Study proves compact systems to be the optimal heating solution for passive houses

10-06-2011 | The International Passive House Association iPHA has published a report comparing various types of heating solutions for passive houses, proving that compact systems are the optimal choice.

The global network of passive house stakeholders, the International Passive House Association iPHA, works to promote the passive house standard and expand public knowledge on the subject. This includes analysing and studying data on the energy consumption and efficiency of passive houses.

From wood stoves to compact units

iPHA recently published a report presenting a study of the efficiency and costs of heating solutions for passive houses, from wood stoves to compact units. More specifically, the study compared the energy consumption, costs and annual overall costs of the various solutions.

'Passive house' is a construction concept applied to buildings that consume only a minimum of energy. Reducing this number even further is thus a key element in the work with the passive house standard, and a vital parameter in this connection is compact heating units and the fact that they provide not only heating, but also ventilation with heat recovery and production of sanitary hot water in one single system, resulting in synergy effects.

The iPHA report concludes that the ‘compact units have considerable advantages’ (iPHA 2011). iPHA further states that ‘as soon as the effect of mass production of Passive House components leads to a reduction in the additional investments for the Passive House Standard, it will no longer be possible to justify the implementation  of other construction methods on the basis of economic advantages.’

Data on 20 years of operation

The overall costs include purchase of the given system, energy and maintenance during a 20 year period of operation. Hence, the study gives a realistic picture of the actual costs of heating a passive house. This is supported by the fact that the increasing price of crude oil is also taken into consideration as it affects the overall costs to a great extent.

Online knowledge base on passive houses

Further information on the study is available at In depth information is available to iPHA members.

Learn more about iPHA at

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