Passive Solar Vented Sunroom, Eugene, OR

Passive Solar Vented Sunroom, Eugene, OR

Eugene eco Friendly home 2

John and Heidi’s eco-friendly home

What made this John and Heidi’s home unique, was the Passive Solar sunroom. A bright glass room to the rear of the home, south of course. Yes, we have seen sunrooms before, but this one used this warmth to heat other parts of the home. The couple had pipes installed that moved this air throughout. On colder, less sunny days, they used their gas/wood fireplace with a thermostat controlled fan, to increase the heat output. This was their full heating system.

Eugene has a rainy season and John showed us how he redirected the down spouts to water the many gardens and in other cases to one of the 3 rain barrels. The back yard displayed a wonderful array of pathways, flowers as well as a vegetable garden which benefitted from the extra water.

The couple told us how they signed out a “free” meter from the local library, then measured the kilowatt usage of everything in the house. They found that the old freezer in the garage used a tremendous amount of electricity. By changing this out, they paid for the new one in just one year, with the savings.

When they bought this home 20 years ago, they put their money into insulation before they did other improvements. When the roof needed replacing they took the opportunity to install the supports for their Solar PV panels.

Eugene passive solar sunroom

This Passive Solar sunroom pumps heat to other rooms in the house

They have grid-tied Solar PV and are happy to have their electricity bill reduced by their own efforts. They have an On-Demand hot water heater that rarely has to heat water, as they also have a Solar Thermal hot water system. The on-demand system is set up so it only works when there is no hot water available, otherwise the hot water flows through it.

John is a teacher and likes to educate himself about energy savings. His favourite book is the Environmental Handbook. Whenever he finds something that he can work into his home, he finds out how, then does it, as time and money allow.

John had a green home before it was popular and although he has taken years to get this far, his progress has steady. One that almost any family can make, done as he can afford it.

Proving you don’t have to be rich to be green.