Would it surprise Minnesotans to learn that there are not one, but two ways to harness solar power to lower your energy bills (and your impact on the planet)? Active solar, involves capturing the sun through solar panels (something you may notice we mention rather a lot on here!) to convert it into electricity (check out our blog post How Is Solar Energy Made? for the science!). Passive solar, on the other hand, is a way of capturing the energy from the sun to help heat your home and lower your energy bills – whether or not you have a solar power system in place. Are you ready to find out how to heat your home for less?
Passive Solar Like a Pro
Put simply, passive solar means designing buildings so that they capture the maximum sunshine, helping to warm your home in the winter but keeping those rays at bay during the summertime (remember Minnesota’s heat wave in 2021?). First of all, you need a designated solar room – the room most exposed to the sun, where solar energy can be passively generated, ideally through south-facing windows, which capture the most sun. The next thing you need to do is install thermal mass – solid material like rock, stone, or tile – inside your solar room, which absorbs, stores and releases the thermal energy. This thermal energy can be distributed around your home through a variety of options, such as small fans, or a sun-heated floor. Strategies like window shading can be used to control the temperature by reducing the amount of thermal energy being absorbed, where necessary. So, what are you waiting for?
Embracing Passive Solar Power in Minnesota
Well, as you may have noticed, harnessing passive solar sometimes requires you to somewhat remodel your home! The great news though, is that alongside leading the way in residential solar power systems, Minnesota also has some exciting things going on in sustainable building design – particularly when it comes to harnessing passive solar! We were one of the first states to build “Passive Houses” – a gold standard in energy-efficient architecture. We also have some pretty cool sustainable Airbnb options (especially if you like goats), and check out this beauty on the prairie! GreenHalo Builds, who we proudly partner with, specializes in energy-efficient Minnesota buildings, which maximize passive solar – cutting costs as well as carbon! To maximize energy savings, Cedar Creek Energy, your premier Minnesota solar energy company, can also install solar energy systems in Minnesota’s GreenHalo Builds properties, for double the energy savings!
Be Active And Passive
When it comes to embracing passive solar, some things are going to be easier than others, depending on your budget and the layout and location of your property. It’s great to have a variety of options to heat your house for less – that’s less money and less carbon emissions! If you’re not ready to go full-passive, for example, triple-glazing your windows will instantly boost your home’s energy efficiency. On the other hand, combining active and passive solar power together could bring you considerably closer to carbon neutrality, while increasing your home’s value and lowering your energy costs.
Cedar Creek Energy is here to help with questions you have about all forms of solar energy systems in Minnesota. If you are looking to build an energy-efficient home, our partner GreenHalo Builds will also be happy to help! Get in touch today to find out more!