Before making up your mind to even investigate further, you are no doubt wondering what a passive solar heating system has to offer in the first place. I am happy to report that the list of benefits can be made rather long indeed. Generally speaking however, the two aspects that seem to always inspire people the most is how much it is going to cost versus potential savings, as well as the environmentally friendly aspect.
That making use of energy provided by ordinary sunlight, without using any mechanical equipment or external fuel sources, is very eco friendly indeed is quite an understatement. In fact this aspect is a total no brainer, so let’s take a look at the financial side instead.
A large portion of passive solar heating has to do with how the house is oriented and constructed. Simply put it should be able to absorb and store as much sunlight as possible, while leaking out as little heat as possible. As this involves rather substantial design elements, such as placement of windows, choice of building materials and the location of the entire building, it is of course something best implemented when building a new home. But there are still ways to make use of this kind of passive heating without completely remodeling your home.
You can install something called a passive solar air heater. This is an elementary type of solar panel that can be installed in close proximity to one or several supply air valves, thus preheating the air being sucked into your home. Such as solar panel can contain anything from black painted sheet metal, behind which the air is heated before it enters through the valve, to slightly more advanced solar air heaters, some of which also utilize electrically powered fans.
Anything with a fan in it is by definition no longer passive, but may of course still be a practical alternative worth investigating.
In any case, being such simple devices, this kind of passive solar heating is both affordable and quick to implement on any home that get sufficient sunlight. If you are handy you can probably install one of these in one day. If not you can hire a professional to do the job for you.
Compared to most other solar systems the solar air heater is very affordable, yet it can significantly help reduce the power needed to heat your home. It can also help to make the indoor air more dry, which means that you may be able to turn the thermostat down a couple of degrees, without actually losing the “sense of warmth”.