Moving house? If you are contemplating about buying a new home in the near future, there are a myriad of things to think about; can you afford the mortgage? What are the real estate fees going to be? What’s the neighborhood like and whether you will ever be able to expunge the previous occupants God awful décor properly?
Given the sheer number of things to worry about, it’s hardly surprising people don’t consider something as seemingly irrelevant as which direction the house is facing. But they should.
Because the potential benefits of buying a south facing house could be an awful lot bigger than you may think.
Although most people might know that a south facing garden is good news for gardeners, they might not realize its significance when it comes to the house itself.
A south facing house could help save you potential hundreds or even thousands in heating bills each year – as well as help save the environment.
Of course, you will probably be aware of the increasing use of solar panels. But when you have a home which is south facing then it can really boost your energy savings. In fact, there is the potential there to save 100% of your energy costs. Yes – all of them!
THE SCIENCE: SOLAR THERMAL AND PHOTOVOLTAIC TECHNOLOGY
The way to maximize the benefits of a south facing house can be done with a range of technology.
Solar Photovoltaics turn the light of the sun into electricity. It may be utilized straight away, in the home. This gives the home dweller an immediate stream of free and green heating and lighting.
Panels which are solar thermal can be used to power home hot water systems. These could save up to half of your energy bills for hot water in the home.
This isn’t quite as good as the 100% energy saving claim (read more for details) but it is quite impressive all the same.
Either way, both these technologies work at their best when employed in a south facing home. This isn’t something that you should let dishearten you if your home isn’t lucky enough to face south, as you could still benefit by having them on your roof, but it is significantly improved when used in a south facing dwelling.
The stats for the efficiency of Solar Thermals and Solar Photovoltaics is 60% for north facing homes, 80% for west facing ones and a full 100% for the houses which look south.
This unfortunately renders the luckless north facing home a poor candidate for the use of these panels. But it is worth doing, even if your home faces east or west.
For the best possible results, these panels should be fit onto a southern sloping roof and erected at an angle of 45 degrees.
THE PASSIVE SOLAR HOUSE
For you to be able to take advantage of a completely green heating and energy system, you need your home to be designed for it.
This means having a house that is something known as passive solar. For anyone considering a self build project, this should be a possibility.
The energy and heat is harnessed through the sun’s rays, during the hours of peak sunlight (9am-3pm). For this to really work, not only must the house be south facing, but it must have an unobstructed view of the sun from its south leaning roof.
Other things should be properly set up, such as the exact angle that the windows are at – which should be 30 degrees. They additionally shouldn’t be obscured or blocked by any curtains or large objects.
There is much more to know about the benefits of south facing homes, but one thing is for sure, they can help you go green!
So, next time you move house, be sure to bring your compass with you and check out which way the property is facing!