Design Your Home For Solar Efficiency

May 18, 12 Design Your Home For Solar Efficiency

From the beginning of time, mankind has taken advantage of the sun’s warmth. A cave entrance that faced to the south or the east was no doubt the first attempt to take advantage of solar energy. In our modern world, we have many options in designing our homes to harness the energy of the sun. Use the tips in this article to make your home energy efficient.

There are many choices of building materials that can store the warmth of sunshine. Even before society became focused on green energy, homes were built to take advantage of the free energy provided by the sun. A sunroom that faces to the east or the south is a great way to collect heat in the morning and during the day. Many such rooms have a deep underlying foundation of cement, brick or stone.

When the sun is shining, heat is collected and stored in these types of materials, and slowly released after the daylight hours are gone. While this system does not have the capability of being the only heat source in a home, it can reduce the usage of other types of heating energy. If the home is designed to take advantage of heating and cooling sources from the earth itself, the energy required to make the home comfortable is greatly reduced.

During the hot months of summer, it is best to prevent the sun from heating the home. The use of sun-blocking shades or blinds keep the warmth of the sun out, or an overhang that produces shade when the sun is high during the summer can help. A great side benefit of this design is the possibility of creating an outdoor living space that is shaded during the warmest season of the year.

Another great home design uses the relatively constant temperature of the earth to provide a comfortable interior temperature. When a home is built into a south facing slope, the first level can be partially underground. This allows enough space in the upper area of the exterior walls for windows, but takes advantage of the natural heating and cooling effects of the earth. If a home is designed properly, the energy required to heat it in the winter and cool it during the summer is minimal.

In addition to the energy conscious solar design of a home, the owner can also take advantage of a thermal heat pump system. While these systems are more expensive to install, they require extremely little maintenance. They work with the use of liquid circulating through underground pipes or tubes. The liquid is pumped back into the home and contributes to either the heating or cooling of the home, whichever is required in that particular season.

Home builders and designers have been taking into consideration the availability of natural sources of free energy for many years. If you are fortunate enough to design and build your own home, there are multiple ways to build energy efficiency into your dwelling. Use the information in this article when you decide to build or upgrade your energy saving home.

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