Last night a cool change came through, so today is quite blissful, and cool air is coming into the house. This respite will be brief: more intense heat is forecast. And the fires keep burning. Some are deliberately lit, an appallingly dreadful and anti-social act.
My house actually did not get very hot, due to closing all windows and curtains. The house faces east/west, and internal climate control is not very easy. It is a three level house, and demonstrates very clearly that hot air rises. My bedroom, on the top level, gets dreadfully hot. However I managed not to use the air conditioners for most of the time. I am contemplating having some blockout fabric gathered onto a piece of dowelling on the doors and windows of the kitchen, so as to moderate both heat and cold. Perhaps it is time that I learned how to use my sewing machine, which sits sadly unattended and unused upstairs. Using a sewing machine is one of my lost skills. Sad but true.
One of the air conditioners went on the blink yesterday afternoon. It is quite old, so possibly it is not surprising. A serviceman will visit later today, and either fix it, or give me the bad news if a replacement is necessary.
It is surprising how little attention is given to internal climate control. So many houses and apartments are built with no thought for climate control. They have not been sited to make maximum use of climate control. In many areas of Canberra, for example, the desirable views were to the mountains, in the west. So houses were sited to take advantage of the views, rather than to avoid the heat, or to get the winter sun.
A very common practice now is to build houses without eaves, and thus to rely on air conditioners. Apparently the eaves are counted as part of the building, and thus without eaves you can build closer to the boundary of the land. I would change this regulation forthwith. Relying on air conditioners adds heaps to the usage and costs of power.
Canberra suffered hugely from bush fires in 2003, with about 500 houses being destroyed, but thankfully, only four people lost their lives. There has been extensive rebuilding, with large houses, very often without eaves. This should never have been permitted. What do town planners think they are doing?