House orientation for solar gain / Guides

Passive solar heating & cooling in Homes has a long history in USA
Passive solar home design

Passive house and passive solar - free heat for homes

...orientation & sun angles throughout the year © Ecohome The first thing to understand is that there are two kinds of solar collection in home design - active and passive. An active solar home has an expensive array of panels; either photovoltaic for power generation or thermal solar for heat collection. Both are com...

Photovoltaic solar panels
Renewable energy

Solar heating and energy generation

...houses. Lifespan and cost: No extra costs, and it will continue to provide heat as long as your home stands. Solar thermal heating and solar water heaters This refers to using solar panels to absorb heat in a liquid (mix of glycol and water) and redistribute it throughout the house, through radiators or radiant...

How to choose Triple pane, high performance windows
Windows and doors

Our top tips for buying high-performance windows

...Solar Heat Gain coefficient based on orientation in the Northern Hemisphere © Ecohome Tips for choosing the right windows • Choose the most efficient windows you can afford . Work with the window supplier to get the right glazing for each orientation. Members get great Discounts - sign up today... •...

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

...for Off Grid Homes looking to heat with passive solar gain is location © Craig Anderson The clearing that we opened is just large enough to build the house and yard, a bit less than half of an acre. On the north, west and south sides of the house, this means that the forest begins only 20 feet from the hous...

Efficient green home design choices
Concept and design

Efficient home design, or how to design a home to use less energy

...formance of your home. No amount of solar panels will compensate for windows and walls that leak heat and moisture. A reasonably-sized house: We just can’t stress this enough — a smaller house is a more efficient house. A smaller house means less land to excavate, less materials to manufacture and ship, less space ...

Passively-heated off-grid LEED Gold home
Off-grid and Net-Zero Housing

Off-grid living blog part 6 - energy modeling projections and real performance I just wanted to reiterate one more time the usefulness of both active and passive solar in reducing the need for other, usually fossil fuel, sources of energy. If we were to eliminate the solar gain through the windows and disconnect the solar panels, the model suggests that we would need 24,550 kWh/year of po...

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

...for passive 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 design...

Building science for LEED v4 wall design made easy
Concept and design

Building science for LEED v4 wall design made easy - video

...for this house were enormous by most standards, for a number of reasons: the long span from north to south (35 feet), the shallow roof pitch (2/12), and the added weight that would be coming in the form of soil for our live roof (green roof). This gave us a deep cavity for insulation, with Roxul batts totalling R95. ...

Solariums in cold climates won't heat homes unless carefully designed and built
Greenhouses and Sunrooms / Solariums

Solariums in cold climates won't heat your home

...fort, they are unfortunately not well-suited to cold climates such as we have across most of Canada. Prefab kit solariums: Some solariums are bought as kits and used exclusively as living space , others are used for growing vegetables and even fruit. Strictly speaking, a solarium is not a greenhouse, but can be use...

Passive solar house design
Passive solar home design

Passive solar home design

...Solar Houses are aptly named because there are no wires, panels or batteries and nothing to break down. It's just about design, and it isn't a new concept. Humans around the globe have been incorporating passive solar design features into their homes for thousands of years . Active solar refers to any system of solar...

Skylights can be problematic in a high performance home
Windows and doors

Are skylights an asset or a liability?

...gainst skylights in terms of their energy performance . They will add a little bit of heat on sunny days in winter (with the right orientation and angle), but the heat they lose when the sun is down will far outweigh any heat they gain. The real heat gain unfortunately comes in summer when you don't want it. The most...