Passive solar energy refers to the application of passive solar energy to lower a building’s heating demand. Using passive solar energy saves energy and money. It is commonly used in areas that are at higher altitudes where heat is needed. A passive solar home offers passive solar cooling and heating for a comfortable home without the utilization of any modern mechanical equipment like fans or pumps. These types of homes are becoming more popular in urban environments as a way to live in extreme climates.
A passive solar house is designed with solar heating panels that utilize the natural shading provided by the sun during the daytime. During the summer months, the south facing sides of the house receive the greatest sunlight and the wintertime, the north facing sides of the house receives the least amount of sunlight. The panel array must be located on the south side of the house to maximize solar exposure. During the daytime, the panels filter the sunrays to convert them into energy. At night, the light absorbed by the panels is enough to keep the house warm without using electric power.
Another way to lower your energy costs is to install solar panels on your roof. Roofs are typically the largest energy consumers in residential settings. Solar panels can also be used as another way to save money. Solar panels can be installed on the roof and interconnected to a battery system to store energy during the day to be used at night. When night temperatures drop, the battery system will start to draw power from the solar panels and convert it into household energy.
Windows are another way to make passive solar energy applications work for you. Windows are a major heat absorber and reflector. Modern windows are specially treated with special coatings and insulation to reflect sunlight, help cool the interior of the house, and provide privacy. New window frames with a double pane or multi-paned glass are designed to capture light and heat. A good quality energy star home improvement rating is an important factor when choosing window treatments.
For example, a thick double-pane window may not reflect the sun like a regular frame. However, they do reduce the amount of heat that enters the room from the outside. Air conditioner vents, for example, should not be located near windows. They can increase heat exchange through the ventilation system. It’s important to check with your local building department for rules and regulations before adding any venting to your home.
Another room that can have passive solar energy use is the attic. Attics are a good place to start because they are often poorly insulated. They can store heat during the day and use it to heat water or air conditioning at night. Many homes include an attic conversion kit with a heat pump. A well insulated attic can save you thousands of dollars in energy costs each year.
Installing insulation is another area that many people don’t consider. When you’re considering passive solar energy heating, make sure you understand how much space you’ll need to insulate. In addition, depending on where you live, you may need to add more insulation to the roof, floors, and walls. This extra insulation will improve your home’s insulation to reduce heat loss during the summer and winter months.
Installing solar panels is one of the best investments you can make in the future. Over time, you’ll find that your energy costs will begin to pay for themselves. You’ll also enjoy savings on your utility bills. Shading is a large benefit and one you can enjoy regardless of whether you use solar panels or not.