When people think about solar energy, the first thing that pops up in their mind are solar panels. There’s really nothing wrong with this, but they have to realize that there are actually two kinds of solar energy: active and passive. The former uses mechanical and electrical systems (like solar panels), while the latter depends on strategic house designs to provide heating or cooling to homes.
Passive solar energy has its own pros and cons. So, before homeowners commit to it, they should do their research and decide if this system fits their needs and lifestyle. Here are some of its advantages and disadvantages:
List of Pros of Passive Solar Energy
1. It is environmentally friendly.
When homeowners harness the power of the sun, they don’t have to rely too much on fossil fuels. As a result, they can greatly help in saving the earth’s non-renewable energy resources and reducing greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere.
2. It can help homeowners save money.
Passive solar energy uses an energy source that occurs naturally, is almost always available and, more importantly, is free for all. Because of these, homeowners who use passive solar energy can enjoy low utility bills and have more savings in the long run.
3. It doesn’t require expensive equipment.
Compared to the equipment needed in active solar energy (such as solar panels, inverters, wires, and other types of equipment and materials), the materials required in passive solar energy is relatively cheap. This is great for homeowners who want to create an eco-friendly home but don’t have a large budget.
List of Cons of Passive Solar Energy
1. It can be expensive as a whole.
As mentioned above, passive solar energy requires less expensive materials. However, homeowners must take note that adapting a house to fit a passive solar energy system can be costly. This is particularly true if they have to knock down interior and exterior walls to facilitate proper heat distribution and make extensive renovations to incorporate heat-absorbing materials in their home.
2. It is dependent on location.
Not all passive solar energy systems are ideal for every place. A system that works well in Florida, for instancem may not be ideal for those who live in Texas and California. Because of this, homeowners will have to do extensive research or even hire a passive solar energy expert, who’ll help them create the right design for their home.
3. It may not be able to cover the home’s heating and cooling needs.
For those who live in northern regions with harsh winters, passive solar energy will not be enough to provide all their heating needs. Because of this, they’ll need to supplement it with other energy sources like coal, petroleum, and natural gas. For those who live in southern climates, passive solar energy may cause too much heat to enter their homes (especially during hot summers) and make it difficult for them to stay cool.
Passive solar energy has several pros and cons, and homeowners should consider each of them to know if this type of alternative energy is ideal for them.