Solar heater / Guides

Mixed interior room lighting
Lighting

Home lighting design

The first thought of home lighting design should be the orientation of windows for quality of life, but also passive solar heat gain. Not only does the sun offer free heat, but free light as well. Natural and certain types of artificial lighting can reduce the symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D.). Studie...

Slab-on-grade construction technical guide
Slab on Grade

Slab-on-grade technical guide

...Solar Homes & LEED certified homes. Slab on Grade Foundation © Yanni Milon for Ecohome Sacrifices, challenges and solutions: In order to be able to make an informed decision about this type of foundation, there are several precautionary steps that must be taken and challenges to be addressed...

High efficiency fireplaces and how to choose one
Wood stove and biomass heat

Choosing the right wood-burning stove or fireplace for both heat output & the environment

...solar homes that could probably be kept warm with a fondue pot and a few mood candles. So don't buy based on your square footage alone. If you get a wood stove that is too big for your space, you will either overheat or need to operate it at a lower temperature. Running it at too low a temperature means a less effici...

Saving Energy in Swimming Pools and Hot Tubs - Our Top Tips to Save Money
Natural swimming pools and ponds

Top tips for energy efficient swimming pools - reduce pool cleaning & running costs

...Solar powered heating system saves energy while extending comfort While the initial cost of installing solar water heaters might be high, in the long run it makes financial sense. You can even connect the solar panels so they can serve both your home when they are not required for the pool - for more details on solar...

Earthship in Taos, New Mexico, shame they don't work in cold climates
Concept and design

Do Earthships work in cold climates?

...solar panels and wind, propane is typically used for cooking, and in colder climates water heating. Rainwater is collected, stored in large plastic cisterns and filtered for residential use; waste water is treated on site and used for growing food. The south-facing wall is all windows and acts as a heat collector a...

Celsius Solar Igloo
Solar thermal collectors

Celsius: The solar heated igloo!

...solar igloo at first sounds counterintuitive, but contrast is at the heart of this design concept created by the L. McComber architectural team for Montreal's Igloofest. The solar igloo known as 'Celsius' can be visited free of charge until February 19th at the now famous Igloofest in the Old Port of Montreal. We wer...

Thermal batteries for passive solar design
Efficient home design

Thermal batteries: how to passively store heat

...solar thermal panels. Even this type of system is not new, the first house in the United States with an active solar heating system was built In 1939 on the MIT campus (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), and sat on top of a huge water reservoir that was heated by thermal solar panels. MIT Solar House thermal...

Snowboarder, Mike, Basich's, off-grid cabin in the woods with hot tub
Tiny house

Off-grid tiny house in the heart of the Sierras.

Snowboarding pioneer and photographer Mike Basich built himself an epic Tiny off-grid cabin. Without a bedroom or bathroom per se, but equipped with a hot tub and chairlift, this gorgeous Tiny House is most perfectly situated in the heart of the Sierras. © Mike Basich Basich began his career ...

Non-toxic, naturally-dyed Easter eggs
Lifestyle and environment

DIY non-toxic & all natural Easter egg dye.

Dying eggs is one of my favourite spring traditions. Sadly, many conventional food dyes and artificial colourings are far from benign. According to a 2010 study conducted by the Center for Science in the Public Interest, Food Dyes: A Rainbow of Risks , "The three most widely used dyes, Red 40, Yellow 5, and Yellow 6, ...