Creating a Constructive Construction Site

What You Need To Know About Building A Passive Solar Home

Posted by on Aug 10th, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on What You Need To Know About Building A Passive Solar Home

Passive solar homes use many different features to naturally heat and cool the home and save energy. To really benefit from passive solar power, you need to start at the beginning, and build the house from the ground up with passive solar design in mind. If you are thinking about building a passive solar home, check out these five ideas to talk to about with your home builder.   Location and House Orientation Are Important Before you do anything, you need to find the perfect location for your passive solar home. A good location will allow a lot of sun to hit the south side of your house. This will require you to think about the future too. The area may seem fine now, but what if someone is planning on building a tall building in the near future? You’ll also need to decide how you want your house positioned. The south side of your home should be the longest part of your home, and you’ll want to put the areas you expect to use the most there. Put the areas you use the least, such as the garage on the west and east side of the house. The Windows Are Like Solar Collectors The windows of your passive solar home will bring in a lot of heat, and you’ll want the majority of them to be on that south facing wall. However, don’t add too many windows because it can cause the house to get uncomfortably warm or cold. You’ll also want to incorporate overhangs over the windows. These overhangs will block the summer sun, which is higher in the sky. During the winter, the lower sun can still enter the windows to warm your home. Passive Solar Homes Need Materials That Absorb Heat Another factor to consider when building your passive solar home is thermal mass. Basically, you want to use a lot of materials that absorb heat, such as stone, tile concrete and brick. During the winter, these materials absorb heat from the sun and push them into your home. During the summer, they absorb heat from inside your house and push them outside. A Trombe Wall Can Also Help One way to maximize heat gain is to install a Trombe wall on the south side of your house. Made from concrete or a similar material, this wall absorbs heat. A pane of glass is installed outside the wall, which keeps the heat trapped. The wall continues to collect heat throughout the day, and during the night, it expels it into the home. Placing an overhang above the Trombe wall prevents sun from hitting it during the summer, so your home doesn’t get overheated. Landscaping Can Help Keep You Cool Another way you can help keep your home cool during the summer is to use landscaping to your advantage. Planting trees or other plants that block the sun from hitting the east and west sides of your house can help lower the internal temperature. If the trees are tall enough to shade your roof, they’ll do an even better job of lowering the temperature. Just make sure anything you plant doesn’t block the south side of your house, or you’ve completely defeated the purpose of having a well-exposed, big south-facing wall.   Solar energy is the...

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5 Common Mistakes Made While Installing Radiant Heating

Posted by on Aug 5th, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 5 Common Mistakes Made While Installing Radiant Heating

If you are thinking about installing radiant underfloor heating, you should make sure you avoid these common mistakes.  Selecting the Wrong Flooring Material  Many types of flooring can be used over underfloor heating systems, but only a few options will efficiently distribute the heat from the flooring system into your home. Laminate and vinyl flooring can become discolored at high heats, so they should not be used in conjunction with underfloor heating.  Wood flooring can be installed over underfloor heating, but there is a slight potential for warping over years and most woods do not transfer heat efficiently to the entire room. Similarly, carpet works as an insulator, so it will make the system more expensive to use and less effective for heating.  Ceramic, porcelain, or stone tile are all excellent choices for flooring with an underfloor heating system beneath it. They conduct heat, allowing the heat to spread evenly over your floor. Thicker tiles will also maintain a higher temperature for longer, even after your system is turned off. As a bonus, in the summer, tile flooring will retain a cool, refreshing feeling throughout the day. If you would like to use tile for your radiant underfloor heating, then head on over to a tile store near you. Not Using Enough Tile Adhesive or Scree Tile should be installed over a flat surface. If it is installed over an uneven surface, the tile can crack when pressure is applied.  Hydronic radiant heating utilizes PEX tubing to move hot water beneath your floor. Since the tubing is generally 3/8″ thick, it needs to either be installed along your subfloor or installed in an even layer of concrete. The concrete should dry for at least 24 hours before you begin the installation of new tile.  Electric radiant heating uses thin pads with electrical wire. These pads are so thin that you can unroll them directly beneath the tile. However, you should use a liberal amount of tile adhesive to ensure there are not any points of pressure on the bottom of the tile. If installing tile directly over a heating pad, you may want to invest in thicker, higher quality tile, which can withstand greater force without cracking.  Failing to Prepare for the Added Floor Height The additional floor height for an electrical underfloor heating system is minimal, but a PEX hydronic system can add an additional inch to your floor. This is not a problem if you are redoing an entire floor of a house or are installing the system in a new home. However, if you are installing it in a single room, you should be aware that there will be a slight step leading to areas that do not have underfloor heating. If you cannot accommodate a step in your home, you should consider electric underfloor heating for small areas in your home.  Spreading the Heating Mechanism Out Over Too Much Space  Underfloor heating systems should be evenly spaced throughout the entire room, and the system should be powerful enough to heat the space between each PEX pipe in a hydronic system or each wire in an electrical system. This means you need to calculate the heat loss of your home and install a system that can efficiently heat your home, making sure you evenly space the...

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