Passive solar heat

Just the idea of not turning the furnace on all winter changes the way you look at things.

For example, you don’t need solar panels to enjoy solar heating.

The kitchen window faces south and warms the room.
The kitchen window faces south and warms the room.

So far we have done little different since the house temperature has not dipped below what we would normally set the thermostat to anyway. It may feel chilly in the morning, but that is only because we have been used to summertime warmth 24/7.

The dining room window faces south, too.
The dining room window faces south, too.

When the sun is shining, the sooner we can get the blinds up, the sooner those south-facing rooms start to warm up. We have south-facing windows in the kitchen and dining room and upstairs in the daughter’s bedroom.

The sunroom is handy for this, too. Being a walled-in porch, there is no insulation in the walls and the large windows are single-paned. In the winter, this room gets mighty cold, but when the sun has some time to do it’s work it can get very toasty.

Open the kitchen door that leads to the sunroom and check the temperature in there. If it is warmer than the kitchen, leave the door open. If it is cooler, close it. This is the complicated system of passive house HVAC in our house right now.

Is passive solar heat going to be enough to keep us warm through the coming Maple Ridge winter?

Tune in and find out!

The sun heats up the sunroom and, if we open the back door, the kitchen too.
The sun heats up the sunroom and, if we open the back door, the kitchen too.

Please excuse the mess on the floor in the photo. The floor of the sunroom is as solid as you might expect from a porch, but no more. The washing machine can get to bouncing pretty good when it spins and will knock anything off that I have foolishly left there.

Published by

James Rowley

James lives in Maple Ridge, BC, Canada with his amazing partner, Leanne Koehn, and their two amazing kids in their beautiful house. He studied Science and English Literature at the University of British Columbia where he met Leanne. He also studied acting for a while at Studio 58 in Vancouver. He works as a teacher of English and curriculum writer for new Canadians.

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