Heating Your Home With the Sun
November means we’re starting to have some chilly days in California, but it also means the sun is still shining brightly. You don’t need solar panels or fancy technology to use the sun to heat your home. Being smart about which window blinds to open and close is an easy way to harness the oldest clean energy there is: sunlight.
To heat your home effectively, simply follow the sun. Open the blinds on east facing windows in the morning to let in light and heat from the rising sun. Then in the afternoon, switch. Close the eastern facing blinds and open western facing ones to let in the heat from the sinking sun.
Also, In California or anywhere else in the Northern Hemisphere, southern facing windows have the potential to let in light all day because the winter sun is low in the sky.
The best way to figure out which blinds to open is just by looking. If sunlight is hitting a window, uncover it and let warm sunlight stream in. When the sun isn’t shining in through a window, cover it with insulated curtains to keep the heat in your home from escaping.
For this to work, it is important to keep the windows clean. Dirty windows can block 50 to 70 percent of the light and heat that you think you’re getting from the sun. Be sure to clean your windows often. You can wash them quickly using white vinegar.
Using the energy of the sun to heat your house without solar panels or other technology is called passive solar heating. Houses aren’t built with this in mind very often anymore because so many people have heating systems, but being conscious of the sun is an easy way to allow as much heat as possible into any home and save you money.
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