Homes can be designed to be naturally warm in winter and cool in summer, if they’re built using passive heating concepts.
The idea behind passive heating is to maximise a home’s ability to absorb and retain the sun’s natural heat to create a more comfortable home and minimise energy bills.
Its aim is to control the temperature and ventilation of a home without the use of appliances that consume energy.
Embrace these simple concepts when you build for a much more comfortable and energy efficient home.
Good passive design includes:
House orientation – Your home should ideally be positioned as far as possible away from neighbouring buildings that might block the north sun. Note that in the winter, objects cast shadows up to three times their height, blocks out sun light. It is also important to decide which rooms you want to be the sunniest, typically living spaces are chosen.
Shade protection – Wide eaves are a useful feature to help shade from the harsh sun in summer and provide increased weather protection in winter.
Insulation – Well insulated homes are capable of using the heat from the sun more effectively to retain heat and also slow the flow of heat loss. Plus it maintains a more constant internal temperature to reduce the need for heating.
Window placement – Larger windows should face the sun to capture the warmth while south-facing windows,, which receive minimal sun, should be small to avoid heat loss. All windows should be double glazed as a minimum standard.
Colour consideration – If you live in a cooler environment use dark coloured roofing material to absorb heat, and likewise if you live in a warmer environment use light coloured roofing to reflect the suns rays.
Ventilation – Use window joinery with security catches which allow windows to remain partially open to help ventilate the home and remove condensation.
Draughts – Once a house is well-insulated and appropriately glazed, the biggest potential heat loss is through draughts around windows and doors. Use weather-stripping and high-quality sealants to reduce air leakage.