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Fri Nov 14, 2014

It’s a common misconception that if you live in a Passive House, or an energy and thermally efficient property containing a heat recovery ventilation unit, that every window in the property must remain closed at all times.  Such rumours that the MVHR unit will stop working, you’ll lose all your heat or your house will explode are simply not true!

Having been in many passive houses I have observed occupants living with the windows open even during the depths of winter.  Often people like the feeling of fresh air coming in through an open window as it’s something they are familiar with.  What they may not understand is that the MVHR unit actually brings the perfect amount of fresh, filtered air into the property without the need to open a window.

What I would recommend however is that such a habit of leaving windows open is restricted to the winter months and summer nights.  A Passive House is so thermally efficient that it requires very little energy to heat the property - it retains its heat beautifully.  The same can be said for the summer where the cold air during the night can also be retained.  If, during the summer, the windows and doors are left open during the day (a typical action for a standard “leaky” property in the UK), then the heat from outside will come into the property and cause overheating.

So, in conclusion, if you want to open your windows and you live in a Passive House then fear not. But proceed with caution during the summer months as keeping the windows closed during the day will lead to a much more comfortable internal environment.


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