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Questions tagged [home]

A home is a dwelling-place used as a permanent or semi-permanent residence for an individual, family, household or several families in a tribe.

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4answers
215 views

Investing in Solar Panels in the UK

I am based in the UK (in England) and am thinking about installing solar panels on my roof. The problem I am having is actually finding some resources which I can use to get some objective ...
5
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2answers
2k views

Boiler, timer, thermostat, radiators - how to set to minimum in summer?

I'll give the specifics of my set up, but I ask this in the hope of getting a more general answer too, because it's more helpful to more people. I live in the UK, and a typical central heating set up ...
10
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1answer
694 views

Is opening windows wide or opening them slightly more efficient for exchanging air in a room on a cold day?

For those who wish to replace the air in a room during a cold day with active heating: Given that the purpose of opening the windows is to exchange as much of the air in the room as possible with the ...
9
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4answers
159 views

Retrofitting insulation in a 4-storey home. Top down or bottom up?

I'm faced with the prospect of wanting to improve the insulation of a 4-storey Victorian (c1890) house in the UK that has solid stone walls and a top floor that is within the non-insulated roof space. ...
6
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1answer
71 views

What are practical and sustainable methods of using guttering for growing hydroponic produce?

A friend is building his house (in a subtropical urban environment), an is endeavouring to make it as sustainable and practical as possible. In our chat, it occurred to me that the guttering around ...
2
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1answer
362 views

Repair a bedside lamp

My beloved bedside lamp fell down, on the carpet so it wasn't a big hit, and it stopped working. Now, I tried to replace the bulb, but it doesn't change anything. Since this had happened to me ...
9
votes
1answer
135 views

Tissues or cloth to clean a baby - what's more sustainable?

We have a baby and use tissues often to wipe him after feeding, cleaning his nose etc. The alternative would be to use cloth and wash it on a regular basis. My gut feeling is that cloth is more ...
4
votes
1answer
229 views

Microbes used for home composting and cost effectiveness

This product which has recently launched in India claiming to provide a stench free alternative to home composting with little hassle. I had a discussion with its founder and he says its similar to ...
8
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3answers
473 views

Open Source DIY Architecture Alternatives?

After watching this video I felt really inspired and started thinking that it would be a great idea if we could research the same idea more and develop a way to make it easy enough for anyone to build ...
7
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1answer
127 views

Instructions for making, and comparisons of, *small* solar thermal collectors

The web has probably thousands of pages with instructions on how to build solar devices for heating air, water, and probably things I've never even thought of. Wikipedia describes different types of ...
4
votes
1answer
182 views

Studies show that toxic flame retardants in foam cushions pollute our living environments. Does this include memory foam?

I have a memory foam mattress and I've read studies** which have found flame retardants such as PBDEs (Polybrominated diphenyl ethers) and "chlorinated Tris" (TDCPP is one of number of chlorinated ...
5
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1answer
249 views

What needs to be done to reuse newspapers for insulation?

I seen a couple of shows that were pointing newspaper as a very good insulator, that attracted my interest so I was wondering if any of you have any input on this?
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4answers
2k views

What is the sustainable house insulation suitable for a very hot climate?

In my country the maximum temperature reaches to 50 degree Celsius. Normally it is a dry weather but only for two months, July and August very humid. On the other hand, in winter it is very cold for ...
14
votes
1answer
234 views

Reusable vs. disposable diapers: which is better?

My wife and I have been using reusable diapers for our two kids. We've made them from old curtains, old bedsheets, etc., pretty much all "recycled" materials. They've been working perfectly fine, but ...
8
votes
1answer
156 views

What can a smart thermostats and meters tell me about how to reduce my home energy consumption?

I'm considering a smart thermostat for my step-dad as a birthday gift. Here are some characteristics of the home: 3000 sq ft living with two people climate is arid with highs into the 100s (deg F) ...
16
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5answers
762 views

What is worse: Wasting water or energy?

I am currently trying to buy a dish washer and just got a washing machine lately and I am really confused whether it is better to buy a machine which uses less water or one which uses less energy. ...
9
votes
3answers
145 views

Most sustainable way to freshen air?

Looking for some alternatives for air fresheners. I have been looking at various alternatives such as coffee grounds (possibly in a muslin bag), and the like. What works here? I would rather get ...
13
votes
2answers
87 views

When to buy new, when to keep the old?

How can I calculate if it makes sense from a resource-conservation perspective to purchase a new, more energy efficient appliance, and when it makes sense to use an old appliance until it is beyond ...
10
votes
2answers
226 views

Planning to build zero energy earth house

I'm playing with the idea of building my own home. I have not picked the location yet but I think I will be good with 1 acre of land. I follow Cody Lundin and like the idea of a earth house. I'm also ...
12
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3answers
451 views

Sustainable Roofing Materials

I want to re-roof my home, but want to use a sustainable option. Is there a resource where I can compare different sustainable options and find the best choice for my budget and situation? I'm trying ...
14
votes
5answers
11k views

How can I determine the U-value (or R-value) of my existing double glazing system?

Is there an easy way to determine the U-value (or R-value) of an existing fitted double glazing system? Two options spring to mind, looking up the value in some kind of database (sadly I have no idea ...
10
votes
1answer
1k views

How much of my flat heating is going to heat my neighbours flats?

I live in a block of flats with neighbours on 5 sides and only one side open to the outside. I understand that conduction is likely to be the main way I lose or gain heat to or from the neighbours on ...
7
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3answers
2k views

Is secondary triple glazing a practical way to reduce energy costs?

I have been considering installing secondary double glazing units in my home in an attempt to turn my double glazed windows into triple glazed windows. I understand the law of diminishing returns, ...
16
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3answers
265 views

Filtering indoor air with plants?

I have a daughter that has bad allergies. To help keep her allergies in check I use an electrical air purifier to keep the air in my house clean and filtered. I heard that houseplants could in ...
14
votes
2answers
66 views

Is there a recipe for sustainable dishwasher soap that brings out the shine?

We currently use a recipe that involves lemon and salt (the particulars of which are known only to my wife) and though it works and cleans the plates we don't get that beautiful shine that you get ...
24
votes
6answers
3k views

Alternative for electrical washing machine

I don't by any means live an electricity-free life, yet, but more than any other household item, I think I would miss the washing machine the most. Sweeping with a good broom is a good alternative to ...
10
votes
1answer
278 views

Organic aphid control on houseplants

What is the best option that's going to be safe for children/pets and require the least amount of reapplication? I'm looking for something that has little to no phytotoxicity between plant species.
10
votes
1answer
77 views

Are there any 'home-grown' substances that can be used to clean carpet stains?

I've heard of using walnuts to remove scratches on wooden furniture. Are there any plants that can be grown or foraged that have the ability to remove dirt/stains from carpets?
19
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1answer
2k views

What's the typical energy usage of automatic light switches?

A good way to cope with forgetting to turn of the lights is automatic light switches. But they must be using some energy to do their job. What's the rate of energy use for a typical automatic/sensor ...
62
votes
10answers
12k views

What is an energy efficient way to get fresh air indoors during winter?

Letting some fresh air inside is always a good idea, but during the winter it seems a bit wasteful to fling open the window and let the fresh air in at the expense of all that hot air going out, and ...
11
votes
5answers
417 views

Yeasts - Home production for alcoholic beverages / Baking / etc

Yeasts are used to produce "alcoholic beverages" / beer / wine, to bake, yogurt/cheese, etc.... Going to a shop and buy some baker's yeast is easy but not a long term solution, at least the ones I ...
15
votes
2answers
11k views

Switching to Toilet/Sink Combo

As part of my ongoing downsizing, my new house's bathroom will be smaller, so I'm looking at installing a toilet/sink combo to save space, reduce construction costs by making the bathroom as small as ...
13
votes
1answer
68 views

What is the most sustainable way to professionally clean my carpets?

I recently had my carpets professionally cleaned, and spent a little while researching the cost and effectiveness of various methods. But now I'm wondering about the environmental impact as well. ...
9
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1answer
58 views

Are LEEDs certifications available for homes?

I've seen various levels of LEEDs certifications on public buildings but never for a private home. Are such certifications available for a home and if so, how would I go about finding a building who ...