14 October, 2010

No furnace? No boiler?

By Christina Winter, Allied Member ASID
This week we have been talking about the Passive House Design Standards and emphasizing on The Passive House in the Woods that is located in Hudson, WI.  This is where the inspiration started.  So recapping that to save energy you have thick walls that minimizes thermal bridging along with super insulated windows with low-e glazing.  Together these help to control heating and cooling in your home.  The magic of a passive house is that there is no furnace or boiler in the home.  How can this be done?  Well innovative heating technology helps with that.
Since the heating requirement is so minimal due to the insulated walls and windows the home can be heated by heating the air that is brought into the home by a mechanical ventilation system.  There are different ways this can be done such as a small condesing gas burner or heat pump.  There are also compact units that are all in one with heating, ventilation and hot water.
Here is a photo that better explains how this works:
Tune in tomorrow to see the passive houses around the U.S.

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