Windows don’t just add beauty to any home. They can be used to lower heating bills during colder days and help homes stay cool during hot days. This is especially true for homes with windows facing north and south – as these windows can be used to take advantage of the abundant sunlight available all year-round.
Passive solar design, also called climatic design, takes advantage of the home’s location, outdoor climate and materials to lower energy costs. Passive solar homes use solar light to cool the home during summer, and increase indoor temperatures during winter, without spending much on cooling and heating.
Several elements work together in order to provide homes with passive solar heating and cooling. These elements include windows, thermal mass, distribution mechanisms and controls strategies. In this article, window replacement pros Renewal by Andersen® of Phoenix will explain how windows work in passive heating.
Properly Oriented Windows
Windows need to be properly oriented so that they can be used for passive heating purposes. North-facing windows work to minimize heat gain in warm climates, especially during summer months. South-facing windows, on the other hand, are best used to heat up homes in cold climates, especially during winter.
South-facing windows allow sunlight to enter the house and hit the floors and/or walls. These surfaces, which are usually made of masonry, absorb the heat during the day and release them as indoor air cools down during the night. The result of this is that homes with south-facing windows will need to spend less on heating.
The U.S. Department of Energy recommends that south-facing windows should be fitted with glass panes with a solar heat gain coefficient (SGHC) of at least 0.6 as windows with higher SGHC ratings are more effective at collecting solar heat during winter. This number is important when looking for a window replacement.
Windows with Low-E coating should also be considered as these kinds of windows offer great insulation that helps homes to stay warmer during winter. They allow sunlight in, but will prevent warm indoor air from leaking out.
Looking for replacement windows that can help lower energy costs during winter or summer? Turn to Renewal by Andersen of Phoenix, your trusted window replacement. Call us at (602) 772-5059 or fill out our contact form for a free, in-home, no obligation consultation. We serve clients in Phoenix, AZ.