Design Your Home Using Passive-Solar Heating

Design your dream home using passive-solar heating and you'll save money by capturing free heat directly from the sun.

| August/September 2002

Learn how designing your home using passive-solar heating will save you money.

Design Your Home Using Passive-Solar Heating

If you're planning to build your dream home someday, this article could save you thousands of dollars. Including simple, passive-solar features in any style home can cost next to nothing up front and save you unbelievable amounts over the long-term in reduced energy bills.

Millions of homes easily could be designed to capture free heat directly from the sun. But instead we are burning — wasting — huge amounts of oil and natural gas every winter. The missed opportunities to tap into solar energy are so fantastic they boggle the mind, and nowhere is our blindness to the potential of solar more troublesome than in the home-heating arena.

You can incorporate passive-solar heating in any style home, as the photos that accompany this story show. Or you can add solar features when remodeling an existing home, as long as the south side of the house receives full sun most of the day. When correctly designed, solar homes provide unrivaled comfort in winter and summer They offer large, south-facing windows, generous views, sunny interiors and open floor plans.

Architect Debbie Rucker Coleman, who has been designing solar homes since 1985, says her clients are impressed with how spacious the sunlight makes the home feel. "In addition to low heating bills, passive-solar homes are cool in summer. They are delightful places to live," she says.

Coleman's drawings show how two conventional house styles could easily become passive-solar homes.

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