Questions tagged [home]

a dwelling-place used as a permanent or semi-permanent residence for an individual, family, household or several families in a tribe. Use this tag for questions about sustainability issues at home.

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2
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1answer
61 views

What are the best countries to lead a self-sufficient life?

I thought in Europe at first instance, but still open to other options. The idea is: Buy a land at good price with some space Build home from scratch Grow own organic food (vegetables and few ...
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2answers
46 views

What kind of refrigerant should I look for in a residential air conditioner?

I live in the traditionally temperate Pacific Northwest, but after the heat waves of summer 2021 I'm thinking about giving up and finally buying an air conditioner. But I've heard that air ...
2
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1answer
29 views

Can window films be fully removed from a window?

I live in the Pacific Northwest which has seen some serious heat waves this summer, so now I'm looking for more ways to keep cool. Aside from air-conditioning, I'm interested in passive techniques to ...
0
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2answers
136 views

Can I use the furnace fan to cool my house in the summer?

We replaced our furnace last year, and the new one has a fan which can be run independently of the heating function. The fan recirculates air throughout the house. Is there a way to use this to keep ...
1
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1answer
53 views

When does wind make more sense than solar for a home application?

Let's say I have a fixed amount of money that I can either spend on a complete solar PV system (panels, inverter, all the hardware and wiring) or a complete wind system (turbine, inverter, all the ...
4
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2answers
55 views

Determining carbon reduction vs cost of various home upgrades

I've done some amount of upgrades to my house to reduce my overall carbon emissions, and reading online there are all kinds of suggestions for doing even more: Replace my natural gas water heater ...
4
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2answers
83 views

How can I recycle when my apartment doesn't offer it?

I live in an apartment in an urban area. I would love to be able to recycle, but unfortunately, my building doesn't offer recycling as a service. I've searched for recycling facilities near me, and ...
2
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2answers
103 views

What alternatives exist for bean bag filler?

One of my kids has asked for a bean bag for their room. I'm hesitant, mainly because of the styrofoam/plastic filler beans which (I assume) are generally terrible for the environment when they ...
2
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0answers
54 views

How do 'Eco' vs 'Quick' modes compare for washing clothes?

A lot of washing machines offer different washing modes which change various run settings: Cotton (or 'General'), Towels, Bedsheets, Wool and so on. Most even have settings for 'Eco Mode' - which (if ...
2
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0answers
73 views

How to hatch eggs at home without a bulb-based incubator?

I came across some videos on YouTube where they used a home-made incubator to hatch hen eggs. The system was nothing fancy: A cardboard box with a light inside Some aluminum foil near the bulb (...
2
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1answer
44 views

How to identify the rating of my electrical panel

Recently I got a bid from a solar company and they said I don't need to upgrade my electrical box since it is rated at 125 amps, and for that value, I can install a 7k system based on calculation here....
7
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1answer
295 views

After how many litres does Soda Stream get more sustainable than bottled sparkling water

Soda Stream is advertised as a more sustainable alternative to buying sparkling water in bottles. The main selling points are that no water filled bottles need to be manufactured, transported and ...
2
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4answers
173 views

What is the most sustainable choice for a domestic hot water system in temperate, coastal Australia?

We currently have an ailing 14 yr old solar hot water installation. A few plumbers have given us the same story: due to the age and general condition of the system, it makes more sense to replace it ...
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2answers
66 views

How to prepare my home for vacation to reduce energy use?

When going away for vacation for a few weeks, what steps can I take to reduce the energy and water my home will use while I'm gone? I've already asked about what to do with a refrigerator, but I'm ...
3
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0answers
24 views

What is the connection between detergent enzymes and sustainability?

I was looking at the shelf with "ecological" detergents in a store and noticed that most of them boasted of being enzyme-free. I wondered why this is a preferable quality in a detergent, ...
3
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4answers
149 views

Is there a solution for flattening/reducing the volume of plastic recyclables in the home?

I've been having issues with my indoors storage solution for plastics. Loose wrappers and containers from food products tend to take an unnecessarily large amount of space and without a way to ...
5
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1answer
78 views

Any electric vehicle that can be used as a home energy storage?

I have a house with a solar array on top currently tied to the grid. I would love to be able to use an EV as a battery for my house, and after it charges up in the day be nice to use it for the ...
6
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1answer
282 views

Is working from home a more sustainable choice?

Due to the recent COVID-19 outbreak and subsequent lockdowns in multiple countries, there have been reports of marked decreases in day-to-day pollution hanging over cities, such as this report on ...
2
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1answer
51 views

Grass rug/carpet sustainable alternatives?

My balcony has a very ugly concrete floor that I don't like. I really like grass carpets (see a few examples on Amazon) though. I like their texture and I think they make a balcony more homely. To ...
3
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1answer
50 views

Are there environmental benefits to a water softener?

The municipal water where I live is considered very hard, measuring about 325 parts per million dissolved mineral content. I currently have a water softener in my home, but it has been giving me some ...
7
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2answers
608 views

How can I figure out what's using so much electricity in my home?

I recently moved into a new home with 2 other housemates (joining 1 who already lived there) and our combined bill for electricity is far higher than I expected. Now we're using just over 40 kWh per ...
28
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7answers
10k views

Why am I offered a 5 kW inverter with a 6.6 kW solar installation?

I've just received two quotes for installing a rooftop solar system at my residential address (near Sydney, Australia). This caught my eye: Company 1: Panel: 22 x ET panels 300w Inverter: Growatt 5 ...
4
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1answer
140 views

Can residential rooftop solar arrays be cheaply extended over time?

I am looking to install rooftop solar on my house some time this year. I have a decent amount of roof space and very little shading so I should achieve fairly ideal conditions for it. A lot of the ...
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2answers
42 views

Book recommendation on traditional, pre-industrial homesteading

I am looking for references which document and explain how to do things without using electricity and all industrial technology. If you have read "The way home" by Mark Boyle, this would be the sort ...
2
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3answers
118 views

How to reduce indoor humidity in the summer time?

I own a home in southern Wisconsin, USA, where we have a humid continental climate (emphasis on humid!). There is no central air conditioning. This summer we are experimenting with cooling strategies ...
4
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3answers
75 views

How to reduce energy usage of a window air conditioner?

In the summer, we use a window air conditioner in our bedroom to be able to sleep comfortably at night. It takes a while to cool, and I know it uses quite a bit of energy. Here are a few steps we take ...
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2answers
43 views

Reducing/Offsetting Impact of New-Build Home [closed]

So, here's a breakdown of the question. Situation: In the next month or two I will be moving house to a new-build detached house in the UK, which is on an estate of around 100 similar such properties....
3
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1answer
133 views

What is the minimum indoor CO2 concentration that is achievable using houseplants?

CO2 concentration is linked to health risks and even our ability to think well. Meanwhile, houseplants decrease CO2 concentration when they receive enough sunlight. However, both houseplant studies ...
2
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0answers
35 views

How to make extracts and fragrances from fragrant plants like Sage

I'm looking to try using more natural products/solutions in our day to day life and some things that I am considering are fragrances, soaps and essences (food). I have read that Sage plants are edible ...
4
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2answers
67 views

Does air duct cleaning increase heating efficiency?

I recently moved into an older house with a natural gas-burning forced hot air furnace. There are no records of the ducts being cleaned, and based on the layer of black grime I can see, they are quite ...
1
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2answers
137 views

Which appliance should I replace first?

I recently bought a home with many appliances approaching 20 years old. As I expect that many of them will fail over the next several years, I want to get a head start on replacing them (since last-...
9
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4answers
515 views

Are machine-washed rags more sustainable than paper towels for any & all household messes?

Anything single-use is suspicious in terms of sustainability, especially if it goes to the trash afterwards and is not recyclable. Considering that, and the disproportionate use of paper towels by the ...
4
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2answers
457 views

How to choose between an electric, natural gas, or heat pump clothes dryer?

I will soon be moving into a new home with a very old electric clothes dryer. I expect that before too long it will fail and need replacing. I would like to replace this with a more efficient model. I ...
2
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3answers
220 views

For overnight heating, is it more efficient to use an electric space heater in a bedroom or a whole house natural gas furnace?

Is it more efficient to heat a bedroom with whole house's forced-air natural-gas burning furnace, or only an electric space heater in the bedroom? For a very location-specific application, electric ...
6
votes
2answers
398 views

Alternatives to concrete for a flat roof

I am from India and planning to build a house with as little cement, steel and sand as possible. I am looking to keep the temperature inside the home to be minimal since temperature will touch around ...
2
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1answer
65 views

Portable AC or Dehumidifier?

I currently am a recent graduate and I am living in a place that does not have AC. I am looking to buy a portable AC or to buy a dehumidifier. I currently live in Minnesota and sleeping at night when ...
5
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3answers
289 views

What capacity solar system is required for new homes under the California 2019 Building Energy Efficiency Standards (Title 24)?

From the press release (emphasis added): Moving to cut energy use in new homes by more than 50 percent, the California Energy Commission [CEC] today adopted building standards that require solar ...
5
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3answers
94 views

Alternative to sealing compound

Has anyone ever used self-made, eco-friendly sealing compound for outdoors? What recipe? How long does the recipe you used last? I intend to use this sealing compound to stop wasps from getting in ...
3
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6answers
208 views

better to heat house with gas or with electricity?

Is it better to heat house with gas or electricity? We have gas insert and gas heating but am looking at other options for sustainable energy use. Thank you!
5
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3answers
341 views

Newer heat pump vs new space heaters in Seattle winter

I see similar questions to this one, but mine is slightly different, so here goes: I live in Seattle, where the winters are mild, with days in the 40s°F (4-10°C) and nights in the low 30s°F (around -...
4
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2answers
155 views

Being a sustainable Digital Nomad in a Van - First Steps

I am considering the purchase of a retrofitted Ford Transit with a Diesel motor to have a more flexible option for travel and accomodation. Since I aspire to reduce my footprint (and increase my ...
2
votes
1answer
756 views

How long will a 12V Koolatron compact cooler last with 12Ah battery?

I'm thinking of purchasing a Koolatron P20 compact cooler and this ExpertPower 12200 battery How long will cooler last with this battery at full charge? Is this the correct battery to use for this? ...
7
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4answers
362 views

Why should we bother to recycle household waste if it's only a small portion of all waste that is generated?

For the past two months, I have been investing some attention and effort in taking care of setting aside all my dry waste in my room's bin. I wish to separate the recyclable ones and the unrecyclable ...
7
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3answers
683 views

How can a rocket mass heater be combined with a tight modern construction?

I currently have a house under construction. The overall design is for a tight, well-insulated building with a balanced active air exchange system (an ERV: a unit with two blowers, one in and one out,...
5
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1answer
523 views

Is heating with candles economically and/or ecologically worthwhile?

Considering my home doesn't have a heating system nor chimneys, I wonder if it's worthwhile to heat using only candles. There are multiple dimensions to consider: Does it cost less than electric ...
8
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1answer
189 views

How to set up optimal Air humidity in passive house?

I have a passive house with air ventilation and heating in the floor. In the question of the temperature of the air and the floor I have found the optimum, but I'm absolute without any knowledge, how ...
3
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1answer
68 views

Heat escaping very old cob house

I have just moved into a semi-detached house (rented) made out of cob, heated with a wood burner which also heats up the water for radiators and washing. There is also a large boiler,electrically ...
15
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7answers
16k views

Domestic flywheel energy storage: how close are we?

I've done some web searches, but I don't see anything very current on how close we are to having a home energy storage flywheel system that's comparable in price and performance to a battery system. ...
6
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2answers
226 views

How much could the US reduce its electricity demand if people moved from Texas back to Ohio?

I have a theory that I am trying to develop empirical support for. I believe that the migration of people from the Rust Belt to the Sun Belt has caused an increase in overall electricity usage and ...
5
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7answers
1k views

Mismatched socks? What to do with hundreds of them?

I may be unique here but over the years I have collected perhaps hundreds of mismatched socks of various sizes and colors. Some are good cotton and others are like new. Since I have a large family and ...