Around our house, on any given day, you’ll probably find me fiddling with the windows and shades. No, it’s not because we have peeping toms, it’s because I’m constantly getting free heat and cooling from the outdoors.
In the winter, the first thing I do in the morning is open all the blinds along the east and southern face of the house to let the sun heat the house. After the sun passes over I will often close the blinds and curtains to trap the heat. In the evening all windows and blinds are buttoned up tight.
In the summer, we keep the windows open at night to let the cool night air in. Then we trap that air in the morning by closing the windows. And we close the blinds and curtains during the day to keep the sun’s rays from heating up the place.
I bet if you looked closely at your windows and doors there is a way you could use passive means to help heat or cool your house. You can install some awnings or shades to block the sun in the summer. Deciduous trees are another great way to provide shade in the summer and sun in the winter after the leaves fall off.
Even your houseplants can help! Block sunny windows off with large or hanging house plants. They’ll absorb the heat, clean your air, and help cool the house.
You can learn more about really capturing the sun’s heat with the DIY Solar Heater guide that is included in your Power 4 Patriots system. This is a simple introduction to passive solar heating. If you build it and install it right, this is hands down the easiest way to capture the sun’s energy and turn it into something that can help you right away.
So how do you use the sun’s free energy? Let me know in the comments!