Passive solar cooling is a technique of shading windows during the summer to prevent solar heat from entering the home. For new homes, calculate the height of the sun at its peak during the summer and make sure the eaves on the home shade the windows during peak summer heat months. Deciduous trees can shade windows in the summer but allow sunlight to strike the windows in the winter. This creates a natural heating system in the winter and a natural cooling system in the summer.
Although older windows required the use of curtains to block the sun for passive solar cooling, newer windows often contain a coating that can help reflect the heat causing rays of the sun from higher summer angles, while allowing them to enter at winter solar angles. In some cases, curtains will still help, but may not be entirely necessary for passive solar cooling in the summer.
Passive solar heating relies on sunlight passing through windows. The heat from the suns rays are trapped inside the structure and raise the ambient temperature of the interior. Passive solar cooling relies on preventing sunlight to enter a structure and several other techniques.
The orientation of the windows is critical for solar heating. Windows facing due south will provide the best passive solar heat throughout the day. Although south facing windows are the most energy efficient placing the windows at a maximum angle of 30 degrees to the south will also provide good passive solar heat. Not many of us have the choice of moving windows.
The most efficient ratio of floor to window area is about 80 percent. This means that a south facing wall should have around 80 percent of the room’s floor area as a surface area. If a room is 200 square feet, an ideal south facing window would be 160 square feet.
The ideal windows for passive solar heating are high efficiency windows, often multi-paned, gas-filled windows, combined with high levels of wall, ceiling and floor insulation are the best choice. Retrofitting an existing home with high efficiency windows and expanding the surface area of those windows on the south face of the structure is an excellent way to both increase the overall energy efficiency of the home and to take advantage of passive solar heating techniques.
Please note that this Scottsdale Real Estate Blog is for informational purposes and not intended to take the place of a licensed Scottsdale Real Estate Agent. The Szabo Group offers first class real estate services to clients in the Scottsdale Greater Phoenix Metropolitan Area in the buying and selling of Luxury homes in Arizona. Award winning Realtors and Re/MAX top producers and best real estate agent for Luxury Homes in Scottsdale, The Szabo group delivers experience, knowledge, dedication and proven results. Contact Joe Szabo at 480.688.2020, info@ScottsdaleRealEstateTeam.com or visit www.scottsdalerealestateteam.com to find out more about Scottsdale Homes forSale and Estates forSale inScottsdale and to search the Scottsdale MLS for Scottsdale Home Listings.