Home solar / Guides

What is a heat pump
Heat pumps, geothermal and AC

Heat pumps: what they are and how they work

...homes rather than additional heat generation, so that the heat pump can operate at a more optimal efficiency since less capacity would be required. Also, with the right amount of insulation and a properly designed home for passive solar heat gains, it is even possible to safely heat your home during the coldest days ...

Wood frame Triple-glazed, argon-filled windows in the Ecohome Demo House
Windows and doors

Choosing windows - which window frame? wood v aluminum v vinyl

...solar heat gain. Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC): The Solar Heat Gain Coefficient is a scale from 0 to 100 that indicates the amount of solar gain you will get through a pane of glass. The higher the number, the better the solar gain. Energy Rating (ER): After U-value, SHGC and the various designs and materi...

Air-heated radiant concrete floor
Delivery: radiant, forced-air and decentralized

Air-heated radiant floors

...solar air heaters, which are less risky (and less expensive) than thermal-solar hydronic heaters. Insulating air tubes near the heater box output to better distribute heat © Ecohome Can radiant floor heating provide all the necessary heat for a home? In theory, yes, but it will not...

Rendering of the Ecohome demonstration house
Efficient home design

Ecohome Demo House: High performance, affordable cost

...home’s demonstration home: Passive heating and cooling, healthy living space, affordable to build and operate, resilient and flexible design. The underlying goal of the Ecohome Demo House was to design and build a modestly-sized but functional home that would greatly outperform conventionally built homes, yet be on p...

Ecohome's Kenogami House 'The Most Resilient Home in North America'
Concept and design

Resilient design features for new home construction

...home design he was part of that started a global movement towards extremely high-performing homes. The less complicated and more ‘passive’ your home is, the better the chance it will keep doing its job. Solar panels, heat pumps and other high-efficiency mechanical equipment are truly excellent features to have in a h...

Building Climate Zones USA & Canada Maps Help with Specification of Homes
Planning and Design

Climate Zones in USA & Canada for Building Homes

...homes in a changing climate Why green homes are best for climate extremes Why we need to build green homes that withstand climate change events Tips for successfully building affordable eco homes Resilient design features for sustainable new home construction Find more about green home con...

Passively-heated off-grid LEED house in Low, Quebec
Off-grid and Net-Zero Housing

Off-grid living blog: a firsthand account of building and living in a remote area

...homes from the 70's, especially some of the passive solar designs of that time . There were terms like Trombe walls, usage of large water tanks for thermal mass, ' Earthships ' with greenhouses inside the home, and more. There was a great deal of experimentation going on in building innovative and green homes for the...

Sustainably built Prefabricated Tiny houses from FabCab
Tiny house

Tiny Houses: The FabCab prefabricated building WA

...home so that its layout can be easily modified when the need arises, which reduces the need for expensive and wasteful remodeling down the road. In this way, the home remains appropriate for multiple life transitions, reduces a person’s need to move, and increases both the longevity and the marketability of the home. T...

High efficiency wood stoves
Wood stove and biomass heat

Heating with wood and biomass fuel

...home is about as inefficient a heat source as can be imagined. While open fireplaces provide warmth to the immediate area, most of the heat generated goes up the chimney, taking with it inside air warmed by other means. An operating fireplace can suck hundreds of cubic feet of warm air from your home per hour, resultin...

The Best 10 Energy Saving Tips for Green Homes - EcoHome
Wall assemblies - renovation

Green home improvements: an energy-saving pyramid scheme that actually works!

...home on a budget How to design a home that uses less energy Future-proof building techniques for a changing climate Resilient design features for new home construction Find more about green home construction in the EcoHome Green Building Guide pages on North America's favorite green building web...

Comparing ground source and air source heat pumps
Heating and cooling

Heat Pumps: Ground source geothermal GSHP or air source ASHP, which one is best for heating a home?

...homes. That, right there, is the concept of geothermal heating in a nutshell. GSHPs also work in reverse to cool your home, which is an important factor in the efficiency of the system - while cooling your home in summer you are warming the ground for the next heating season. Whichever system you choose - air or ground...