December 6, 2009

Let the Passive Solar Heating begin...

Along with the in-town park location, this sunny southern exposure is why we bought this lot.

The leaves on the large maple trees out back are long gone, revealing why we purchased this particular lot. The rear interior corner of the house faces directly south, so even though the park view is to the front, most of the windows run all along this interior corner. Since the winter sun is lower in the sky, warmth will penetrate deep into the home for most of the day, providing passive solar heating -- and keeping energy bills to a minimum in this super insulated house. When you work closely with nature, your house can heat itself.

From front entry to rear french doors, a wide swath of stone flooring will provide thermal mass, which absorbs and stores warmth from the day's rays and then slowly releases it at night as the house cools.

The light-reflecting plaster bounces sunshine off all of the walls, eliminating the need to turn on lights during the day.

What a difference from the light-absorbing blue boarded walls just a week earlier.

The sky-lit gable ceiling over the kitchen, with view to breakfast nook beyond.

The nook will be a cozy, sunny place to relax.

The tall open stairwell is a key component of passive cooling during the summer. The north-facing windows at the stairwell bottom allow cooler air to rush in as rising hot air escapes through higher windows in the attic loft.

The lovely allee of trees in the park across the street after our first December snowfall.


  1. As soon as the sun got low enough, in mid-November, I started recording the temperature gain thanks to the sunroom windows, and documenting this at

    On sunny days, it pains me to see all my neighbours' south-facing windows blocked by drapes and curtains. The excuse? They don't want the upholstery to fade.

  2. Thank you so much for the lovely comment you left today - I'm glad you enjoyed this post. Leigh


Related Posts with Thumbnails