Energy Efficient Appliances for Your Passive Home

Trying to choose super energy efficient appliances for a passive home? Don't miss this post!

It’s been six or seven years since we last did a post on household appliances, and it’s more than time for a round up!

Choosing appliances

We talk a lot about the exceptional energy efficiency of our passive homes, but what about the appliances that you need day to day within your home?

There are a couple of simple rules to follow when selecting appliances that will keep your commitment to sustainability at the forefront and work with a passive home envelope:

  1. Choose appliances that are Energy Star rated and that are noted for using the least energy or best efficiency. Review and filter appliances on the Energy Star website.
  2. For kitchen hood vents and clothes dryers, choosing ventless options is key as most of the venting in a passive home is handled by the ERV (described here).

Beyond these two rules of thumb, you can determine your appliance selection based on features, performance, and price.

Suppliers such as Canadian Appliance Source or Home Depot (US and Canada) and other retailers will be able to provide package pricing if you’re purchasing multiple appliances.

Related content

Venting Appliances in a Passive House

Super energy efficient fridge

The double doored fridge in the EkoBuilt passive model home.
Choosing an energy efficient fridge for your home can seem a daunting task unless you keep one simple rule of thumb in mind. This double door fridge is in the EkoBuilt model passive home.

Appliance guide for passive homes

Read on for our recommendations in choosing: Stop Top & Oven Ranges, Hood Vents, Dishwashers, Fridges, Microwaves, Washing Machines, Dryers

Stove Top & Oven Range

Ideal cooktops and ranges will be energy-efficient, safe, and have a low environmental impact. Electric induction cooktops and ranges are an excellent choice for passive houses as they have high energy efficiency and can be powered by renewable energy sources. Additionally, they are safe to use, easy to clean, and do not emit harmful fumes or pollutants.

Examples of electric induction cooktops and ranges suitable for passive houses:

Bosch 500 Series 30” Induction Cooktop, Bosch 800 Series 30″ Induction, Frigidaire FGIC3066TB 30″ Induction Cooktop, GE PHB920SJSS 30″ Induction Range, KitchenAid KICU569XBL 36″ Induction Cooktop

Picture of a person using a Bosch 500 Series 30” Induction Cooktop as shown on the Canadian Appliance Source website
Bosch 500 Series 30” Induction Cooktop from the Canadian Appliance Source

Hood Vent

Hood Vents are required to be ventless. It should be a recirculating vent with efficient charcoal or clean air filters. A low energy ventless range hood eliminates the need for ductwork and external ventilation, reducing energy consumption. Select a model with efficient filters and recirculation technology and ensure the hood’s airflow capacity is appropriate for the size of your kitchen and has a high Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR).

Keep in mind that regular filter maintenance is crucial to maintain the hood’s effectiveness.

Examples of low energy ventless range hoods suitable for a passive house:

Broan-NuTone 413004, AKDY RH0175, Cosmo 5MU30.

Note: If you need a direct external vent, it needs to be addressed upfront in HVAC design and would also be a source of energy loss. This is not required for ventless systems, as described above. Be sure to check out our related post, Venting Appliances in a Passive House.

A picture of the hood vent in the kitchen of EkoBuilt's model passive home in Ottawa, Canada.
The hood vent in the EkoBuilt passive model home


This is an easy one. Select a dishwasher that is Energy Star certified, has a low water usage rating, and emits minimal noise. Heat pump dishwashers are now available and are the most energy efficient.

Examples of low energy dishwashers that will be a good fit for a passive house:

Bosch 300 Series SHSM63W55N, Bosch 500 series Whisper Quiet Heat Pump Dishwasher – SHP65T52UC, LG DFB424FP, Haier HDW15G3X,
Samsung DW60M6040FW

A front shot of an open door, partially loaded Bosch 300 Series SHSM63W55N, as shown on the Canadian Appliance Source website
The Bosch 300 Series SHSM63W55N from the Canadian Appliance Source


Choose an energy-efficient refrigerator which is Energy Star certified. Look for a model with a high energy efficiency ratio (EER) and low annual energy consumption. Consider options with variable-speed compressors and smart temperature controls for even greater efficiency.

Some popular super energy efficient fridges that will be a good fit for your passive home:

Whirlpool WRF535SWHZ, Frigidaire FGSS2635TF, Samsung RF28R6201SR.

An inside view of a food stocked Whirlpool WRF535SWHZ fridge as shown on the Canadian Appliance Source website
The Whirlpool WRF535SWHZ fridge from the Canadian Appliance Source


Select a microwave with Energy Star certification. Look for an energy-efficient model with a low standby power consumption. Built-in and over-range options are both suitable, depending on your kitchen layout.

For over-range options, look for options that have recirculating filters with high Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) to ensure efficient air cleaning.

Some energy efficient microwave options that will work in a passive home:

Panasonic NN-SN686S or Bosch HMB50152UC for built-in, and Frigidaire FFMV1645TS as an over-the-range with recirculating filter.

A front view of the Bosch HMB50152UC built in microwave, as shown on the Canadian Appliance Source
Bosch HMB50152UC built in microwave from the Canadian Appliance Source

Washer / Washing Machine

Select a Energy Star certified washing machine. Look for an energy-efficient front-loading washer with a high Energy Star rating and low water consumption.

Our selections have features such as steam cleaning, smart connectivity, and large capacity drums.

Some energy efficient washing machines that will fit right into a passivehouse:

Whirlpool WFW560CHW, Samsung WF45K6500AV, LG WM3700HWA, Maytag MHW5630HW.

A front loading The Whirlpool WFW560CHW washing machine, as shown on Whirlpool Canada
The Whirlpool WFW560CHW washing machine shown on Whirlpool’s website

Ventless Dryer

You will want a heat pump, ventless dryer with high energy efficiency and to consider dry time and capacity. Ventless dryers do not require an external vent and recirculate the hot air back into the drum to dry clothes.

Our dryer choices have features such as moisture sensors, heat pump technology, and smart connectivity.

Some ventless dryers that will work in a passive home:

LG DLEC888W, Bosch WTG86401UC, Whirlpool WHD862CHC.

A front image of an open ventless Whirlpool dryer as shown on the Whirlpool website.
A Whirlpool ventless dryer shown from Whirlpool’s website

Looking to build for the future with a passive home? We can get you there with one of our pre-certified passive home designs and material kits. We ship across North America. Give us a shout!

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