KELOWNA – Imagine living in a home that could be heated by a hairdryer, a home so self-sufficient it doesn’t even need a furnace. The first certified ‘Passive House’ is being built in the central Okanagan and so far, it’s gained plenty of support.
These homes are being constructed as a solution to the ever-growing concern over climate change. Developers say living in one of these units reduces our energy consumption by 90 per cent.
From top to bottom, the homes are tightly sealed. There’s also an extra layer of insulation to help keep the heat inside.
“The whole entire house is wrapped with a jacket of insulation that is about 8 inches thick,” Mike Banner of Prime Habitat Builders said.
The home is even expected to maintain the “perfect” temperature without the use of a furnace.
“We only need 2,800 watts to heat the whole entire house,” Banner said.
Developers say a hairdryer is enough to do the trick.
The Passive House Movement has been successful in North America. A recent report by the Pembina Institute indicated that in the last year, the number of passive house units has quadrupled from 500 to over 2,000.
Banner said starting up could cost you an extra three to 15 per cent. In the long run, it’s a fee some would consider well worth it.