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Winter Savings: Harnessing Passive Heating

Why ratchet up your electrical bills during winter when you can stay warm for free? Warm your home for free with passive solar energy. For thousands of years, the sun has been heating and cooling the humans’ living spaces. In this post, windows and doors expert Renewal by Andersen® of New Jersey-New York Metro shows how to harness passive heating.

Ancient Knowledge Helps

In old North America, people used to inhabit the sides of south-facing cliffs. The rock walls absorbed the sun’s heat and bounced it back out at night to provide warmth after dark. Carving their spaces deep enough into the cliff created an overhang that blocked the heat of the sun. Modern architecture still uses these passive solar design principles.

Window Placement Is Key

Position your windows facing south where the strongest sun of the day hits. Windows and sliding patio doors on east walls let the sun in early to heat the house. The hottest afternoon sun on west-facing windows will add to the day’s warmth before sunset.Shade Trees Are Worth Considering

The west side is hot in winter and a lot hotter in summer. Consider it when adding windows on the west. Plant shady trees on the northwest side of your house. In the northeast, they will also keep the sun from heating your home in summer.

Thermal Mass Can Be Harnessed

Harness as much passive heating as possible with thermal mass inside the house. The sun will warm it during the day and at night, it will release heat into your living space. It gives off a more even and gentle heat than an air duct or space heater. The best passive heating materials are concrete, tile, brick, stone, earth and water. A bare, dark, concrete floor could be the most efficient. The sun though should hit it through your windows or French doors.

Renewal by Andersen® of New Jersey-New York Metro can help you harness passive heating. We serve customers in Hillsborough, New Jersey, and other nearby areas. Give us a call today at (908) 497-1020.


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