drops is a joy that can only be experienced by the people, and their pets, who have planned for the future.
And, in the wintertime, it’s not only the pets who benefit through the day, as much fun as that may be, but the careful placement of building materials with high thermal mass will allow a home’s occupants to stay warm and cosy well into the evening and even through the night.
If you are preparing to build a new home or even considering buying land for such a purpose, then metaphorically thinking more like an ant and preparing for the seasons, that you naturally know will occur, will pay itself off day after day after day after day after day, decades after the construction has been completed.
Knowing the basics of how to prepare a house to perform well in all seasons is really not that difficult and when it’s done well, everyone benefits, both man and beast. Our dog doesn’t know the orientation of our home or that our 2.7 M ceilings requires 600mm eaves to block the summer sun and still allow the winter sun to shine through the northern windows.
She doesn’t have to.
You don’t have to know how to build a TV to watch the cartoons. What she does know is the
location of all the sweet spots in the house in every season. For a home to have those
thermally comfortable sweet spots, you have to plan to build them in >>> LEARN MORE>>>
Once that’s done correctly, you can just enjoy them day after day after day after day after day.