If you’re looking to reduce your heating costs it may be worthwhile to look at one of the most economical and energy efficient heating options there is Passive solar heating. Many homes have been built to optimize their potential to use solar energy as a primary heat source, and many more continue to be built. The construction only costs a little more — about 3%, but over time homeowners see significant savings that makes the investment more than pay for itself. Of course, if you’re already attached to the home you already live in you can still take advantage of passive solar heating to some extent without pulling up roots, You can also move into a new home that is conducive to using solar heat even if it isn’t officially considered a “solar home.” For passive solar heating to work its best, ideally, sunlight should hit the home on the south side from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Having too much tree cover in this area defeats the purpose. Paying attention to where the sun is important, but it’s also important to balance sources of shade in order to keep everything in balance.
How Solar Heating Works
Solar heating is archived by trapping solar radiation by initiating greenhouse action by orienting glass areas where they are exposed to full sun. If you haven’t bought a home built specifically to achieve this, you can implement changes in your floor plan in order to be able to take advantage of as much solar energy as possible. Heat can be absorbed by items within a home such as masonry, which has a high thermal mass. At night, this heat is released back into the home as the temperature cools.
Passive shading is also an important component of using solar heat efficiently. By correctly orienting different shading options around glass with eaves and overhangs you can funnel the sun’s rays in the direction that best suits your needs. In the Northern Hemisphere, this would mean orienting your shading to the south.
Fashionable Shading Options to Optimize Passive Solar Heating
Your shading options should do more than face the right direction, they should also convey the style you prefer. Plantation shutters with awnings is one great way to direct the shading in your home while keeping everything looking great. Shutters can be made of wood or engineered wood and can be stained or painted in order to fit your decor. They can be installed not only on the sides of a home, but also on skylights, giving them the option of providing shading in any direction.
Simi Valley window shades are also a great option when directing the sunlight in your home. You want to encourage as much warm sun to enter as possible during the prime daytime hours, and trap that warmth in during off-peak times so it is redistributed in your home. Window shades in Santa Barbara come in different sizes and levels of sheerness in order to effective filter light or darken a room as needed. Using passive solar shading in this way does require the home owner to pay attention to where the sun is as well as the direction the windows are facing, but with the right materials, this can be made easier. Shades can be controlled from a top/down and bottom/up direction or can be controlled vertically. Some also have arched or angled tops that can help direct the shade. Many are motorized as well, so they can be adjusted from anywhere depending on what is needed.
Arjay’s Window Fashions have served Southern California for the last 40 years, providing fashionable window treatments that also meet the practical needs of their customer. Schedule a complimentary appointment to learn how to use passive solar heating to make your home more energy efficient.