Passive Solar Energy Residential Design

Employ these 7 basic fundamentals about passive solar energy for homes and start saving money and energy today!

1. Orientation, layout and positioning of your house on the land
Orientate your living areas to the south side of the house, which receives most of the sun throughout the day (north if you live in the southern hemisphere).

2. Insulation and draft proofing
Make sure your walls, roof and floors are insulated and fill any gaps where drafts might come through.

3. Ventilation
Position doors and windows opposite each other to allow for a cooling breeze to flow through the house when the air cools down in the evening of a hot summers day.

4. Windows
Windows on the south side of the house should be bigger to allow more sun to penetrate the house during the day and windows on the north side smaller to prevent heat lost at night.

5. Landscaping
Position trees and plants to direct a cooling breeze into your house, whiles shading it during summer. Plant trees that shed their leaves in winter.

6. Shading
Make sure external shading structures are wide enough to block out the sun in summer, while still allowing the low winter sun to enter.

7. Thermal mass
Polished concrete, tile or slate floors and brick walls will absorb the heat throughout the day and release it slowly at night, reducing the need to run expensive heaters. Carpet acts as an insulator and will not retain the heat.

Although it’s far easier to achieve passive solar energy for homes during the planning stage, you can incorporate many of these elements without spending a great deal of money or time.

It might be as easy as filling in a few gaps, installing an additional window or moving your living area from the chilly north side of the house to the sunny south side.

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