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Wood Stove In Passive House

 
Posts: 84
Location: North Thomas Lake, Manitoba
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Hi,
I will likely be buying a pre-fab 900 sqft passive house for delivery next fall. The site is off grid and COLD, zone 2. We get lots of winter sun here in the Canadian prairies, but a reliable heat source will be key. Wood is available on site and there's plenty of folks in the area selling firewood. I like the reliable simplicity of wood heat, but with an air tight home maybe it isn't so simple? I've seen discussion online about wood stoves not working in a passive house. Does a direct air intake for a small, air tight stove solve that, or are there still challenges to be considered?
I'm assuming our solar generation and battery capacity will be sufficient to keep the HRV going.
I'm a complete noob. I've never lived off grid or with wood heat or in a passive house.
Our builder is very familiar with the energy demands of the house in our climate but we'll be his first off grid client. I don't want to rely on his guidance alone so if you have experience with wood heat in an air tight home, I would really love to hear about it.
Thanks!
Nick
 
pollinator
Posts: 2012
Location: Canadian Prairies - Zone 3b
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Any decent high-efficiency stove has a built-in connection for outside combustion air. This increases efficiency, since the stove isn't sucking in heated room air and blowing it up the chimney. It also helps establish the initial draft, which can be a challenge in tightly sealed structures. With this added, I think a wood stove will work fine in your situation.
 
pollinator
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Location: Bendigo , Australia
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I agree with Douglas, but if no air supply is in place, a separate air tube from the outside, can be installed with an outlet near the intakes of the wood heater.
If you fit a cut off valve or cap so it can be sealed all will be ok.
This video shows a mistake that has been made with air supplies being buried in snow
 
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I live in a passive house (flatrockpassive.blogspot.ca).  I burn wood in a walltherm boiler.  I can assure you you will need make up air. This being said, there may be a fair share of complexities.  In a super air tight house, a good "airtight" stove is a must.  Wall thimbles also need to be considered as rarely they are made for thick walls and workarounds are necessary.  Bringing a air supply close to the stove is not going to work.  it needs to be attached directly to a closed combustion chamber.  There are issues. you should be aware of.  An HRV/ERV which is balanced in air flow doesn't necessarily mean balanced in pressure.  In fact, if you balance an HRV, and then open a window, you change the envelope and it alters the balance.  This becomes and issue whenever you open the door to a fire place in passive house.  If the draft is not large enough, unbalancing the envelope by opening the wood stove door can back puff into the room.  IT can be done safely though.  It's mostly documented in my blog.  Please have a look.  you won't be sorry.
 
david goodyear
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sorry, the blog post is here:https://flatrockpassivehouse.blogspot.com/2019/01/winter-update.html
 
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