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Asked a question 2 years ago

Can you open windows in a Passive House?

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Ashley Abernethy
VP Growth & Partnerships, Rise

In a building designed with passive house principles, drafts are virtually nonexistent, even near windows and doors. And yes, despite the importance of maintaining a robust thermal envelope, you can open windows and doors in a Passive House just like any other building. However, you may find that you do not need to open windows as often since the indoor temperature will be extremely comfortable year-round. 

Markus Lang
Passive House Multiplier

People often tell that they heard or read, that you must not open the windows in a passive house. I usually tell them, that's acutely it's quite the opposite.

In a normal house you must open the windows, to get fresh air. No matter how cold or hot it is outside. No matter the noise, dust, pollen, mosquitoes,...

In a passive house on the other hand, you have the choice to open the window. You don't have the need for it. But if it brings you joy to hear the birds or you want to talk to your neighbor outside, please go ahead and open the window.

In Passive House buildings, it’s not necessary to worry about airing out rooms on a regular basis - controlled ventilation with heat recovery constantly provides fresh air at comfortable temperatures so that everyone’s needs can be met. Opening windows to achieve this would typically result in heat losses greater than the total energy demand of a Passive House building. A good resource:

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