Passive house has no furnace

Discussion in 'Energy' started by Chris, Dec 30, 2008.

  1. Chris
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    Chris Gold Member

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  2. editec
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    editec Mr. Forgot-it-All

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    Yeah.

    If you plan it from the foundation up, you can build a passive house that works even in a place like Maine.

    But what we cannot do is retrofit the housing we have now to do that.

    ASsuming I ever sell my house here, and can find the dough to build my dream house, it will be off grid mostly passive solar and geothermal heated, too.

    I figure not including land I can do that here in Maine for about 100K or so.

    I've got the land picked out right now.

    It's a perfect place to enjoy the end of the world as we know it follies that we might be enjoying if the nitwit master class can't figure out how to fix capitalism.
     
  3. glockmail
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    glockmail BANNED

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    This is the main problem of building this type of house in the US.

    An old house can be retrofitted, but at a price. It entails removing the finish materials (drywall) on all outside walls and building a second wall interior to it, which allows for a much thicker insulation. Then you replace all the windows and doors. The heat exchanger is the most unconventional component of the system.
     
  4. hansom
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    hansom Rookie

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    I'm on the same page, editec. But there are so many efficient heating systems that there's really no need to go completely heater-less. Even if all i can afford is a regular house, I can still think of a couple ways to insulate and heat at low or no cost. Yeah, it's compromise, but you do what you can...

    My plan involves at least some level of subterranean construction, almost like a cord-wood house. : )
     
  5. Skull Pilot
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    Skull Pilot Platinum Member

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    An airtight house raises problems of indoor air quality that is not addressed in the article. there would have to be some sort of fresh air intake coupled with a heat exchanger to remedy that problem.
     
  6. editec
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    editec Mr. Forgot-it-All

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    Yup. And in some part that's why retrofitting most houses is a less than ideal solution too. It cost much more to retrofit, than it does to buiold from the ground up and the solution is never as good as you'd want, anyway.

    If the home is too tight you start dealing with stale air and humidity problems.

    You need a constant supply of fresh air.

    Had I the dough to build my Cave/home, it would be situated on a south facing mountain, employing mostly passive solar to heat geothermicall preheated (by running it deep into the mountian) fresh air.

    Then I'd be starting with fresh air that was at about 50 degrees.

    I'd also use wind (or solar cells) to generate electricity but I'd stay on the grid so that I wouldn't have to have a batteries system.

    On top of the mountain where I'd locate, the wind would be more than adaquate most of the time such that I'd likely sell more elcticity back than I ever had to buy.

    It's a nice dream house that sans some dramatic change in my personal finances, I'll never build.
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2009
  7. MalibuMan
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    MalibuMan Member

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    The Air Handling units I deal with must have 10% fresh air intake at all times. It is code.
     
  8. Old Rocks
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    Old Rocks Diamond Member

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    Here in Oregon, where there are so many differant climates and situations concerning the availability of sunlight, geothermal, and other energies, there are a whole slew of differant designs. From retro-fit to new construction. One of the simplest and most visably appealing was a home with large south facing windows. The yard in front of the windows was planted with decidous trees, shading and cooling the house in the summer, allowing the winter sunlight to warm the house.

    Look long enough, and sometimes you find that you already have what you need with just a few alterations.
     
  9. manu1959
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    manu1959 Left Coast Isolationist

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    if you built a cave house that faces south and had anything in it you would need to cool it not heat it .......
     
  10. strollingbones
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    strollingbones Diamond Member

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    avoid the cord wood house...go for the underground house...that is what i would like to do with solar energy...but we have no furnace in this house...totally wood heating...now i am a sucker for radiant heat...that would be hard to give up..i watched that "off the grid" with that guy les..something...well hell yea i could go off the grid if i could afford to hire specialists and have helicopters bringing in supplies...

    insulation is the key...a tight house with insulation...not only the outer walls but the inner walls (helps with noise too) high quality windows and doors...it is amazing how much cold air the smallest crack lets in...

    ideally i would love to have solar and wind power...wind mills are hard on birds and bats...

    water conservation is becoming an issue more and more ...in many different areas...there is a composting toilet...uses a liter of water per flush...interesting concept..
     

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