Reducing a home’s energy consumption depends on many factors, one of which is the optimal orientation of your home. Learn the differences between the various types of solar orientation.
Decreasing the energy consumption of a house depends on several components, such as the quality of the materials and insulation systems, the location and the environment, the climate of the area, the surrounding trees or buildings that may impede the entry of natural light, among others.
One of the most relevant components is to select the optimal orientation of the dwelling. That is, the direction in which light and solar radiation enter is as appropriate as possible to enjoy this natural heat source and consequently save energy.
This is a key issue, since having a bad orientation can significantly increase electricity bills, while the benefits of solar radiation can make the house more efficient and enable savings of up to 70% in air-conditioning and artificial lighting costs, among others.
The detailed orientation types are based on dwellings located in Northern Hemisphere countries, so in the Southern Hemisphere the situation will be reversed.
#1. North orientation of the dwelling
North orientation may not be the best choice. It only receives solar radiation during the first and last hours of the day in the summer months, forcing the growth of energy expenditure in heating and lighting due to the little natural light the house receives.
In any case, it is considered a good preference for all houses located in warm climates and environments, enabling them to remain cooler.
#2. House orientation to the south
Distinctively from the north orientation, the south orientation could be weighted the ideal possibility in terms of energy savings.
That is, on the one hand, it is the orientation that receives more natural light and direct solar radiation throughout the day and during the four seasons of the year, benefiting from the solar path, which makes it possible to decrease the consumption of air conditioning and lighting systems. On the other hand, houses that have a solar protection system, especially those that can be oriented, have the advantage of being able to take even more advantage of this natural energy source, because they make it possible to control and regulate the light that enters the interior of the building and improve the comfort and energy efficiency of your home.
Taking advantage of the natural energy source in the ideal way will make it possible to achieve an average decrease of 10% in heating and an energy saving in cooling of around 40%.
#3. Orientation of the house to the east
As with the southern orientation, houses with an eastern orientation also benefit from hours of light and solar radiation, although in fewer hours and less intensity.
Essentially, this type if solar orientation receives from dawn to noon throughout the year practically. Its energy cost is generally low, since the house accumulates this heat during the day and releases it from sunset.
#4. Orientation of the house to the west
In west-facing houses, the sun falls from noon to sunset in the hottest hours. This usually implies a high cost on air conditioning systems: cooling during the summer and heating in the winter, since the house does not accumulate heat until noon. In other words, when, at the same time, natural light begins to penetrate inside the house.
In this sense, the orientation of the house is an essential component and directly associated with energy saving, despite the multiple factors that influence the same energy consumption, which must also be considered.
It should be noted that excess solar radiation can produce the opposite effect at the same time, that is, too much natural light can be annoying and demand more consumption from your cooling systems, losing the desired energy efficiency and savings.
So, to avoid this situation, it is advisable to install solar protection systems, as an appropriate system will make it possible to decrease the internal temperature by between two and five degrees in case of excess solar radiation. In this way, besides benefiting from a healthier environment, you benefit from a more natural and ecological climate control.
What is the best solar orientation for a property?
Based on the different fronts that a property can have, the best solar exposure of a property is basically the one that the Client values most. In other words, if the Client prefers direct sun practically all day, then either the property must have a southern front, or two fronts between south, east and west.
If the Client privileges direct sun only in the morning in the bedrooms, but in the social area of the house in the afternoon, then the ideal is at least two fronts, east in the bedrooms, and west or south in the living room and kitchen.
If the Client does not privilege sun exposure, then he can always opt for an apartment with northern sun exposure, since he will always get a better purchase price due to this factor.
In the case of houses, many are advertised as 4-fronted, meaning that they have windows or doors facing all the cardinal points. However, it is interesting to understand which rooms of the house are exposed to each front.
The ideal for those who want a property with lots of direct light is for the garage, pantry, and cold areas to be on the north, bedrooms, gym, entrance, cloakroom, and bathrooms to be on the east, terraces, balconies, swimming pool, or other outdoor spaces to be on the south to enjoy direct sunlight most of the time, and, finally, other social areas, the office, library, stairs, balconies, or terraces to be on the west.
What influence does solar orientation have on a property’s value?
The bank evaluations of the properties take into account the solar exposure of the property, and the greater the solar exposure, the higher the property evaluation will be compared to properties of the same type with less exposure. This is also reflected in the energy certification of the property, which also influences its price and valuation.