What Causes Thermal Heat Gain?


The sun provides the solar energy and heat gain (the heat from the sun) that affects the temperature of your home depending on the orientation of your home and the amount of windows and glazed areas which allow light to enter.

sunlight

You can maximize heat-gain by orienting your home along an east west axis, also called 'Passive Solar Gain Design', but be aware that Ultra Violet (UV) rays can cause damage to some of your household furnishings.

The concept of passive solar energy (passive heating) is nothing new - if you have ever been stuck in a car on a hot sunny day then you know how hot it can sometimes get. A lot of solar energy (percentage dependent on location) comes through walls and windows.

Passive solar design tries to optimize the amount of heat-gain that can be derived directly from the sun, with careful planning of the building to collect the sun’s heat, therefore reducing the energy needed for heating.


Can Heat Gain Cause Fading, I Know Light Does?

No, heat gain doesn't cause fading, but it can speed it up. The radiant heat (solar infrared energy), which enters through windows accelerates the degradation of your home furnishings.

You will be glad to know that solar infrared energy from the sun can be controlled effectively by using spectrally selective low-E glass.

The combination of a spectrally selective low-E coating with complete ultraviolet protection will provide the greatest protection from fading without compromising natural daylight.

Extended roof overhangs, screens and sails can protect furnishings from the high summer sun (if you live in such climes) but allows the low winter sun light to enter. You alone know whether you prefer a lot of light to enter your home or not.

Depending on your preference, design your home based upon your comforts. Bare in mind that when you get older you may require the temperature to be lower for comfort and may not want a lot of heat gain.

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Heat Emissions in Your Home: Where do They Come From?

Apart from your heating system there are a number of other sources of heat in your home. Generally the kitchen will produce a lot of extra heat; laundry rooms and conservatories can also produce a lot of extra heat in your home.

Home heating boilers by design generate heat and depending on where it is located (internal or external) the heat produced may or may not be useful. Lighting also generates a minimal amount of heat depending on wattage and type.

There is another source of heat-gain in you home and that's you, members of your family and any pets that you have. All living things produce heat as a by-product of movement (internally and externally). The more active these bodies are the more heat they will produce.

See also:

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