6 Basic Design Tips When Building a Passive House

Without a doubt, a traditional house design is pleasing to the eyes. After all, it has a rectangular foundation, asphalt shingle roof, and evenly distributed sides.

While you may think that there is no problem with this, the truth is it’s not the best design for energy efficiency. For one, effective heat and light distribution are impossible. As such, homeowners need to depend on electric lights for illumination and the air conditioner or heater for temperature control.

If you want to harness the power of the sun, then you should ask your neighborhood renovation experts about passive design.

What is Passive Design?

Passive design is all about appropriate home orientation, apart from the careful design of walls, floors, windows, and roof. More than just taking advantage of solar energy, this design can help you harness the power of cooling breezes.

While this is best done during the design and building process, renovation experts can work on existing homes as well. Through small upgrades, such abodes can enjoy natural lighting and ambient temperature, among many other things.

Although a passive home design has many merits, it isn’t recommended for everyone. As a homeowner, you should have a deep understanding of how your house works. Sometimes, it’s as simple as knowing when to use adjustable shading, or when to open or close windows.

Whether you’re building a new home or sprucing an old one, these passive home design tips are sure to do you good:

Change the Roof Color

Yes, dark-colored shingles look well. However, they are not that good for your home.

On a normal day, you could expect the sun to shine brightly on your roof. Unfortunately, dark-colored shingles don’t absorb sunlight well. When this happens, the heat your shingles absorb is redirected to the attic. Before you know it, this heat is well within your home.

In an ironic turn of events, such shingles end up generating some heat as well. With that being said, renovation experts advise lightening the shade of your roof.

If you’re in the process of building a new roof, make sure to install a light-colored covering. The paler your shingles are, the better they are in reflecting the sunlight. This will minimize heat absorption, which could do wonders on your electricity bill during the summer.

If you already have an existing roof, you need not spend a lot of money to enjoy the benefits of a light-colored cover. After all, you could always have your roof tinted with a white or light shade.

Additionally, you can check online for renovation price list to know how much it will cost for you to buy new roofing materials and if it will be best to just recycle and repaint the current one you got. There are a lot of helpful materials online to help you decide on this.

Seal the Deal

Air leakage accounts for 15% to 25% of heat loss during the winter. It could also lead to coolth loss in homes with air conditioners.

With that being said, renovation experts recommend the sealing of air leaks. This is especially the case for homes in extreme climates, as sealing could reduce your electricity bill – and your greenhouse gas emissions, too!

Install Insulation

Insulation provides a good barrier against heat flow. As such, it could keep your home warm during winter and cool during summer.

Apart from maintaining lovely temperatures, insulation could soundproof and weatherproof your home as well.

There are different types of insulation available – composite, bulk, and reflective. For this, you need the help of renovation experts to make a good decision.
Whatever you have installed, insulation can help you save as much as 50% over cooling and heating bills.

Add Some Skylights

Centrally located areas rarely have windows. As such, these tend to rely on electric lights.

Such can affect your budget as you need to spend quite a deal of money on your electric bill. Then again, you also have to pay for replacements and maintenance work.

If you want to save money – and Mother Earth in the process – then you should consider having skylights installed. These are perfect for windowless rooms as they eliminate the need for electric lights.

Apart from providing that much-needed illumination, skylights also provide the room with natural heating. This is especially useful for houses in cold areas, especially during winter. After all, skylights can keep a room nippy – which means more savings in terms of heating costs.

With the many benefits of skylights, you may be curious as to what you could do if the room has no roof access, like your ground floor or basement areas. For these, you need to consider reflective tubular skylights. These can carry light to a distance of 30 feet.

So even if your room is in the lower levels, this material can help you bask in the natural illumination from the sun.

Work on the Windows

Strategically placed windows can help you make the most of the sun’s power. Sadly, this may not be feasible for some homeowners as this entails much work from renovation experts.
But if you have the budget, then you should follow passive solar home design principles.

For example, if you live in the northern hemisphere, then you should have your windows placed on the south side. Direction-wise, the sun is at the southern part of the sky, at least in this region. As such, this placement ensures that you receive optimum lighting and heat.

Shading for the Summer

If you live in a hot region, then you are well aware of the discomfort of high temperatures. To avoid this, you should make use of effective shading, which could block as much as 90% of the sun’s rays.

To achieve this, you need materials such as pergolas, window awnings, shutters, eaves, and plantings.

While the above-mentioned items are very important, the most vital thing is to have your glass shaded. After all, unprotected glass windows are the greatest sources of heat gain.

As you do so, make sure to note of sun angles. If not, the wrong shading could end up blocking the winter sun. Again, this could lead to rising heating costs during the cold seasons.

A passive design is what every home needs for better lighting and temperature control. If you want to save more money in the long run, then it’s best if you followed passive design.

Remember, it’s not too late for existing homes with the help of home renovation experts who are also advocate of passive house designs.

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