Sun room / 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

...sun exposure is, and trying to capture and keep as much of that heat as you can in the winter while keeping it out in the summer. This may seem like a tall order, but the seasonal position of the sun conveniently serves this end. In the winter the sun is low and will reach far into your house, in summer it is high over...

The Fincube tin house
Tiny house

The Fincube off-grid tiny house layout. When the Fincube is used as a living space, the functional wall panels are situated in the middle of the room, and the four living areas (living room and bedroom, kitchen and bathroom) open up to the outside. The 360-degree glass fronts, innovative lighting technology and use of natural material create...

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 (stone, masonry, brick, etc.) to act as a thermal battery for storing solar heat , varying amounts of heat will be absorbed and stored when the sun is up, and released later when the sun goes down and the room begins to cool. But once that supply of heat is depleted, and in the absence of a supplementary heat sour...

Dual axis solar tracker
Solar photovoltaic

Choosing between solar trackers and fixed solar panels mounts

...sun. Given that, the angle will almost always be less than optimum for fixed arrays. There is only one fleeting moment each day when the panels are perpendicular to the sun and harnessing all the available energy; the rest of the time they are not quite operating at full capacity. Those who use panels seasonally (cot...

Solar Air Heating Panels for Homes - How to Build DIY
Solar thermal collectors

All about solar air heaters - DIY or purchased

...sun is shinning. And without some a sizable amount of thermal mass to store heat and release heat , it's unlikely that anything but the most well-insulated buildings will maintain a comfortable room temperature from sundown to sunup on a cold winter night. If you're looking for a solar air heater to warm a building w...

Rendering of the Ecohome demonstration house
Efficient home design

Ecohome Demo House: High performance, affordable cost

...rooms, bathrooms and the mechanical room will be concentrated along the north side of the home, with living areas on the open space to the south. This configuration allows the exposed thermal mass of the concrete floor to work effectively with the solar gains from the abundant windows on the south facade. Though it's...

Ice dams on roofs & how to fix them
Roof assemblies - renovation

What causes ice dams and how to fix them

...Sun and wind: wind will blow snow off a roof, most noticeably at the ridge, and when roofing materials are exposed to the sun they warm up and melt the surrounding snow. What causes ice dams on roofs and in attics? Ice dam protection and prevention: As some of these problems (such as sno...

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

Our top tips for buying high-performance windows

...sun; therefore, when choosing windows for the south facade, look for a high SHGC with the highest possible R-value [or its opposite: the lowest possible U value, since this is the value usually provided for windows and doors]. Well-designed overhangs will let the low winter sun in and keep the high summer sun out ©...

Solar panel installation
Solar photovoltaic

Ten questions to ask a solar panel contractor

...sun exposure. Are there alternative solar mounting systems? Pole mounts are a good option if you don't have enough roof space or a clear line for solar exposure. Free-standing options include fixed, manually adjustable (move it twice a year for summer and winter optimal angle) and automatic trackers. Read here abou...

Thermal batteries for passive solar design
Efficient home design

Thermal batteries: how to passively store heat

...sunny window is a thermal battery of sorts as it captures and later releases heat from the sun. A well-insulated concrete floor acts as a thermal battery as well; once you pump it full of heat it takes a long time to cool down (depending on the thickness), and it regulates interior temperatures during that time. On...

Mixed interior room 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...