Passive Housing: No Need for A Furnace

I came across this story yesterday in the NY Times and was so intrigued-  I had never heard of “passive” housing before.  The basic idea is to heat your home with the sun, your body heat and even the heat given off by all your appliances around the house.  Passive homes are built with special insulation, windows and doors- no chilly drafts here!

You might think the air would feel stagnant, but apparently no.  Passive houses use an ingenious central ventilation system. The warm air going out passes side by side with clean, cold air coming in, exchanging heat with 90 percent efficiency.   The get all the heat and hot water they need from the amount of energy it would take to run a hair dryer! 

Passive homes are gaining popularity in Germany and Scandinavia.  Schools in Frankfurt are being built using this technology.  The first passive house in the US is being built in Berkley, CA right now.  

To read the entire article you can click here.


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