A passive solar home is an exceptional home, differing from standard construction in the thermal integrity of its shell and its well-considered design. The design options, employing the principles and methods described here, are endless.
However, workmanship is always extremely important when installing insulation, air sealing the building envelope, and installing the windows.
Most successful passive solar homes are very airtight. As a result, they may require mechanical ventilation systems to maintain good indoor air quality. A heat-recovery ventilator (HRV) is often the best choice to conserve the home’s hard-won solar heat. An HRV takes heat from the departing indoor air and transfers this heat to the entering outdoor air.
Passive solar technology may still be new to many designers and builders. So you’re sometimes required to pay extra for them to master unfamiliar design and construction details. But if you’re lucky enough to be working with an experienced solar designer and builder who are committed to excellence, a passive solar home may cost no more than a conventional one or even less in some situations. Also, properly sized heating equipment, which are typically smaller in passive solar homes, will sometimes offset the cost of the passive solar features.