by DAN VOS Vos Energy Concepts I wrote a couple of weeks ago about the three ways of using solar energy in our homes. The first way is using it to heat the air in our homes, which heats everything else in there as well. Passive solar is one of my favorite ways to use the heat of the sun. It just means that you use south-facing windows that are not shaded in the winter when the sun is low and are shaded in the summer when the sun is high. Passive means that you don’t need any fans or pumps for it to work. It works best when there is some mass to absorb the heat in the day and release it at night. This system is easiest to implement when building an addition or a new house. Sunspaces (facing south) make a wonderful addition to a home. Even when the sun isn’t blasting, it’s still brighter. It makes us feel better in the dead of winter. It’s healthier that way, and I believe in building healthy houses. We cannot forget the first rule in using renewable energy and that is conservation. The less energy you need, the higher percentage of conventional fuels will be replaced by renewables, and they become more cost effective.