A number of you been curious about the thermal performance of Quadomated, so how about it, have we turned on the heat yet? Heck no! So what have we noticed after living here over the past 6 months
Passive solar really works!
In the winter, when it’s cold outside, and the days are shorter the sun is also much lower in the sky and penetrates way into our house, like 20+ feet when we’re near the winter solstice. This creates all kinds of warming energy, that makes the dark colored tiles feel toasty to your feet (or so I’m told 🙂 ), and heats the large thermal mass of concrete to be released later in the night. Most often during the coldest days we also have the clearest skies so when we need solar heat the most we get it. On sustained cloudy, dreary, raining, snowing days the temperature does drop, but not insurmountably and a little shot of sunlight seems to quickly heat things up.
But what about the summer, does it overheat?
Remarkably, not nearly as bad as you’d think, because during the warmest times the sun is also much higher in the sky, and instead of streaming deeply into the southern windows goes east to west where it’s block by the now fully leaved birch trees and never once reaches more than 1 foot inside the house. All that thermal mass of the concrete underneath works equally well at storing the cooler nighttime energy and uses that to chill the house throughout the warm days. The only thing here, is we have to use our noggins, and plan ahead on those super warm days, by opening the windows early in the morning to cool down the thermal mass and then closing them once the temperature creeps up. If we miss that important step and leave the windows open all day long during a hot day then it’s next to impossible to cool the house down at night. Think about it… Hot day, maybe 87°F outside, windows are open, concrete gets to 87°F and then there’s no way to cool it down until the temperature drops.
And this October 2, when it was 80°F?
It got way hot inside of Quadomated! Beautiful, sunny, October day with summer temperatures, but fall time sun elevations and we were cooking. Just more heat energy than the house could dissipate!
So thoughts so far… Quadomated is doing exactly what we had hoped, by keeping the heat off in the fall/winter/spring and keeping things from being too unbearably hot during the summer.
Who wants to guess when we’ll first turn our heat on?