Many homeowners use Trombe Walls to distribute and release heat into their homes over a period of hours.  It is the most common indirect-gain approach used in the market today.  The wall consist of an 8-16 inch think masonry wall on the south side of a house (located in northern hemisphere; otherwise the north side of the house is used in the southern hemisphere) in order to catch the sun’s solar heat.  A single or double layer of glass is mounted about 1 inch or less from the walls surface.  Then, solar heat is absorbed but the wall’s dark-colored outside surface and stored in the walls mass where it radiates into the living space.

The U.S. Department of Energy states that:

“The Trombe wall distributes or releases heat into the home over a period of several hours.  Solar heat migrates through the wall, reaching its rear surface in the late afternoon or early evening.  When the indoor temperature falls below that of the wall’s surface, heat begins to radiate and transfer into the room.  For example, heat travels through a masonry wall at an average rate of 1 hour per inch.  Therefore, the heat absorbed on the outside of an 8 inch thick concrete wall at noon will enter the living space around 8 p.m.”

For more information about using Trombe walls in your home to conserve energy, visit the U.S. Department of Energy’s Website.