What Is a Passive House?

More and more homeowners are familiarizing themselves with the concept of home performance and energy efficiency, paying more attention to their energy usage so they can save money, improve their home comfort, and reduce their environmental impact.

One of the ideas you may have heard about is “passive houses.” But what are passive houses? Let’s explore some basic passive house principles and learn how upgrading your home to meet PHIUS building standards can benefit you and your family.

Passive Houses Are Very Low Energy Homes

Generally speaking, a passive house is a home that meets ultra high standards in energy efficiency. Passive houses are very airtight and well insulated, resulting in much lower energy bills than a standard home and require much less heating and cooling to maintain comfortable indoor temperatures.

Around the world, there are a few different standard organizations, but in the United States, most contractors and home performance experts follow standards set by the Passive House Institute US, Inc. (or, PHIUS).

Some of the hallmarks of passive houses are:

  • High insulation levels

  • Double or triple paned windows

  • Extreme airtightness from air sealing

  • Energy recovery ventilators (ERVs) that deliver fresh outdoor air 

  • Building design that utilizes solar gain

  • Small conventional heating systems (if there are any at all)

What Are the Benefits of Passive Houses?

Because of the very strict standards of a PHIUS classified home, homeowners stand to benefit significantly from living in a passive house. With air sealing and spray foam insulation installation, you’ll create a powerful barrier against the outdoor environment, meaning you’ll use significantly less energy to keep your home comfortable, saving you money. ERV installation ensures that your airtight home won’t suffer from moisture issues and will bring fresh, clean air into your home with less of an energy penalty. And because so much less energy will be needed to maintain the indoor temperatures you want, your home’s carbon footprint will be reduced as well. 

With a passive home, you’ll have:

  • High indoor comfort levels

  • Lower energy bills

  • Very high indoor air quality (IAQ)

  • Significantly reduced environmental footprint for your home

What Does a Passive House Cost? Find Out with E3 INNOVATE!

Whether you’re looking to implement the standards for a passive house with a new home construction project or you’re looking to retrofit your existing home for higher energy efficiency, reach out to E3 INNOVATE. We can assist at many points in the process, from construction design and energy efficiency consultation to air sealing and the installation of new insulation, high performance windows and doors, and heat and moisture recovery ventilation systems. 

With a passive house, you’ll benefit from ultra high energy efficiency and home indoor comfort. Call 615-876-5479 or contact us to find out how E3 can help you.