Passive Solar Design

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.