ManagEnergy – Renewable Energy

Choosing Which Direction to Site Your House in Northern Michigan For Energy Efficiency




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It doesn’t matter whether you live in a hot, or cold climate. It is important to determine which direction is best suited for your house. If your lot faces either north or south it is best to position your house so that the widest sides face south and north. The ends of the roof ridge line should face east and west. It is also a good idea for larger windows to be placed on the south. On the other hand, people living in a hot climate may opt to expand the windows on the north side.

North or South

The best decision you can make when building a home is orientation. Most people will recommend that your house face south because it gets the most sunlight throughout the year. But there are other things to consider. You may want your house to face north, as the sun is less visible in that direction, or you might want it to block the sun during the summer months.

The Long Side Facing South

When it comes to energy efficiency, orientation is crucial. Your heating bill can be reduced by orienting your home so it faces the sun. Positioning your home so it receives solar heat in the winter will also help keep the temperature inside your home more comfortable. The ideal home orientation has the longest sides facing south and north, with the lengthwise axis running east-west. The south-facing windows of your home should be directed, especially the most occupied. To capture the maximum sunlight during winter months the living room and the kitchen should face the south. The north should be occupied by the less used areas of the house.

East- or West-Facing Lot

An east or west-facing lot will allow you to use natural light and heat from the sun. This is the best site for your house if you live in a temperate climate with little or no wind. The ridge line of the house will face east/west. The narrow side of the house will face the street. You can also choose whether your entrance will be street-facing or north/south-facing.

Solar Gain

Site placement is crucial when it comes to energy efficiency. It is essential to consider the topographical factors and climate of your area. For example, a hilly site requires a more complex building design, as the demands on heating and cooling systems are more diffused. Conversely, a flat site can accommodate a simple rectangular structure. The sun’s rays are more favorable to the south and east sides of a house. However, the north-facing side of the house is less preferred due to its low sun exposure.

Sun Blockage

Developers can use a brownfields mapping tool in the Marquette and Houghton areas to locate suitable locations for solar panel placement. These sites are suitable for solar development. They can also help to reduce grid stress, which would otherwise be addressed by polluting peaker plants.

Michigan Department of Natural Resources is currently exploring regional approaches for solar development to maximize economies of size. Elevate Energy is a multidisciplinary team that the agency has contracted. The two-year study that determined the city’s solar potential was also carried out by the group.

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