Everyone wants a comfortable home. But comfort comes at a great cost when it takes large amounts of energy to heat and cool the indoor environment. If you're building a new home, or renovating an existing one, consider these tips on solar energy home designs to keep you cozy inside.
This is an easy solution for capturing solar energy in order to heat the indoor air. In the winter, sunlight will stream into the home and heat the indoor space with radiant energy. By extending the roof line above the south wall (i.e. let it stick out further from the wall), as the hot summer sun rides high in the sky, its rays will be blocked from entering the interior, thus preventing the room from overheating.
Construction materials can affect the amount of solar energy that is utilized in a home. For example, in Florida and other hot locations, concrete walls can store daytime heat and release it later at night. In the northern climates, walls made out of wood act as good insulator and painting them a dark color will also allow them to trap as much solar heat as well.
With the use of pumps and large roof-mounted solar collectors, an ethylene glycol solution can be pumped through the system to gather the heat from the sun. Temperature sensors automatically direct the hot water to a heat exchanger where it's used to raise the temperature of potable water for human consumption or to use for solar home heating purposes.
Consider the following before installing hot water panels:
Solar panels are expensive investments that will last for 20 – 30 years and can help cut greenhouse emissions. For a household to become energy self-sufficient, homeowners should consider:
Solar energy home designs can be as complicated or as simple as you like. Many books are available to help with designing a home that best utilizes solar power. It's easier to incorporate solar power into a new design but with extra time, effort, and of course money, it can also be integrated into an existing residence.