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What is passive heating?

What is passive heating?

Passive heating refers to heating a building using natural elements such as the sun and thermal mass instead of using artificial heating mechanisms such as gas or electrical heaters or even wood fires. The basic principle of passive heating is to let in the winter sun while trying to capture and store as much as possible for as long as possible. The performance of passive heating often depends on informed occupants who remember to open and close windows/blinds each day.

Passive heating is:

  • low cost when designed into a new home or addition
  • achievable using many types of construction methods
  • useful where winter heating is required
  • useful in reducing up to 40% of heating energy consumed

Below are some details to consider when designing for passive heating:

  • the orientation of areas needing the most heat
  • passive shading of glass and glazing
  • appropriate areas of glass facing the northern facade
  • thermal mass for storing heat
  • insulation and seals

To maximise winter heat gain, concentrate your passive heating efforts in area where it is most needed.

For more resources on passive heating, visit the YourHome website.

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