Archive for

Help Solve Your Energy Problems Via the Passive Solar Home Design

As a concept, passive solar heating utilizes the rays of the sun to control the temperature of the house: warmth during the cold days and coolness during hot ones. As opposed to active solar heating which requires fans, air conditioners and similar machines to control house temperature, passive solar heating uses only features built into the house design. In cooling the house rooms can be taxing on air conditioners, so that the passive solar design can ease the electricity load somewhat. On the other hand, in heating the house is not always needed even in winter.

In principle, passive solar heating is achieved by allowing the sun to heat a certain space inside or outside the house proper, and then making this heated air enter to warm the house interior. This is generally performed via ventilation openings which can be manipulated to close or open depending on the needs, allowing in air via the convection process. To cool the house, the sun is prevented from heating the room and any heated air is vented outside to allow cooler air to move in.

Most times, the space where the air is heated before drawing it inside the house is called the sun room. It consists of an enclosed space with stone or concrete floor, metal wall frame painted black or dark colors, and glass roof and sides. The dark color, floor and glass are all designed to let in the rays and absorb the heat they bring. When sufficient air is heated, the convection port of the house at the upper side of the sun room is opened to bring the heated air into the house, while allowing new air to come into the sun room via vents near the floor.

When cooling instead of heating is desired, the sun room is closed to the rays by drawing in insulated blinds right below the roof. By drawing in the blind, a channel is created between the blinds and the roof where the heated can pass on its way outside, through a flap at the highest part of the roof. In this way the interior of the sun room is not heated, and instead is filled with cool air coming from below and vented also into the house. The system results in less expense on electricity used in operating the air conditioner or the radiator.

Passive solar heating is best designed into the house construction, although it can also be as explained above an addition if space permits. Except for space and expense advantages or limitations, one form is as good as the other. It simply depends on the residents and the configurations of the yard space and the house itself, and designs can be made to take them into the considerations. What is important is that the concept is utilized for the benefit of the people and Mother Nature via less use of fossil fuel in generating and consuming electricity and other non-renewable energy sources. Why not try it? It can be of surprisingly great help.

HGTV Home Design & Remodeling Suite Review

Advanced technology allows us to have more convenient. It gives us more opportunities to explore things, even in the area of home remodeling, redesigning and landscaping.

Many have the misconception that one has to be a professional to come up with great house plans that conforms to architectural rules and interior law of mix and match. But with the right software, you can turn any rugged home into a dream house, or a worn down landscape. One such software program is the HGTV Home Design & Remodeling Suite.

Complex yet complete

Those who have not encountered CAD (computer-aided design) may have a hard time using the program, but then investing time to learn this technology will be useful if you are planning to remodel your home. Unlike the other versions of CAD, this one is a simplified one.

This software has a 698-page manual, and if you are having a hard time online tutorials might do you some good. You will at least need 2-3 hours before you can get a good grasp of the program.

Mixed reviews are written regarding this software. Some claim that the mappings are vague and that it takes too long to adapt to the program. While some say that the software is just a waste of money, others claim that the programs installed are good for those who are learning to use computer-assisted designs (CAD) programs.

For those who have done it before, the program comes relatively easy and complete. It is also programmed for those who are already familiar with the way Ipod applications work. Basically, you will have to put some amount of time before you can get a good feel of the software.

Features and program requirements

You may visualize a brand new kitchen as it shows you how to set it up with cost-efficient appliances. You may also create your own digital images with easy editing options.

Its interface is wizard driven which makes it easy to learn. The software has both video and online tutorials that can teach you how to use the program with much ease. It also comes with a printed manual that basically tells you how to operate the software.

This program is capable of 3D rendering that makes images that you create more realistic. You can also have a virtual walk-through of your plan with all fixtures, appliances and furniture’s that you drag and drop from its database.

The software will work with Windows Vista and XP operating systems. Software costs around $50. You may buy online or directly from HGTV store.

Solid yet Disappointing

Many of those who have tried the program claim that while it has complete options, the program is very hard to use. Most customers are complaining that the software only leads to frustration and disappointment due to its complicated set up.

Many others have found out from personal experience that it was very limited. Like other home design program, HGTV Home Design & Remodeling Suite does not have adequate support to verify conformity with national land and local building codes.

Interior Designs – Home Design Trends

Home design trends keep changing from time to time. New ones quickly replace trends that were in vogue yesterday. Here are some of the home design trends.

Personal Space

Everyone needs personal breathing space. Another trend that has progressed is the conception of private space in homes. The amenity of a private and dedicated space for each one in the home is becoming popular these days with even couples wanting space to spend some time alone seldom.

Fashionable Garages

Today’s garages have gone under an entire reform as homeowners prefer contemporary garages equipped with various luxuries such as cabinet and storage systems, mini refrigerators, air conditioning and residential-looking flooring. Decked out, upscale garages have removed the image of gloomy and grease that is normally associated with them.

Rooms added for Serenity

A separate one-stop zone for relaxation is another very popular new design trend in homes. These serenity rooms are meant for a variety of relaxation and fitness activities such as yoga, meditation, exercising, steam baths, etc.

Renovate Your Outdoor Area

Convert your outdoor space into “warm zones” and spend more time outdoors, people living in colder climates can are now converting their outdoor spaces. A few great examples of such convertibles are patios, driveways and walk ways. This makes winter maintenance easy and spring and fall more enjoyable.

Add-on Extra room with the Master bedroom

People are attaching master bedrooms today with an additional room that serve up as a ‘snoring room’ for partners who snore. Instead of heading for an uncomfortable couch, now snoring sleepers can find their way toward a much more comfortable sleeping quarter. A typical bedroom for snorers is equipped with a double bed and chair, with easy access to the amenities of the master suite.

Home Design trends are changing with time, people are becoming more aware of fashion in every walk of life, be it self styling or doing the interiors decoration for the home.