No furnace

 Our new furnace

Our new furnace

This winter has been a particularly harsh one, with record breaking (and soul breaking) cold temperatures. In our older, traditional neighbourhood rental home, we’ve often had the furnace cranked up to 23° and have still been suffering from cold toes and sniffly noses. Even with a higher efficiency furnace, our Enbridge bills have been hefty this year.

It seems unfathomable that we could live in such a climate without a furnace. But apparently we can. We will not be installing one in our new home. Neither will we install in-floor radiant heating or a pellet stove. Nothing, nada: zilch. The heating requirements of our home will be mostly satisfied simply by living in it — heat from our bodies, cooking, bathing, etc. The size of heat source that we will need to make up that last little bit of heat will be only about as big as the collection of candles you see above.

Impossible you say? Wrong. One of our builders, Casey, built himself a Passive House last year in Manotick and tweeted this earlier this week: 

Energy cost for the coldest month on record in our 3000sqft #fossilfuelfree #passivhaus = $10.63 What do you think @LeoDiCaprio #WeNeedMore

Pretty impressive. I won’t be missing those Enbridge bills.

Another nice little tidbit: a Passive House can't freeze. So no worries anymore about having your furnace konk out or power go down during the middle of a polar vortex. Take that ice storm '98! What'd I tell you: makes sense.