A Passive House is a highly efficient building that is built beyond the ‘normal’ insulation standard. Passivhaus buildings provide a high level of occupant comfort while using very little energy for heating and cooling Passivhaus Trust. (2021) What is Passivhaus? Available at: passivhaustrust.org.uk/what_is_passivhaus.php. With very little needed in the way of heating and cooling, what is the best way to heat a passive property?
Simple and Cost Effective
In essence, it should be the simpler methods that will need to be deployed to heat a passive house. There is very little need for an expensive air source heat pump or ground source heat pump or gas. Why? These systems are usually overpowered and costly to install and the property does not require it. Why install underfloor heating when it might only be required for a few days a year? Why heat a slab of material to slowly heat a room over hours or days? Infrared puts the energy in to the room much quicker as it is surface mounted. Our panels heat up in as little as five minutes and you feel that heat, even if the rooms air temperature is lower.
Infrared heaters are cheaper, maintenance free, quicker reaction time and much more controllable. Jigsaw’s infrared heating panels can be sized per room very accurately. They are installed very quickly with standard mains cable on a first fix with and an installation on the ceiling to free up all the walls as a second fix. They can also be decorative glass and mirrors. All at the fraction of the cost of other options.
Most house installations are carried out in a day or two. This reduces the budget for equipment and trades. Our systems are usually half the cost of ASHP installation and less than a third of a GSHP.
Using Renewable Energy
The total energy requirements of a passive property will be much lower when compared to a normal house. Most passive properties will be able to install 3-4kW of solar panels. The total wattage required by the Jigsaw Infrared’s heating and water could be met by the solar panels installed. Why? In addition to the panels being quicker to warm we use a Smart control system that monitors room occupancy as well as air temperature. Simply put, we don’t need to heat rooms to full temperature if we are not using them. Keep the room to a lower fall-back temperature and then boost it when you need it. Our motion detectors mean that this is done automatically when you enter a room for a set amount of time.
We also use an extremely smart water system that can heat each 1% of water in the cylinder. So, you only heat what you need to. This method of control insures that there is a minimum reduction of 20% of energy use when compared to other systems. We see savings of around 50% when compared to other heating sources. Even more when tied in with renewable sources of energy.
Consider installing a battery if your system is producing more energy than you can use during the day. A battery can store any excess energy produced during the day to be discharged at night. It is possible to live “off grid” with the correct amount of equipment and installation. Less or no CO2 and a greener, happier home.
SAP 10 Update
With changes coming to SAP in June 2022, electric heating will been seen as one of the strongest options for heating a Passive house. The changes in the calculations mean that electric heating will be seen as green and efficient as gas heating. This is the first time that this has happened and is key for the UK to meet its Net Zero target in 2050. Read more here.
The Jigsaw Infrared heating system is completely interchangeable. It is easy to move or swap panels from room to room. They are also very close to 100% recyclable as well. With a 10-year guarantee and an estimated lifespan of over 20 years, infrared is easy, cheaper and longer lasting.
Jigsaw is more than just a retailer of heating. We manufacture, specify, offer consultation and install a number of the key components in a property. We work with a number of fantastic partners to develop, test and improve the green possibilities of technology.