Since Oregon has a milder climate, the primary energy needs when it comes to heating and cooling our home surround heating during all the long months of cloudy skies, rain, and cold nights. So we were excited to see how our house performed when fall rolled in this month, with temperatures dipping into the mid to upper 30s overnight every day for about a week.
In our old house, this would have made us groan, because the heater would have kicked on, yet we still would have walked around with sweaters, jackets and blankets. In our Passive House, it was a different story.
This picture shows the thermometer we keep inside the house. The top number is the inside temperature. That is approximately the temperature it stayed in the house all week, even with those very cold nights. And we never turned on our heater -- not once! In other words, Passive House is really working! Not only did we not have to use our heat at all, the house stayed a very comfortable temperature that is much warmer than we ever had at the old house. In fact, several times we had to open our windows for awhile in the evenings to cool things down a bit after we did laundry or cooked dinner.
I'm quite amazed with how great things are working, and also excited to continue to monitor what happens when winter hits.
In other news, we added some more plants to the yard over the weekend, including salal, which is a native bush, two more vine maples, and more snowberry and ferns. We also added four blueberry bushes, which was one of the edible plants at the top of my list.
Also, there is a really great blog post on Small Planet Workshop written about our house by Linda Whaley, who visited us back in September. She is a certified Passive House consultant, and she was touring Passive House projects on the West Coast. She was quite taken by Pippen, as you'll see in her blog entry.