Passive solar heating is a brilliant concept that harnesses the power of the sun to keep your home warm and cozy, all while saving you money and reducing your environmental impact. It’s a simple yet ingenious approach that doesn’t require any fancy gadgets or solar panels on your roof. Instead, it relies on the natural warmth and radiance of the sun itself.
Method of Passive Solar Heating
The method of passive solar heating utilizes solar energy to heat homes without the need for additional technology or solar panels. It is a multi-step process that starts with windows facing south so the sun may shine through. The energy from the sun is then absorbed by a dark coating of paint on a surface called the absorber, which is situated on top of a thermal mass that can store heat, such as concrete, bricks, ceramic tiles, or stone. During the day, the thermal mass collects and retains the absorbed energy.
The thermal mass’s heat is delivered into the house in the evening and at night through three mechanisms:
- Radiation is heat that moves through space in waves.
- Heat is transferred through convection, which includes air movement, and conduction, which involves coming into direct contact with a surface.
- These processes help distribute the captured solar energy and warm the living space.
The method of passive solar heating is considered a cost-effective and environmentally friendly approach to home heating, as it relies solely on sunlight and minimizes reliance on fossil fuels. Compared to conventional heating techniques that use gas or oil, it can result in significant savings on heating costs. Studies have shown significant savings on heating costs, whether you use gas or oil when compared to traditional methods.