If you live in a cold climate or even a cold winter climate, you know how expensive it is to keep your house warm. To run that expensive heating system day and night will cost you a fortune and most of us just accept that as a way of life. But it need not be as there are ways to reduce your heating costs with very little expense. Anything that you spend on reducing your heating expenses is like money in the bank.
There is a free source of heating and that is the sun. Even in winter there is a heating source there just waiting to be tapped into. It does seem a waste to have all that free heating going to waste while we spend a fortune to stay warm. There are many forms of solar heating available both passive and active. What do we mean by passive solar heating. If you use a passive system it means that you are not using any pumps or mechanical means to extract the heat from the sun so it is really free with no operating costs at all.
That sounds good. Free heat and no operating costs. How does it work. There are many systems of passive heating and some quite radical ones and some that are expensive to set up but there are some simple things you can do to gain access to this free heat. If you sit in a car in winter in the sun you can tell that there is heat trying to get through the glass.
Glass does conduct heat and is one of the main reasons our house loses heat. If you don't have heavy curtains all the way to the floor and covered by a pelmet at the top you are allowing the precious heat from your house be sucked out through the glass. This means of course that you have to heat some new air and this means more heating costs.
Because glass does allow heat to pass through we could build a sun room along the side of the house that gets the sun all day. If the outside wall is all glass we could capture a lot of heat free from the sun. How do we catch and hold that heat. One way is to have a very thick solid floor, which could be concrete, with a very dark surface such as black slate tile or even a black paving paint. We know too that a black or dark color will attract more heat from the sun.
That is why a dark color car is always hotter inside in the summer. Another way is to have that side wall of the house solid as well and dark in color to absorb the heat from the sun. This wall and the dark floor will collect the sun's heat all day and store it like a heat bank. When you touch a brick wall that has been in the direct sun it is always hot. This stored heat will dissipate into your house overnight relieving your expensive heating system.
So by building one little sun room you have saved yourself some heating costs and created a nice sunny and warm place for a cup of tea on a winters day.