Here are 7 basic fundamentals that will cost you nothing or very little and save you cash for many years to come!
1. Orientation, layout and positioning of your house on land
Orientate your living areas to south side of house, which receives most of sun throughout day (north if you live in southern hemisphere).
2. Insulation and draught proofing
Make sure your walls, roof and floors are insulated and fill any gaps where draughts might come through.
Position doors and windows opposite each other to allow for a cooling breeze to flow through house when air cool down in evening of a hot summers day.
Windows on south side of house should be bigger to allow more sun to penetrate house during day and windows on north side smaller to prevent heat lost at night.
Position trees and plants to direct a cooling breeze into your house, whiles shading it during summer. Plant trees that shed their leave in winter.
Make sure external shading structures are wide enough to block out sun in summer, whiles still allowing low winter sun to enter.
7. Thermal mass
Polished concrete, tile or slate floors and brick walls will absorb heat throughout day and release it slowly at night, reducing need to run expensive heaters. Carpet acts as an insulator and will not retain heat.
Although itís far easier to achieve passive solar energy for homes during planning stage, you can incorporate many of these elements into an established house without spending a great deal of money or time.
It might be as easy as filling in a few gaps, installing an additional window or moving your living area from chilly north side of house to sunny south side...