If you have the luxury of choosing the orientation of your house by either being selective in the choice of your property, and/or the orientation and location of your house if your property is big enough to give some options. Generally, you want the main part of your living area facing the winter sun, so that it will warm it up.
For a good article with more information, click here.
2. Thermal mass
Thermal mass is an often-overlooked design element that helps your home stay a consistent temperature year-round. Thermal mass is a part of your home that has a lot of mass that is entirely within the conditioned space of your home, like an interior concrete wall, or a concrete slab floor with a lot of insulation underneath. This thermal mass is ideally placed where the winter sun can hit it, and it can then absorb that heat and slowly release it through the night.
Modern homes are much more airtight than they used to be, and that requires a means to exchange air to control humidity and air quality in the house. Human activity creates humidity, whether it is from cooking, sweating, breathing, laundry, showers or baths. The best way to ensure that you have an energy efficient air transfer is by means of a Heat Recovery Ventilation System (HRV). An HRV brings in cool, fresh air from the outside and at the same time sucks warm, stale air from the inside of the house. The outgoing air goes through a heat exchanger and up to 85% of the heat gets transferred to the incoming air.
The stale air is usually drawn from the kitchen and bathrooms, while the fresh air comes in through the bedrooms and living areas.
This is a great way to ensure you have dry, fresh air in your home, without losing too much energy out of your heated home. Here is a link to an article from Popular Mechanics.
I hope this article has been helpful. Let me know if you have any questions or comments.