Passive Solar Energy – A Wave of the Future from the Recent Past

Imagine it is a brisk spring day with a temperature of 50˚ Fahrenheit, when your furnace kicks on to heat your house. On a day when your comfort is only altered in a miniscule way, it is unnecessary to burn fossil fuels as if there were a frozen tundra outside your door. The energy alternative is all around you – solar power.

Many believe that solar power was a trend that started in the 1970’s and fizzled out by the late 1980’s. What those people do not know is that any new house built today can be made to utilize solar energy better than ever before. Fortunately the use of large, bulky black panels is no longer needed to make use of solar energy in one’s living quarters. Instead, the solar techniques can be found when the actual designing of the house is done. An example of such a technique would be positioning the windows of a house to face south and southwest in order to capture sunlight in the winter months. Using heavy materials that insulate well is another instance of proper solar energy use. Thick concrete, large overhangs, and limiting windows on the north and east sides of a house are all useful forms of capturing and using solar energy. The same is true when installing an above ground or in ground pool. Design and place your swimming pool to maximize the amount of sunlight it receives each day. Also, the use of a solar pool cover will help retain the heat in the pool water and reduce pool water evaporation.

All of the aforementioned energy-saving practices are different forms of “passive solar energy”. In fact, any behavior that maximizes energy from the sun and cuts down on how much energy is lost is considered as such. Utilizing any of them will save you energy and money on fossil fuel costs. In a world that is trying to “go green”, you can do your part by simply designing your house properly.

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