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Passive Solar House: The Complete Guide to Heating and Cooling Your Home Hardcover – September 15, 2006
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About the Author
James Kachadorian is a civil engineer with degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T) and Worcester Polytechnic Institute. He is the founder of Green Mountain Homes, a company which gained national recognition as the first provider of innovative, manufactured solar homes. He has built more than 300 passive solar homes. Kachadorian resides in Woodstock, Vermont.
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It is a very well written book, describes the floor system very well, offers calculations on how much heat can be stored in the floor system. It should be able to store enough heat to prevent the heater from coming on from noon until midnight, and if we are sleeping with a set back to about 60, the heater should only come on early in the morning for a hour or so on coldest days. In the summer, the floor can store 5 tons of cooling capacity for use during the day, I would only need to run low fan speed to pull cool air out of the floor, and bring in the warmer house air to re-cool it. It will provide a total of 350,000 Btu's of cooling before I would reach 75F inside, if I can cool the floor with 65F nighttime air. Easy enough in my location. I will have three stage thermostat, that first starts the fan only, then stage 1 heat or cooling, at 2 more degrees away from set point, then it will start the second stage cooling, to actively cool the house, or heat it in the winter time.
I install air conditioners and can tell that this author really knows what they are talking about!
The patented Solar Slab design is what makes this house work. With the same materials used in a "normal" house, reallocating these materials improves the ability of the sun to warm the house in cold, sunny weather and to keep the house cooler in the summer months. Just enough windows, a large thermal mass in the first floor and some innovative window coverings all work together to reduce the need for additional heating and cooling. Backup measures are installed for when the need arises but the use of a furnace or wood stove is significantly reduced because of the solar design.
Read this book if you want the details - you will be impressed.
"The knowledge imparted in this book has been accumulated from over 30 years of data gathered from several hundred solar homes located in the northern tier of the United States, from North Carolina to and including Canada and west to the mountain states. These are locations that are primarily focused on heating."
I live near the gulf coast, and was interested in learning about passive means to cool my home, in addition to heating. (As I write this just after midnight, at the end of November, my Air Conditioner is necessarily on!) This is probably a 4 to 5 star book for those living in the cooler regions of the country, and I do not intend to discourage those living in such areas from reading this book. And, if I move to a cooler region after retiring, I will probably pull this book out and review it.