A Solar Home Heating System Can Save On Heating Costs In The Winter!

Solar home heating consists of two systems. Active and passive. Passive systems usually cost less and are not as complex, and typically play a large role in the design of new buildings, while active systems can be installed on existing homes, as well as being designed into new structures.

These active systems can provide substantial supplemental space heating, and can cut down on the use of a convential system by 40% to 70%, depending on the unit used.

Passive Solar Heating

Passive solar heating incorporates design features that takes advantage of the suns energy This is most commonly seen in large south facing windows that warm the home during the day acting as a solar air heater, while the flooring and wall coverings absorb the heat during the day and release the heat at night.

Overhangs around the windows are also designed into many of these homes to help shade these windows from taking in too much heat in the summer time when the sun is higher and hotter. There are 3 types of passive solar design:

  • Direct gain- Stores heat from the sun in walls, tile, and concrete in the building, while slowing releasing the heat at night.
  • Indirect gain- This is like direct gain in that it uses materials to store and release heat, usually a space between the sun and the living area, such as an exterior wall.
  • Isolated gain- An area that is away from the living space that collects heat and releases it into the living area. An example of this would be a sun room or greenhouse that is built on the south side of the house that can be closed off or opened up to release or close off the heat.

Solar Home Heating

Active Solar Heating

An active solar home heating system has collectors that collect the suns heat and move that heat to the living space of the home with electric fans. These systems also usually have a storage system to hold the heat and release it when the sun is not shining.

There are 2 types of collectors used with the active solar air heaters. One that works off of heating a liquid in the collector and the other off of heating air in the collector.

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