A Noticeable Cultural Difference

Being a guest and a student in another country with a different culture, sometimes gives room for some interesting discussions. On many aspects Denmark and Australia are very similar towards the perception of the world; however I have discovered a difference that applies to a large amount of the citizens living in the subtropical Queensland of Australia.

A noticeable difference from Denmark to Queensland is the houses and the way they are constructed. I have had the argument with high educated academics, but they do not seem to see the need. What I am talking about is the need for insulation. Insulation is widely used in climates of low temperatures, because it keeps the heat in, and the cold out. This is economically as well as environmentally a good investment, because the money already spend on heating the house, is well saved because of the insulation. What is not well understood is that insulation should matter in a subtopic climate.

Let me try to explain: In subtropical climates, houses are like big refrigerators. The concept of a refrigerator is to keep a closed space cool. This is best done by an insulated cabin with a cooling system to it. If you leave the refrigerator open it will not stay cool for long, and the energy bill will rise dramatically. Houses in subtropical climates often have air-conditioning, which applies the same function as a refrigerators cooling system. When the house is not insulated, it is the same as leaving the refrigerator open. Simply all the energy consumed by the air-condition system, to cool down the house is wasted, because all the cool air is disappearing out of the walls and windows. Not insulating is not very environmentally as well as economically responsible. Even though it seems quite straight forward, the population and even academics of high education doubt the need for insulation, leaving the environment and the bank account to suffer.

The conclusion must be that whether or not you are in a warm or a cold climate, the same concept towards insulation applies. Either you seek to keep your home cool or you seek to keep it warm. I does not matter which climate you are in, you still need insulation to minimize energy consumption.