And the Heat is On

Ugh, I did not want to make this post but, alas, we have had to turn the heat on.  And by heat I mean our one 1500 watt heater; it’s not really that much energy that we are putting into the house…  We have had a pretty large stretch with very few sunny days which has resulted in us having to turn up the thermostat.  We were really  hoping to make it into December but the silly sun just did not want to cooperate with us.  What amazes me is that we can survive days with temperatures well into the negatives that are sunny and we do not need the heat on at all.  Yet, here we sit with temperatures milder than normal for this time of year and we needed to turn it on.

Life in a Passive House.  Am I complaining?  Yes… but not really; life in a Passive House has so far, surpassed our expectations.   Stay tuned for monthly energy data as I’ll continue to post our usage.  At the end of February we will have one full year recorded and I am soooo curious to see where we end up with our heating and overall energy costs.

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25 Responses to And the Heat is On

  1. Bryson Guptill says:

    I’ve already spent $350 on heat in the city, so you’re doing very well I would say!

  2. Ilse says:

    Excited to see your year tally. We’ve been working in ours with no heat, and so far we are at a steady 12 degrees, but super comfortable due to the fact there is no drafts! Lots of folks still very doubtful that this is doable but we’re converts!

  3. David Ing says:

    Ralph: We toured your house with Terry & Natalie while under construction. Very impressive.
    How was your recent presentation? We were unavailable to attend.
    Our son & DIL hope to build a Passive House also.

    David & Pam Ing

    • rbpeters04 says:

      Hi David and Pam,
      The presentation went great! There was a wonderful crowd and they had lots of fantastic questions! Glad you were able to make it to the open house 🙂

  4. Kevin Coulson says:

    Nice to see another Passive House built. I’m curious to know if you have drain water heat recovery?

    • rbpeters04 says:

      Do you have a Passive House Kevin?

      • Kevin Coulson says:

        No I don’t, but I’m working with several home owners to gradually transform (over several years) their existing homes to perform as good as, or darn close to, Passive House standard. I’ve been following the Passive House building standard for close to 10 years.

  5. rbpeters04 says:

    Hi Kevin! We do not have drain water heat recovery… you know that questions, what would you do differently? Definitely something I would have researched more.

    • Kevin Coulson says:

      I was curious to know if your domestic hot water heating numbers were with or without dwhr. Adding it at some point will be a big help to shave down the power used for water heating. If you’d like I can share some actual savings numbers at houses in PEI that have been using them for several years. I don’t have TED data, but I have solid numbers using an “old school” method.

      • rbpeters04 says:

        I’d love to hear some more information about it!

      • Kevin Coulson says:

        I’m sure you can find just about everything you want to know about drain water heat recovery on the net. Your house could have gained much from such a unit. The best thing about dwhr is that the units have no moving parts, need no maintenance and are 100% built from copper so they are expected to last 50 years or more. I know of many installs that are 10 years old are never had a single issue. They’re kinda like insulation… install and forget about it and let it save and save for decades. If you had any particular questions about dwhr feel free to reach me at KevinWCoulson ({at})

        It “looks like” your house is built on a floating slab foundation? Or does it have a frost wall? Was there “wing insulation” installed?

      • rbpeters04 says:

        Kevin, you asked about our foundation. We have an insulated slab that has four feet of insulation lying out from the base of the foundation on the ground which is covered with topsoil. I’ve called it a skirt of insulation but I believe that is what you refer to when you called it wing insulation.

      • Kevin Coulson says:

        Thanks for letting me know about your foundation detail. It’s good to hear that you have skirt insulation since you don’t have a frost wall. 🙂

  6. Keith says:

    Great blog! I’ve just found it via the CBC article on your home. We made it to Nov 25th before turning on the heat (we’re also in PEI). I’d love to use some of these concepts in our next home. Keep sharing – this is awesome.

  7. Vicki says:

    I often find it strange that on some sunny days that i am colder in the house than a cloudy day.I have found wind direction outside a factor.We have no windows on the north and thick brick walls so north winds are not a concern.In summer,our passive solar home is downright cool and have been asked if we have air conditioning(we don’t).

    • rbpeters04 says:

      Hi Vicki,

      What type of home do you have? Are you on PEI? Have you had a blower door test done? Perhaps air leakage is a factor particularly with the wind direction.

      The biggest factor for us with heating the house is the sun. It can be -20 out and a bright sunny day and the heat does not come on. On the other hand, it can be +10 and cloudy and the heat may have to come on for a little while. We haven’t found too much difference with the wind.

    • Kevin Coulson says:

      It does sound like air leakage is playing a roll with your house and your comfort. If you’d like to have this assessed feel free to ask me anything. I’ve worked for hundreds of Islanders over the years doing these tests and other things.

  8. Kevin Coulson says:

    Congratulations on the 1 year anniversary of being in your PassivHaus!!! Even though most people won’t fully appreciate all of the great benefits of a house built to this standard I wanted to tell you that I certainly do. I’m looking forward to seeing you and your place in person someday.

    Sincerely, Kevin

  9. Kevin Coulson says:

    Is your son planning to use PH consultant Garth Hood or someone else? I’m only asking is because I like to try to keep up to speed with who is doing active work in “super houses”.

  10. Pingback: Reaping the Energy Rewards of Passivhaus Design

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