Passive Solar Home Design: How Does It Work

You will require warmth in winter and a cooling effect in summer, but you will have to pay a good amount to enjoy these luxuries. There is another way to have these luxury effects throughout the year without paying much. You can consider passive house design before you build a home. You can have one of those energy efficient homes with passive solar heating features.

What Is a Solar Passive Home?

Another name for passive solar homes is sun homes because you get warmth in winter without turning on the heater. Well, you have to build a house in a certain direction and use certain materials that would use sunlight to keep your home warm in winter and cool in summer.

How to Design a Solar Passive Home?

If you build one of those energy efficient houses, you must follow certain rules and fulfill criteria. Following are the factors you need to pay attention to while designing a passive solar home:

  • The aperture of your home design. It would help if you kept a few facts in mind while designing a passive solar home. The windows of your bedroom should face north, and the windows of your living areas must face south. You shouldn’t cover the windows between 9 am to 3 pm in winter. The windows facing north and south in both winters and summers will have their benefits to make you feel comfortable.
  • The darkened and hard surface of your building. Dark surfaces absorb more heat; therefore, you should have darker walls in front of the sun to absorb more heat.
  • Thermal mass details. If you live in a state where you have to survive through harsh winters, then you should use thermal mass material that absorbs more heat to keep your home warm throughout the winters.
  • Heat circulation throughout the house. It would help if you used ducts, fans, and blowers while constructing a passive home design so these appliances will distribute the heat evenly from the collection point to the storage point and different points of your home.
  • Temperature control devices. You can have all the natural ways to control the temperature, like having large trees or roof overhangs that can provide you with a cooling effect during summer. Still, you will require technology to make things easier in both summers and winters. You will require devices that control temperature, like differential thermostats that signal a fan to turn on in the summer.

Reasons to Get a Solar Passive Home

Passive Solar Home Design

Following are the reasons why you should consider the idea of building a passive solar home for yourself:

Energy-efficient home

Don’t you want to play a role in saving the environment? Well, one of the most important reasons for a passive solar home would be saving the environment. Yes, if you use Energy to warm up your place in winter and appliances to provide a cooling effect in summer, you will be polluting the environment big time.

Your carbon foot will increase because you will be using fossil fuels, and eventually, it will pollute the environment. Energy-efficient homes would be a good solution to all the polluting environmental problems. There will be less emission of greenhouse gases into the environment because you will use the sun as your heat source in winter.

In summer, the sun won’t be able to heat your place as it does simple home ideas. So you don’t have to use appliances to get your cooling effect. So, the number one reason passive solar homes are getting popular is that it is time to save the environment from human activities.

A lifetime of thermal comfort

People living in cooler zones of the world know the importance of thermal heat. Without warmth, those people won’t be able to survive through the chilly winters. The more heat you require to stay warm inside your home, the more Energy you will utilize to keep your place warm.

If you consider solar passive home design, then your place will automatically stay warm, and you don’t have to use any other resource to keep your home warm all the time. Having a passive solar home would be a lifetime thermal comfort. You won’t have a heater or central heating system while using external energy resources. You will get all the warmth from the sun.

Benefits of Solar Passive Homes

Following are the benefits you will have if you get a passive solar home:

1. Minimal utility bills cost

To keep the temperature of your home moderate, you will have to turn on the heaters in winter and air conditioners in summer. No one can survive the chilly winters and scorching summers. Well, using the appliances will cost you heavy utility bills. To save yourself, you have to think about passive solar design homes.

Your home will stay warm in winter and cool during the summer. You have to use the right mind of material and design to help keep your home temperature moderate. There will be minimum use of appliances to moderate the inside temperature of your home. So, you will start getting minimal utility bills. You have to invest money one time, and rest of your life, you don’t have to worry about your utility bills.

2. Improved air quality

You should know that when you have a passive solar design home and use minimum external sources of energy to keep your home warm or cool down, you will play a major role in saving the environment.

The air quality will improve in your home, and your carbon foot will decrease automatically. So, if you want to play your role in saving the environment, then consider the passive solar home design.

3. Comfortable temperature

You don’t have to turn on the heating system and wait for it to warm up your place. You don’t have to turn on the air conditioners the first thing you enter your home so you can breathe some cool air.

Upon entering your home, the temperature will be moderate and comfortable in advance because of the passive solar home features. You don’t have to worry about entering a chilly place or breathing suffocated home air while entering your place. You will feel comfortable while entering your home.

You are going to use durable materials to build your home, so the life of your home is going to be more than normal homes. Well, you don’t have to do the maintenance work of your passive solar home. You will have a well-built, durable home because you cannot compromise on the quality of the material you will be using to build a passive solar home.

4. Peaceful environment

You should know that you will use premium materials to build a passive solar home. All the insulation material in the walls will keep the noise outside your home. Yes, the insulated walls will cancel the noise effect coming from outside.

Once you enter your home, you will get a peaceful environment around. You won’t get disturbed by the outside noises anymore. You can have peace in your home all the time.

5. Less dependence on outside power resources

Sometimes the whole area runs out of electricity, then how would you survive in summers and winters? You should have a backup plan so your dependence on outside power resources would be minimum. The solution for this situation would be passive solar homes.

Yes, your home will stay warm even if the whole area runs out of power in winter, and it will stay cool in the summer. So, you can consider this benefit because you will get rid of utility bills and other energy sources. Your dependability will be only on the climate condition of your place.

6. Higher property value

If you think like a business and want to sell houses at higher prices, then you should consider building passive solar homes. The prices of passive solar homes are higher than simple homes.

Nowadays, buyers even prefer to buy passive solar homes because it helps them to have a smart and comfortable lifestyle.

Disadvantages of Solar Passive Homes

We have talked about the benefits of passive solar homes above, but there are a few disadvantages as well that you should know before you make any decision:

High price

Doubtlessly there is a list of benefits of having a passive solar home, but the one disadvantage that might stop you from designing one would be the cost of constructing one. Designing and constructing a passive solar home might cost you a fortune. You will require experts to do the designing first. You will have to make things right by spending more money if anything goes wrong.

Plus, you will require special insulating material and other things to complete your home. So, you must have a good bank balance if you consider building a passive solar home. You will have to get every material of top-notch quality to enjoy the comfort of having a passive solar home.

Plus, it would help if you got the designing and architecture of your house from a professional who already knows how to build a passive solar home. You will require experts to build a home, so you can imagine how much you will have to spend to build a passive solar home.

Climate dependence

What if the sun doesn’t come up for days in winter or if the sun gets extra scorching in summer? When you build a passive solar home, your home’s temperature dependence on the climate will increase. If the sun doesn’t come up, then the passive solar home features won’t be able to keep your home warm. You will have to turn on the heaters to keep the place warm so you can survive the chilly temperature.

In summer, if the passive solar material cannot distribute the heat equally to keep your place cool down, you will have to turn on the air conditioner. So, another drawback of having a passive solar home would be the dependence on the climate. Everything will be connected to everyday weather.

The appearance

You will have to use a certain type and certain material color on the outside structure of your passive solar home. If you want to use lighter shades, you might not be able to use them according to the home you will build. You will have to drop your idea of having a neutral shade home structure if you consider having a passive solar home.

High maintenance

Certain types of materials would be used to build a passive solar home. First, the price of the material is going to be high. If anything happens to any material, you must replace it.

You will have to take care of the maintenance work of your passive solar home if you want to enjoy all the benefits. Only professionals will be able to help you with the maintenance job. Otherwise, you might end up causing damage to the insulated walls or the roof. So, high maintenance would be required for a passive solar home.

What Is the Future of Passive Solar?

Yes, passive solar homes are the future because it helps in keeping the environment safe from greenhouse gases. Your houses will stay warm in winter and cool down in summer. You won’t have to use any external energy source to have the perfect temperature in your home.

Therefore, builders are building passive solar homes to save the environment. Plus, there is good money in selling passive solar homes. We have mentioned the benefits above, which would be enough to understand the importance of passive solar homes.

The Final Word

You can consider passive solar house plans to build a home if you want to enjoy the benefits of energy efficient homes as discussed above. You will get passive solar heating in winter, and you will have a cooling effect, so you don’t have to turn on your air conditioner all the time to survive the heat.

Kateryna Ryzha

Kateryna Ryzha

Kateryna is an experienced writer with a focus in solar energy. She is a specialist in several topics related to energy efficiency, technical applications, renewable energy, and more as a consequence of her extensive reading.

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