Major problem with Aussie houses mercilessly slammed by Canadian expat: 'So bad'

The woman has exposed the reality of Australia's freezing homes.

A Canadian's Instagram reel has taken aim at Australia's poorly insulated homes during the chilly winter months. Photo: Instagram/@ioanaonthecoast
A Canadian's comedic take on the icy interiors of Aussie homes has gone viral on Instagram. Photo: Instagram/@ioanaonthecoast

Australia is often touted as a tropical paradise, but if you've ever spent a winter here, you know the reality can be quite different. Sure, we have stunning beaches and warm summers, but our homes are notoriously underprepared for the colder months. This became hilariously apparent in a viral Instagram reel by Canadian expat Ioana Dragnef, who is living on the Gold Coast. With 1.4 million views and counting, her post resonated with both Aussies and tourists feeling the winter chill.

In the reel, Ioana engages in a comical conversation with "her house," sporting a picture of a house stuck to her forehead. Wrapped in an anorak and layers of scarves, she starts off exclaiming, "I'm freezing, it's like 8 degrees."

To which her house nonchalantly replies, " what?"


"Well...What are you going to do about it?" she asks.

"Um nothing, I'm not insulated," the house responds, casually reading a book.

"What about the people living inside you?" she enquires desperately.

"You're wearing a coat, you look fine."

"I'd prefer to not have to wear a coat indoors," she says, exasperated.

"I have a heater," the house offers.

"In one room and then the rest of the house is freezing," she retorts.

The house merely shrugs, leaving Ioana to scrunch up her face in frustration.

The comment section erupted with agreement from cold Aussies and bewildered tourists.

One person shared, "I am literally in a -21 degree rated sleeping bag as I type this."

Another added, "As a fellow Northern Hemisphere kiddo now living in Aus, what in the actual f**k."

Indeed, Ioana and other expats from colder countries chimed in to express their disbelief at having to explain Australia's biting cold, despite its sunny reputation. They pointed out that homes in their native countries are simply better equipped to stay warm during chilly weather.

In an attempt to justify, someone noted, "Australian houses are made to keep heat out. We figure it's easier to be cold and put on a jacket than be dying from heat in the 40+ weather in summer."

But not everyone was convinced. "From my experience, it's been pretty crap at doing that as well," someone countered with a laugh.

A self-proclaimed architect chimed in with some technical expertise, "Insulation keeps heat out, and cold out. It keeps outside out. We suck at both in this country."

Caption. Photo: Instagram/@ioanaonthecoast
The viral Instagram reel hilariously exposes the struggles of living in a cold Australian house. Photo: Instagram/@ioanaonthecoast

Others highlighted the financial woes, with one person lamenting, "Australian houses are so bad. 1 million dollars and it's the same temperature inside and outside. If it's 40 degrees outside, it's the same inside. If it's 5 degrees outside, it's the same inside."

Another commenter captured the absurdity perfectly: "What's even more mad is that half the time in winter, inside the bloody house is colder than outside!"

A third added, "Winter just plain sucks in Australia due to the shitty insulation."

Indeed, a study by the Australian Centre for Housing Research revealed that homes in temperate regions of Australia, including New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia, and Tasmania, maintain average winter temperatures well below the World Health Organisation's recommended minimum of 18°C.

The study's sample of 100 homes showed an average winter temperature of 16.5°C, with Victoria and Tasmania recording the lowest averages at 15.7°C and 15.8°C respectively. This stark contrast with countries like Finland and Greenland, where indoor winter temperatures typically range from 20°C to 24°C and 21.8°C respectively, underscores Australia's historical lack of consideration for winter conditions in housing design.

This "winter stoicism" among Australians has contributed to a housing legacy ill-prepared for colder climates, leading to health risks and high energy costs.

Work composed of mineral wool insulation in the floor, floor heating insulation , warm house, eco-friendly insulation, a builder at work
Research indicates that Australian homes are colder in winter compared to those in cool-climate European countries like Finland and Greenland, largely due to inadequate housing preparation. Photo: Getty

But in true Aussie fashion, some still managed to find humour in the situation.

"Australians spend all their insulation money on tiles and tap-ware in houses." One more joked, "We basically pretend that winter only goes for like 7 days, so why bother being prepared."

And one astute observation hit close to home: "They don't put in insulation so there's room for all the spiders in your walls."


Summing up our housing situation perfectly, someone lamented, "Wooden tents are our dwellings!"

Ioana’s reel and the subsequent comments highlight a uniquely Australian struggle: surviving winter in homes designed for summer. So, while we might laugh at the absurdity, maybe it’s time we invest in some proper insulation—or at least a few more blankets.

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