With the effects climate change has on our planet, more and more people are looking to an eco-friendlier way of life. And since nothing has a more damaging affect than power, the environmentally aware are starting from their homes, and designing homes to harness the power of the sun, to fuel their need for energy. By taking advantage of the site, climate, and materials these greenhouses can minimize pollutants, while optimizing energy consumption. With our planet in mind, looking towards solar ideas to implement in the household, may be the best, greenest, and cheapest solution of conserving energy, and saving our true home – Earth.
Once you start your journey into solar design, the first thing you need to know is that passive home design relies on more than just panels and other solar features. Energy efficiency starts in reducing the heating and cooling of the house. Choose professionals who specialize in green architecture, design and construction. Working with them you can work on designing your dream green house, or remodeling an existing site to meet energy-efficient demands. Also, if remodeling, do a home energy audit to know what should be your main focus, and what improvements should best suit your energy needs.
A well-insulated home requires less energy for heating and cooling, and is therefore more energy efficient. The walls of your house are the foundation for energy efficiency both inside and out, so making sure they retain heat (winter), and remain cold (summer) is essential. Make sure that the walls are layered by quality insulating materials such as formaldehyde, mineral wool or cellulose, but are durable and do not trap moisture. Also, when doing the interior consider The aesthetic energy efficient wallcoverings that help in retaining moisture, and help with insulation.
Including masonry into your homes is another natural way of storing heat in the home. Floors and walls facing the southern side get heated during the day, trapping the energy within them. Once the night cool climate comes in contact with them, they start releasing that energy and maintain a steady temperature throughout the interior space. While this is not as effective as wall insulation, blending the two will provide robust walls and maximum cold-heat temperature maintenance in the home.
When it comes to passive solar home designs, everything should be oriented regarding the sun. Solar collection windows should be placed 30 degrees of south, without direct shading to late afternoon. Also, looking to glass varieties that are both insulators and solar collectors will give a comfortable room temperature during any season. And because you also need to look to ways of minimizing overheating during the hot season (spring-summer), properly placed roof overhangs can provide the right amount of shading.
When it comes to ideas regarding energy reduction, landscapes provides steady insulation during any season. While trees and shrubs can provide a natural shading to the house (excluding the south side), a pond or stream using renewable filtering water supplies can cool the outside of the home, and therefore the inside as well. And come winter, the trees and a low-lined hedge can be an ideal insulation and wind-breaker that reduces cold temperature impact on the house.
In the end, it is important to remember that the planet is changing rapidly due to the impact society has made on it. With simple modifications to your own home, you will be harnessing a sustainable energy source, going green, and reducing costs, making your solar design home a well-rounded, worthwhile investment.