A silver lining.
Hurricanes, relatives, cost of living, house prices, culture, jobs...
Here's some NREL long-term climate data:
- - - January - - - - - - July - - -
HDD avg/max sun SDD CDD avg/min hum rat w
Asheville 4308 36/47F 1180 37 787 73/63F 0.0144
Cape Hatteras 2698 45/52 1130 49 1638 78/72 0.0169
Charlotte 3341 39/49 1140 39 1582 79/70 0.0147
Greensboro 3865 37/47 1140 37 1253 77/67 0.0148
Raleigh 3457 39/49 1130 39 1417 78/68 0.0149
Wilmington 2470 45/55 1170 51 1926 80/72 0.0168
Roanoke 4360 35/44 1110 34 1052 76/65 0.0134
Land to the west of Asheville is cheap. It's cooler, but solar fuel is free.
All these climates need dehumidification for comfort, by ASHRAE standards,
but not much cooling. An airtight house wouldn't need much dehumidification.
Opening windows or running a whole house fan at night looks good for a house
with a long time constant, ie lots of thermal mass and insulation.
The "SDD" (sun per degree day) column is the amount of solar heat that falls
on a square foot of south wall on an average January day divided by
the difference between an indoor temp of 68 F and the 24-hour average
outdoor temp, eg 1180/(68-36) = 37. Higher SDDs make solar heating easier.
A 40'x60'x8' tall house with R30 walls and an R40 ceiling and 192 ft^2
of R4 windows and 0.2 ACH and a thermal conductance of 192/4 = 48 Btu/h-F
for windows + 1408/30 = 47 for walls + 2400/40 = 60 for the ceiling +
0.2x40x60x8/60 = 64 for 64 cfm of air leakage totaling 219 would need
about 24h(68-36)219 = 168K Btu of heat on an average Asheville January day.
A square foot of R1 sunspace glazing or polycarbonate "solar siding"
with 90% solar transmission might gain 0.9x1180 = 1062 Btu and lose about
6h(100-42)1ft^2/R1 = 348 on an average day, for a net gain of 714, so
168K/714 = 235 ft^2 of glazing (eg 8'x32' of siding) might provide all
the heat, with no electrical use or sun into windows.
If sunspace air keeps a ceiling mass C in the living space 100 F on
an average day and it provides heat for 5 cloudy days as it cools to 75,
C(100F-75F) = 5dx168K makes C = 33600 Btu/F, eg 539 ft^3 of water in
a 2.7" layer under the ceiling, or less, with a big tank on the ground,
or less than that, with fin tubes under the ceiling.
The ceiling might have a low-e surface below the mass to allow night
setbacks and avoid overheating the house, with slow ceiling fans and
room temp thermostats and occupancy sensors to control room air temps.