Passive Solar Heating
Passive solar heating is FREE when designed into a home – new or as an addition. In addition to this it is:
- Achievable with very little effort when building on a site which considers solar passive design;
- Possible when building a project home if discussed at the design stage with the builder – with possible slight floor plan alterations and correct orientation.
THE PRINCIPLES OF SOLAR PASSIVE HEATING INCLUDE:
- Positioning daytime living areas on the north side of your home where they will receive warming winter sun;
- The use of insulation and draught sealing – applicable to new and existing homes;
- Utilise thermal mass – this is the use of materials that absorb heat during the day and slowly release it when the temperature drops. Click here to see an example of thermal mass.
MAXIMISING PASSIVE SOLAR HEATING WITHOUT GOOD ORIENTATION
Not all homes have the advantage of access to good site orientation. In the absence of this, you can maximise your home’s solar passive heating through the following:
- Sealing – make sure all door, windows and other openings are sealed;
- Insulation – acts as a barrier to heat flow and is essential to keeping your home warm in winter (and cool in summer) - remember, the higher the R-value the greater its effectiveness. Whilst the Building Code of Australia (BCA) requires all new houses to have insulation in the roof space, the R-value is a minimum and you can choose to have greater insulation. Insulating the cavity space in double brick walls is a further option for you to consider;
- Glazing – a substantial amount of heat can be lost through your home’s windows. This can be minimised through using tight fitting, heavy curtins or other insulating material. Double glazing can be an effective but expensive option for reducing heat loss in winter.