It is no wonder at all that ancient civilizations worshiped the sun. Located about 150 million kilometers away, this burning ball of fire and brimstone is one of several key figures responsible for sustaining life here on Earth. For this I believe it deserves at least a little respect – although perhaps not as much as it was given by some in previous times. In this article we’re going to talk about how we can best harness this awesome power!
When someone mentions the word “solar power”, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? A massive solar panel that covers half your roof maybe? Well, that’s certainly not a bad idea! But don’t forget that you can harness the sun’s power without converting it into electricity. – Well, in the colder seasons especially. I’m sure you’venoticed that some rooms in the house are naturally warmer – and brighter – than others am I right? Well, you have to admit that the sun plays a pretty big role in these freebies.
On a sunny day, the rooms with windows on the south side of your home will almost certainly be both several degrees warmer, and many times brighter, than the rooms located on the north side. – Provided there isn’t a concrete wall or the equivalent obstructing the sun’s path. Architects and designers take these factors into consideration to varying degrees depending on customer preference, local climate and temperature, and other various physical circumstances.
But more often than not, sufficient priority isn’t given to designing homes that efficiently exploit the sun’s power. The sun’s power is similar to the rain that falls. Both will continue falling and blessing our lives, but the degree to which we benefit is dependent on us and how we design our homes and the various other places we spend our time. Rain for example can be collected, stored, and used instead of city water. (See my previous article, Harvest Your Own God-given Water)
One of the best ways to harness solar heat power in the winter is to build your bigger rooms – or rooms where you spend the bulk of your time – on the south side, with bigger windows, and your smaller rooms on the north side. Of course, bigger windows mean more heat loss in the night hours when the sun’s down, or when it’s not shining. This is where double-paned windows and thick, good-fitting curtains come into the picture.
This also means these rooms will be that much hotter in the summer season as well! – Sorry, but you can’t have your cake and eat it too! Make sure you have good air circulation and ventilation for when the tables are turned. Sun rooms adjacent to your dining room or master bedroom are added luxuries that channel warm air into the rooms that matter most. But by the same token, install dividing doors etc, so you can isolate these rooms when the heat gets turned up.