How to heat a passive house

Low Energy and Passive House, News | No comments

Below is an extract from the Passive House Association of Ireland’s website;


Q:            Does a Passive House need a heating system?

A:             Yes. Sometimes you will find definitions of a Passive House as a building that doesn’t need any heating, but that is simply not true. You need what is referred to as a ‘back-up’ heating system, which is tiny in comparison to that required for a conventional house.

Q:            What kind of heating system is typically used in a Passive House?

A:             Typically any additional heating required is delivered using the mechanical ventilation system. The air passing around the house can be heated using a variety or combination of means whether electrical-based (such as with a heat pump) or using a pellet-boiler and / or solar panels.   It is not usual to find (or indeed need) radiators or underfloor heating in a Passive House. If you really would like such systems, then of course they can be used.  Be aware that in doing so, you are ‘doubling up’ in the amount of services in your house which will increase the cost of construction.

Q:            How much should it cost to heat my passive house for a year?

A:             This will greatly depend on house size and fuel used. However, we can give you some rule of thumb here. The maximum allowable space heating requirement is 15 kWh/m2/year. So, for a 150m2 house (1,600 square feet), this would amount to 1,650 kWh per year. Taking the current cost of delivered energy from wood pellets (bulk delivered), the heating costs for a house of this size would be in the region of €100 for a full year.



From this it is clear that;

  • Heating is required
  • Specifically designed system are essential to meet the low heating requirements

Windhager Ireland has many solutions to cater for these types of builds;