Passive solar home design can reduce your heating costs to less than half the cost of heating a typical home. The following basic elements are needed for passive solar design:
- Properly oriented, south-facing windows
- A concrete slab floor or a heat-absorbing wall to store heat (known as a thermal mass)
- Distribution systems to move heat through the home
- Vents, ceiling fans, and awnings for heat control. Window fans may also be part of the design.
- Well-designed passive solar spaces also provide daylight all year and comfort during the cooling season through carefully designed overhangs and reflective coatings on windows, exterior walls, and roofs.
A passive solar house or space requires careful design and siting, which vary by local climate conditions. If you are considering passive solar design for a new home or a major remodel, consult an architect familiar with passive solar techniques.
Passive Solar Tips
- Keep all glass clean.
- Make sure that objects do not block sunlight on concrete slab floors or heat-absorbing walls.