Homes that are optimized for passive solar gain are taking advantage of the free heat energy that falls on the earth in the form of sunlight. There’s a lot of power in sunlight, and with the right configuration of your home, you can take advantage of it without having to buy photovoltaic panels.
How Passive Solar Heating Works
A home that has been optimized for passive solar gain has several key characteristics:
- It will have large amounts of glass on the south side of the house to catch the solar heat.
- It will have a concrete floor with tubing embedded in the floor and fluid circulating in the tubing.
- It will have limited windows on the north side.
- The home may also have ductwork in sunlight-exposed walls to catch additional heat, which can be distributed throughout the home.
The process behind a passive solar home is simple: sun falls on the south side of the home, through the large glass windows and onto the floor, heating the floor and the fluid in a series of tubes embedded in the floor. The warmed fluid is then circulated throughout the rest of the home, distributing the heat evenly. This method takes advantage of the free heat that is available.
How Geothermal Heat Pumps Integrate with Passive Solar Homes
Passive solar homes take advantage of free heat when the sun is shining, but what about when it’s not? Depending on your specific location, your home’s design and local weather patterns, you may not be able to heat your home solely with passive solar heat. Geothermal heat pumps are a great secondary, back-up heat source because they take advantage of free, renewable heat that is always available, even when the sun has stopped shining. Our heat pumps can be installed in conjunction with a passive solar system to provide efficient, emissions free heating in the winter, and air conditioning in the summer.