While you might not be aware of this, you are actually living in a house powered by solar energy. As a matter of fact, every single house that you have lived in so far was powered by solar energy. This is called passive solar and is a concept that can help you save significantly on your utility bills.
Every house has a room or rooms that experience a higher temperature than others during the daytime. Many people are aware of this, but fail to make the connection when they talk about how certain rooms keep burning up whereas others remain cold during daytime. These hot rooms are the ones that are exposed to the Sun’s massive energy all day. As our Sun is basically a giant nuclear reactor, it sends an immense amount of energy our way. This can cause room temperatures to rise to incredible temperatures within a mere thirty minutes, which only goes to show how powerful solar energy can be. When you give it some thought, it is possible to utilize this power source for heating up your home in a passive manner.
Sunlight can be easily utilized to our benefit in a house. When you do not want heat, block all access areas, and when you do, simply let it all in. When the Sun’s energy and rays enter your room via windows, this area is called an isolated gain location. E.g. when sunlight enters your room via the window, it can transform the room into an isolated gain area, which heats up when you shut the door. You have 2 excellent ways for using this to your advantage.
You may use sunlight for heating your house passively by increasing the number of isolated gain areas, which follow the Sun’s path. This will allow heat levels to increase and become uniform throughout your house. Once you’ve got a sufficient number of isolated access areas in your house, which track the Sun’s path, you can obtain free heating throughout the entire day. While most houses have windows attached at various ends, the roof provides only restricted sunlight access. You can install skylights or sunroom roofs for increasing the heating in your house.
Another way you can use for transforming sunlight into useful heat requires certain materials. While these materials take a longer period of time to get heated up, they retain their heat longer as well. This method involves utilizing thermal mass for heating a house. For example, masonry materials collect and retain the Sun’s energy. When it is utilized for flooring purposes underneath a window, these materials tend to heat up during the daytime. Once the Sun has set, these materials keep giving off heat for hours. You can think of it like a fireplace that continues to emit heat even after its fire has been extinguished.
However, it is vital to note that sunlight-based house heating can never be an efficient replacement for utilities, but making minor improvements and tweaks can help improve the overall comfort of your house.