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View Diary: Solar PSA: A South-Facing Window Is Already a Solar Collector (63 comments)

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  •  So much depends on design (9+ / 0-)

    This Saturday I move to a house designed and sited for efficiency. [Last year we were able to sell our house to be able to build].

    South facing.
    Insulated concrete form construction (ICF).
    4 foot eaves (windows shaded in the summer).

    Generally, with ICF the core of the wall is a thermal mass that trends towards ground temperature and buffered by thick, insulating, rigid foam.

    That and an efficient HVAC system and we estimate low heating and cooling costs.  We were at the house during the 80 to 90 degree spell and the interior, without air conditioning, rarely went above 73,  We put our money into the structure, not the interior housing porn of granite counter tops.

    The tradeoff was that we could only afford to build a smaller house.

    If you see the world in terms of Left & Right, you really aren’t seeing the world at all . . . Barry Ritholtz.

    by Fossil on Fri Jul 29, 2011 at 03:40:45 AM PDT

    •  same here - log sided house, super insulated (8+ / 0-)

      walls & roof, with wide eaves for summer shade.   We put  ceiling fans in just about every room, and unless there's several days straight of 90+ temps we don't need air conditioning.   No central air, just a window unit in the bedroom for 'emergencies'.   House holds the heat in the winter & stays cool in the summer.   Smart design goes a long, long way.  

      p.s. formica counters hold all my crap just as well as granite. We call HGTV the Real Estate Pornography channel.

      Comfort the afflicted. Afflict the comfortable.

      by FindingMyVoice on Fri Jul 29, 2011 at 03:55:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Granite is cheap these days (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      if you're careful about the dimensions you pick, and it makes for good thermal mass. :-)

      Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

      by elfling on Fri Jul 29, 2011 at 09:57:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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