The house’s solar orientation and the spacious enclosed porch on the home’s south face hinted that, even in 1900, builders understood the concepts of passive heat gain. The porch is a free-heat machine: Once it warms, we open the interior windows on the adjoining wall and gain free heat until mid-afternoon.
To further improve the home’s passive-solar performance and daylighting, we added a south-facing window in the kitchen. The west side of house gets a lot of late afternoon sun, warming up the core of the house without cost. We removed a large, north-facing window to reduce heat loss.
An Energy Star dishwasher and refrigerator, compact fluorescent lighting, and switched outlets round out the energy-saving features. Dual-flush toilets and low-flow faucets will keep water usage low.