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A separate solarium helps heat the house.

An untraditional room in a traditionallooking house is part of a solar heating system that turns the room's slab floor and the house's crawl space into places to store and distribute heat.

From the outside, the roof texture hints that there's something special about the room below: while the rest of the roof wears shingles, this section is made of two layers of ultraviolet light resistant fiberglass. This translucent material sandwiches a grid of 2-by-2s and rests on a grid of 2-by-4s. Inside, the roof fills the solarium room with diffused light.

Technically an unbeated space, the room connects the main house and the garage, which has a guest room over it. Solar heat is stored in the solarium's tile-covered slab floor, then rises. A second-story door in the house can be opened to let heat fitter into the upper-floor rooms. This warmed air is then drawn into the main furnace system. If the air is warm enough, the furnace acts simply as a fan and circulates the heat to floor registers and the crawl space. On cold days, owners Barbara and Finn Horve can keep the solarium closed and let the furnace operate normally.

Instead of installing a system of heating ducts in the crawl space, architect John Evans of Half Moon Bay, California, took advantage of local rat-control ordinances requiring a concrete foundation. He insulated the crawl space and used the slab for storing some of the warmed air's heat. This let him turn the whole crawl space into a plenum that distributes air through registers at its perimeter.
COPYRIGHT 1988 Sunset Publishing Corp.
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Copyright 1988 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Sunset
Date:Oct 1, 1988
Words:261
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