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How Solar-Generated Thermal Works In Your Home

Updated on December 6, 2011

Many people today are concerned about the high cost of energy these days. This has caused them to take advantage of solar-based or sun-generated alternatives. Solar-based products are a big part of this process.

How Thermal Mass Works in Your Home

Getting free heat by means of solar energy can go a long way into reducing your bill. Solar heating is the methodology, or way that many people are now doing this. It is a way in which many modern homes are being deliberately designed in such a way as to generate as much heat from the sun as possible.

However, in order to fully benefit from the above methodology, you must first understand how solar heating works. Thermal mass in anything that absorbs and retains heat. This, obviously, means homes that naturally stores the heat in their home generated from sunlight and disperses at the end of the day, when it is dark. You probably already have such heat-retaining material in your home. For instance, your furniture and floor acts as natural thermal masses, even though it is on a small scale. This is known as intentional thermal mass. This is not really difficult to understand. For instance, most homes usually have such materials as bricks, tile and masonry, which acts as natural heat absorbers. Adobe and clay materials also work as well. However, by having a home in which the bricks are strategically placed in areas below windows can greatly contribute to generating more heat in your home. Of course, this can depend on how much heat you need and how much you will actually use.

For example, if you live in a region where it is frequently cold, then you will need such materials in bulk, if you live in warmer climates, where the weather is not so significantly cold at night, then solar heating may not needed as much or not at all.

There has been some concern as to which colors to use when choosing a good heat absorber. It is commonly believed that darker colors work better than lighter ones in generating and retaining heat, but really, it is not such much of the color that is used, but the material that is used is what matters.Therefore, in order to fully harness the power of the sun for your benefit, you need to understand first of all how it works. Only then will you fully benefit from the use of thermal masses for your home.


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    • moiragallaga profile imageAUTHOR

      Moira Garcia Gallaga 

      6 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      Vinner, that's pretty cool and good to know. Hopefully, these technologies become more the general rule rather than the exception. Thanks for dropping by and sharing your comment.

    • moiragallaga profile imageAUTHOR

      Moira Garcia Gallaga 

      6 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      Derdriu, the advances being made in technology and discoveries being made out of current research and development efforts can provide us the means to effectively tackle some of today's current issues, such as climate change, energy, food security, etc. The more people know about these things, perhaps there is a good chance that governments can be convinced to start investing more research and development in these areas. Thank you for your comments.

    • vinner profile image


      6 years ago from India

      Me have a solar thermal water heater in my house. It keeps providing me hot and fresh water without interruption and additional electricity costs

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Moira Gallaga: What a concise, informative and practical presentation on how the sun's rays can keep the insides of houses warm during cold weather! Particularly helpful is your explanation about the different absorption rates of different materials as well as the impact of the placement of those materials.

      Thank you for sharing, etc.,



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