What’s Your Orientation?

This seems to be a topic on many peoples’ minds… what direction does your house face? When buying a home you typically do not get to choose if the front of your house gets southern or northern exposure. You generally look for a house available in a particular town, neighborhood or near a desirable school. Many times the orientation of your home is not even considered. You walk through and look at all the possibilities of your potential purchase and you may just not even think that the driveway on the north face of your house in the winter is going to be a continuous sheet of ice or the southern exposure deck is going to be so hot in the summer with the sun blazing down on it. Some cultures, on the other hand, are very in tune with their homes orientation.

The Chinese philosophical system of Feng Shui places emphasis on energy based on living in China. This system places emphasis on positioning your front door on the south or southeast side of your home. The reasoning is because in China the north side is where sand and cold winds of Mongolia come from. In contrast, Vastu Shastra, a Hindu system of architecture, believes the front entry should be on the north face, the source of the magnetic field or the east face where you receive the good energy from the sun! The north face will draw in positive energy into the mouth, the front door, of your home. I don’t think you want to know about your home if that front door is facing southwest! Well, it happens to be the gateway for the devil bringing struggles and misfortune. Is this is your home? Don’t worry, Amazon has items to keep you safe!

What’s the ideal orientation for your home in New Jersey? I guess it depends on your preferences and how you lay out your home. If you live mostly in the back of your home and you like lots of daylight, then the back should be facing south. Do you like getting up at the crack of dawn by the morning sun? Then put your bedroom windows on the east side. Do you paint and you want a nice even light in your art studio then definitely go with the north side with large windows. Each room in your house has a unique function and uses the natural light in different ways.

In addition to the sun, you may want to consider where the prevailing winds come from to take advantage of a nice breeze through your home.

If you are looking for energy savings, then most likely you are going to want plenty of glass on the south side to absorb rays of sun throughout the cold winter days and provide a decent overhang to avoid the summer sun. That’s called passive solar! Here is a great link to more information on orientation from down under: http://www.yourhome.gov.au/passive-design/orientation.

There are many things to consider when it comes to orientation; I guess that’s why it’s in the news so much.