Whether you are starting new home construction or you're just looking for a way to maximize your home's heating and cooling, the best place to start is to look up – toward the sun, that is. The sun generates a lot of heat that is rarely used to its potential by most homeowners. When you understand how the sun provides heat and where that heat is directed throughout the day, you can maximize your home's features and design to make the most of it. Here are some tips that can help.
Planning New Construction
If you're building a new home, plan your structure so that the longer walls are facing to the north and the south. If you want to reduce the heat buildup inside during the summer, place fewer windows on the north-facing side. Or, place light blocking shades on the windows so that you can still use them for light and some heat in the winter.
The south-facing windows will give you the most concentrated passive heat throughout the winter. When paired with tile flooring or other stone, you'll not only draw the heat in all day, but the floor will absorb that heat, which will radiate into the room throughout the evening.
Making the Most of Existing Structures
Obviously, you can't turn your house. But, even if your existing home wasn't built to capitalize on the sun's movements, that doesn't mean you're out of luck. There are other methods for you to make use of passive solar heating. As with any home, you'll want to be sure that the insulation is even, sufficient and in good condition. Then, you'll want to place roller shades inside the window frames. This builds a pocket between your windows and the cold outside air, reducing temperature transfer inside.
You can achieve some of the same benefits by hanging insulated drapes around your windows for the winter months. During the bright sunshine of the day, open all of your southern-facing shades to let the sun shine in. Then, pull the insulated drapes closed before the sun sets in the evening to minimize heat loss. Consider installing dark tile or stone floors in the rooms with southern-facing windows to help aid in heat absorption.
With these tips, you can optimize the use of the natural heat in your environment without having to invest in expensive solar heating modules. These steps can reduce the strain on your HVAC system and keep your home feeling comfortable all winter long. For assistance, have an HVAC planned maintenance service come in.