Building a Solar Home for Less

An inexpensive, efficient solar-heated and cooled home.



042-114-01
The eight simplified drawings illustrate how the various heating and cooling cycles of the Helio Thermics system work. In modes 1 through 4, the vents in the eaves (and atop the attic) are closed to retain heat during cool weather. In modes 5 through 8 (warm weather), these same vents are opened... thereby allowing the attic to cool through convection. Mode 4 illustrates the most complex - and least often used - heating cycle, in which water is pre-heated by the collectors in the attic, then brought to even higher temperatures by a gas-fired heater, and finally passed through the heat-exchange coils in the "air handler".
MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
042-111-01_02
The Helio Thermics prototype solar house may look conventional. . . but looks can be deceiving!
PHOTOS: MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
042-112-01
This cutaway view of the Helio Thermics solar home illustrates the "storage to house" mode of heat transfer, in which the "air handler" draws warm air (red) from rock storage to - and through - the edge-laid cinder blocks... the lower level of the central duct... the blower within the air handler itself... the upper level of the central duct...and finally, ducts (directly beneath the floor) leading to the inside of the house. Cool air (blue) enters the return duct (at right) and travels to the far side of the rock storage area, where it absorbs stored BTU's prior to re-entering the cycle. Heavy insulation, and a virtually airtight house, are what make it possible.
MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF











Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 66% Off the Cover Price

First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
Country:
Email:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Lighten the Strain on the Earth and Your Budget

MOTHER EARTH NEWS is the guide to living — as one reader stated — “with little money and abundant happiness.” Every issue is an invaluable guide to leading a more sustainable life, covering ideas from fighting rising energy costs and protecting the environment to avoiding unnecessary spending on processed food. You’ll find tips for slashing heating bills; growing fresh, natural produce at home; and more. MOTHER EARTH NEWS helps you cut costs without sacrificing modern luxuries.

At MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet’s natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. That’s why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.00 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.00 for 6 issues.