Alternate Energy: Passive Solar Homes uses air tubes through a foot thick pad of concrete and 3 inches of rigid insulation in addition to the sun to keep their houses at a comfortable temperature and humidity year round. They push the air from the peak of the house down into the massive thermal mass in the basement which stays about the same temperature year round. This is from their FAQ page.
It sounds pretty simple.
- We design, engineer and market a unique concept incorporating
proper solar orientation, a superior 6-sided insulation envelope and a large air integrated thermal mass system.
- Our unique homes can be built in whatever size, shape and style you desire, i.e., contemporary, saltbox, traditional, etc.
- Insulated and sealed on all six sides with 4" of polyisocyanurate (foam board) yielding a performance level of R38, 7 to 9 times higher than typical new homes.
- An integral air handling system powered by a small fan gathers air at the peak of the house and pulls it down an airshaft to be delivered, through a grid work of pipes, buried in a heavy (70-100 ton) mass storage system under the lowest floor, and back to the house interior perimeter.
- Air Quality: Healthy high winter humidity levels of 45-50 % are maintained at all times. Filtration 3 times per hour of all indoor air eliminates most dusting. Steady temperatures changing only 4 - 6 F. in 24 hours because of mass tempering.
- Self-regulating system allows owners to leave for any winter months by simply turning the key, the house will never freeze. Excellent for a second home or ski lodge. Retired people enjoy the constant warmth, maintenance free operation and minimal fuel bills.
- AAE has built over 300 Low Energy Requirement homes across
30 years in 15 eastern states.