graphic courtesy of Zehnder
Modern homes are becoming more energy efficient and Passivhaus low energy homes have even higher levels of efficiency thanks to the use of extensive insulation and construction techniques designed to minimize air leakage. This means that effective ventilation is more important than ever. Failure to properly ventilate an air-tight home effectively, will not only result in a stuffy house, it can also lead to condensation problems, mould and mildew.
There are a number of ways to bring fresh air into the building. The most common of course is to open the windows. The problem here is that most people do not monitor the oxygen and humidity levels in their house and open and shut windows accordingly. When the external weather is extreme, the windows are typically kept shut. The two main issues here are that oxygen levels can end up below safe levels (usually at night) and humidity levels can increase significantly.
The best solution is a balanced ventilation system with a heat recovery unit that delivers fresh filtered air at optimum levels helping to maintain a clean and pollution free indoor environment. Passivhaus certified ventilation units are available that are very efficient and cheap to run. These better quality units can achieve heat recovery efficiencies of around 90%. The supply air is filtered and delivered to all parts of the house, while the stale air is exhausted from the bathrooms, toilets and kitchen. Because the operation is continual the humidity levels are kept low. So if the weather is wintry and miserable, if you are in the middle of a heatwave or it’s pollen season, you just keep the windows shut and rely on the ventilation system for all your fresh filtered air. If it’s a beautiful day outside you can then choose to open your windows and enjoy.
A short video on the Flair 325 balanced ventilation system
Every inch of our homes are not only beautifully designed, they are calculated and built to surpass the World’s most rigorous energy efficiency, comfort and sustainability standards for buildings. Every component, every wall, window and even appliance is taken into consideration when meeting the Passivhaus performance standards
To date there have been over 60,000 Passivhaus units built around the world.
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Main picture- Kitchen in House 2 at 3 Oakley Avenue, Forestville, South Australia