The use of passive solar heating and cooling techniques has been in existence for a very long time now. Even with the availability of the modern solar, the passive solar are still in use. The concept behind passive heating and cooling is to model building structures which take advantage of natural weather conditions in heating or cooling. These buildings take energy from the sun and use it in winter and cool wind and breeze from winter to cool during the hot summers.
How passive solar heating and cooling works?
Basically passive solar heating and cooling techniques work by letting into the building sun rays through the windows, which in turn heat the air in the building and later get absorbed by the furniture, walls, and floors among other items in the house. The heat which is absorbed during sunny days is then released to the environment when it gets cold especially during the night. This in turn makes even the cold nights get warmer and more comfortable to live in. Passive solar designs are designed to make the best out of any weathers.
How to determine whether or not a passive solar design will work for your home?
If you have a home with windows, then you are knowing or unknowing making use of the passive solar. This is so because sun rays will come into your home through the windows and heat anything and everything in the home. To prove this, you will agree that there are times that your home gets too hot that you wish you had an air conditioner and at other times it becomes so cold, you wish the home heated.
The reason for this sharp contrast is that you are not properly leveraging the passive solar. If you already own a home, then there is little you can do to take advantage of the passive solar. However for those planning to build new homes then the passive solar techniques can be used to take advantage of different weather conditions.
To determine whether or not passive solar techniques will work for your home, begin by determining how exposed your house interior is to the sun during summer seasons. If your home is designed to leverage passive solar then windows should be designed directly opposite the highest or widest walls of the house. While at it, it is also necessary to make use of windows that will make the best of the winter sun and summer sun.
That is, the windows should be able to sufficiently cater for both seasons without having to opt for other ways to cool the house during the burning summers or other heating ways to warm the house in those cold winter months. Your passive solar heating and cooling techniques will hold no meaning if such will have to happen. One passive solar principle which is aimed at bringing balance during summers and winters is that the windows letting the sun rays into the house should only be between 7-12% of the home square footage. The East and North windows should only be about 4% of that footage and those windows on facing west should only be about 2% or less that footage.
How to make the best out of passive solar heating and cooling?
It is of great importance to maintain balance in temperatures in both winter and summer seasons. One of the ways to get the most out of passive solar is use thrombi walls. Trobe walls are walls which are constructed using very heavy materials which are able to absorb and retain lots of thermal energy.
When the temperatures outside and inside are high, the walls absorb the heat and when the temperatures in the house drop and especially during the night, the walls radiate the stored heat into other rooms in the house. The passive solar heating and cooling can be seen as a better way to improve energy conservation and energy efficiency while at the same time helping you save.