There are many Passive House myths circling around. One of them is that you can’t open windows in Passive House buildings. This is so not true and it is actually very important that you have openable windows. We, at Schüco USA by GSW will give you six reasons why. 


1. A cheap and easy way of cooling your building

Diagram of cross ventilation showing air flows from one side of a house to the other

Cross ventilation offers the most effective cooling solution

If you live in Michigan, just like us, you already know as soon as it reached 50 degrees our windows are open wide the entire day. Opening your windows is honestly the easiest, cheapest and most effective way of not just cooling your building but also refreshing it with some fresh air. When you open multiple windows, on opposite sides of your building you take part of a cross ventilation where you allow the natural breeze to pass through and create an effective solution.



The cross ventilation is far higher than the standard air exchange provided by Passive House ventilation systems.  The cooling effect is further reduced by the additional heat being given off by the fan. The air change rates of ventilation systems during really hot (or cold) periods may not be high enough to keep the air from getting too humid (or too dry). A completely different type of ventilation system would be needed to allow for higher air change rates. Such systems would be more expensive and less efficient than existing systems. Schüco USA by GSW can promise that through providing large volumes of air by opening your windows will help you save money.


2. A connection to the outside world

Our Schüco USA by GSW windows offer a connection to the outside world. They let you feel like you are part of nature and allow you to hear the birds chirping in the morning. Most of the building users expect openable windows and want to be able to choose whether to open them or not.


3. Easier cleaning*

We all know how difficult cleaning windows usually is. Well, not with our Schüco USA by GSW windows. With our interior openable windows, cleaning will be much easier and faster. European windows offer you the tilt and turn option, giving you a lot of flexibility. If a building is mostly fitted with inside opening windows it can help make it much easier to maintain and can help reduce running costs. You can count on Schüco USA by GSW on this.

*Assuming windows can be fully opened to the inside. Outward opening windows would be more difficult to clean.


4. Little risk from user behavior

Monitoring results suggest that there is little risk of Passive House buildings getting too warm or requiring significantly more heating energy due to users keeping their windows open. There is no need to fear that human errors might cause problems. Even when users tilt bedroom windows all night in winter, the only negative effect is a slight increase in heating energy use.


5. You can even open windows when it’s cold

The tilt and turn option for our Schüco USA by GSW windows gives you the flexibility of opening the window in the tilt position for a little ventilation even when it’s cold.


6. An openable window could save your life!

Last but not least, it could save your life. It offers an easy escape route in the event of a fire or other emergency.

To sum it up, there are only a few Passive House buildings that have been partially or entirely fitted with fixed windows. Most reports or inquiries regarding these buildings concern complaints about excessive temperatures in summer or users feeling closed in – something that can be prevented with tilt and turn windows. Based on these reasons and experiences, providing at least one openable window per room used for living is a prerequisite for Passive House buildings eligible for certification. There might be well justified exceptions for example if the building is located directly next to an airport or in an extreme climate zone. Send Schüco USA by GSW your project today and let’s make your life more easy and efficient.