Can a high efficiency house or a Passive house accommodate a wood stove? What are the challenges for the envelope and AirQ?
This episode of The Conscious Builder Show was created as a reply to Stephen Smith’s (@founderstorms) question on Twitter. Stephen asked if a high efficiency house or a Passive House could accommodate a wood stove?
The most important part of a high efficient home (or a PassiveHouse) is air tightness. When you have a wood stove, you are adding another penetration in the envelope of the home. Essentially the vent of a wood stove will be another whole in your roof. Any component of your home that is vented outside will have to be addressed. When building, think about your wood stove, bathroom fans and your dryer.
That being said, there are alternatives out there. Casey and his wife, Natasha, wanted the look of a wood fireplace but didn’t want to compromise the efficiency of the home, so they opted for a bioethanol insert. They built something that looked like a traditional wood burning fireplace but was actually a fossil fuel free alternative.
- You can find out why they made that decision by listening to one of the previous episodes about building fossil fuel free.
- Click HERE to read more technical details about Casey’s house.
If you absolutely want to have a wood stove in your high efficiency home, consider the size of the unit. Due to the fact that your home is already air tight, it is very easy to overheat the space. Work with your energy adviser and calculate exactly how many BTUs your home needs. Based on that calculation select your wood stove.
It is possible to get a wood burning stove in your home, yet, to avoid future issues, you need to do your research and work with your energy adviser, architect and contractor.