Winter / Guides

Top Tips for Getting a House Ready for Winter
Wall assemblies - renovation

Winter preparation for your home - are you ready for the cold?

...winter Extremely low temperatures over winter can test your home in many ways , and sometimes your house will return a failing grade. Even brand new homes built to code can see failures of their building envelopes, windows, doors and ventilation systems during winter, a simple failure to install windows or doors corr...

Condensation on windows in our homes - why is it there? - how to stop it?
Walls and Roofs

Condensation on windows is a pain but is it a problem & how to stop it?

...winter-time condensation nuisance, read more below: Top tips for getting a home ready for winter Why solariums won't heat homes in a cold climate in winter What causes ice dams & how to fix them And see more Green Building Guides for Sustainable Buildings on North America's favorite sustainable ...

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

...Winter days: even in the dead of winter, a solarium will heat up significantly , so much so that it may probably even overheat. Due to the lower orientation of the winter sun and the absence of leaves on most trees, the sun's rays will easily reach far into a solarium, even those that don’t include a glazed roof. Thi...

Heating an off-grid home
Off-grid and Net-Zero Housing

OFF GRID LIVING BLOG, PART 4: Off-grid heating systems - lessons learned from our off grid home

...winter), the heating system alone needs 4 kWh/day, which is almost the full amount of our target daily electricity budget. The other problem is that the hydronic system is sensitive to freezing, which occurred early in 2013 (our first full winter). We lost power that winter and had a few frozen water pipes, as well a...

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

...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 overhead and easy to keep out. Passive heating and cooling of a home is down to orienta...

Poly vapour barriers in air conditioned houses can cause mold and rot
Healthy indoor air quality

Why you should Never Install Air-Con in a Home with a Vapor Barrier

...winter and, before air conditioning and heavily insulated walls, they were relatively harmless in summer. But as homes are now better insulated and also cooled during hot months, that vapor barrier is on the wrong side of the wall assembly for several months of the year. If you live in a land of endless winter, an in...

Passive solar house design
Passive solar home design

Passive solar home design

...winter. © Ecohome These two dates are important because while you want to absorb as much heat as possible in winter, insufficient shading in summer can make houses unbearably hot and increase cooling costs, which will negate a lot of the energy savings from the free passive solar heating. In the design phas...

Where to place solar panels
Renewable energy

Where to place solar panels

...winter setting, as February is the coldest month and November has the least sunlight.) March 21 & Sept.21 - equal to latitude June 21 - latitude less 20° (However if heating water or air the additional heat may not be desired.) The earth orbits the sun in an elliptical cycle becoming closest to the sun on the w...

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

All about solar air heaters - DIY or purchased

...winter days and unpredictable cloud coverage make it difficult to rely on solar air heaters as a primary heat source because you will gain all your heat during sunny hours but then have to go an easy 16 hours at times with no heat input. And shorter days in winter means that they generate the least amount of heat when ...

Transparent solar power producing windows
Renewable energy

transparent solar panels

...winter rather than hold it. And they're no better in the summer, they require huge amounts of energy to cool them down while the sun beams in and slow cooks the occupants. Glass curtain walls leave us at the mercy of outdoor temperatures, endlessly pumping our money and energy into heating and cooling to stay comfort...

7 Principles of a super abundant, solar, year round greenhouse
Greenhouses and Sunrooms / Solariums

7 key principles for an abundant greenhouse

...winter, and get enough light for year-round growth, you want to maximize light and heat during the winter months. You can do this by choosing a glazing material with a high light-transmittance , like clear glass, on vertical South faces. For maximum performance, you can also angle South-facing glazing to increase light...