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6

In terms of energy-efficiency within your own home (i.e. when we ignore energy losses outside the home), it will almost certainly be more efficient to use the electric space heater. It will be close to 100% efficient, and all the heat will get delivered where it's needed. So there will be reduced heat loss from the rest of the house. Fossil-gas furnaces tend ...


6

You need neither a tumble dryer nor a drying cabinet. I haven't used either for years, and we are a two person household in a 36m² studio apartment in England (so winters are rather humid). By far the most sustainable way to dry clothes is by drying on a line or a clothes horse. Tumble dryers use a lot of energy and damage your clothes. Drying cabinets ...


4

The short answer is no, not anywhere close to 200ppm and not appreciably lower than ambient conditions. The modern standard for buildings is a full air change every three hours. This means your houseplants would need to achieve your target level on a full house volume of air every three hours. There is no practical arrangement which will achieve this. ...


4

Most folks don't know that their 'frost free fridge' can be easily hacked to act as a dehumidifier. As it runs continuously, it can be used to suck unwanted moisture out of a humid home 24 hours a day. Frost free fridges actually have a heating element. This heating element comes on every-so-often to thaw out the cooling plate. Any frost/ice that has ...


4

Domestic flywheels are unlikely to happen for 3 reasons: They must be heavy to store significant energy. If you need a crane to install one at your house it’s never going to be super cheap, even with high volume manufacture. The risk of the spinning mass fracturing requires special safety precautions - commercial operators put them in the ground but that ...


2

One option is to place materials that absorb or adsorb water from the air into the house. Such materials include silica gel, clay and other mineral soils, and calcium chloride. The amount of water this materials can deal with likely makes them part of a solution, not a solution on their own. These materials may also need to be "recharged" or replaced ...


2

My challenge was slightly different. I was purchasing new NorthStar windows to replace all of the old windows in my house but wanted to make sure I was getting what I paid for, as the windows would look fine, but was their R-value or U-factor and SHGC performing as advertised. I used an IR scanner around the edges after install to look for possible ...


2

I faced the same question with our new home recently. Ultimately I went with a conventional electric dryer. Whilst the trend in the last couple of decades has been to ridicule/dismiss conventional electric dryers because they are "inefficient", I believe that mentality is simplistic and outdated. The argument only really holds true if your dryer is solely ...


2

If one's desire is to "To reduce, offset, or eliminate the impacts of new-build housing on the local environment in the most cost-effective and conventional ways possible" then this should be done in the planning/design/construction phases of a new development/build. Once the development/build is complete, it is too late — far too late — to do anything that ...


2

I'd say that you need to analyse the use you get from each appliance, and how inefficient the current ones are - for example, if you only use the dryer occasionally when it's too damp to dry clothing on a line, that's probably a lower priority. I'd probably go for the following order: Refrigerator - This tends to be on all of the time, so it's always using ...


2

EnergyNumbers has a good answer (+1), but why don't you measure it and let us know? Of course "efficiency" is a little ambiguous. Green house gas production? Just your $$? The latter is easier, the former changes over time. Get one of those power meters for the plug and see what it uses overnight. Most space heaters are ~1500 W, which is a lot. Your power ...


2

That's a great question! The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says the main reason to clean is eliminating mold, critters & other toxins, and since your gunk is dark colored it could well have mold spores so I'd vote yes. (They include lots of advice on finding, hiring & checking contractors' work, too, so it's useful as well as authoritative!...


2

I doubt it. I recently bought a century home (renovated 30 years ago) where I cleaned the ducts too. There was no noticeable change in costs. Cleaning helps keep the air fresh, and your furnace filter might last longer, or at least be more effective for longer. Plus mould spores, etc. Be very careful on whom you choose. This is one of those "industries" ...


1

It will depend on the age of the appliances. The refrigerator had a significant effect on my power bill. Next up is my water heater. They calcify at the bottom, limiting their efficiency over time (like your kettle). A measure of this is if you can actually get 40 gallons of hot water out of your tank - i.e. how many hot showers. Plus tanked water heaters ...


1

If you shut off the heat to the rest of the house, the rest of the house gets cold. And while this reduces the gas bill, it doesn't reduce it as much as you think. You have cooled off the mass of the house, so it takes some extra gas burning time to make up for this. To put numbers on this you would need to do the following: Record the amount of gas used ...


1

The most obvious solution is to insulate your house. You will spend loads less money on heating by insulating the exterior walls, which will prevent heat from escaping into the outdoors. Right now I imagine your heating system is working very hard to maintain even a "cool" indoor temperature of 64, let alone temperatures in the 70s. Insulating will be an ...


1

Insulate the house. It's worth it. You are better off to run the heat warm enough to make your tenants happy, then restrict the heat to your part of the house. If you are using conventional forced air heating, then putting adjustable grates in the tenants rooms will be sufficient. The thermostat is in your part of the house. Set it for 64. Because ...


1

You pay indirectly for local landfills, regardless of where other waste is made. If people paid directly for their waste, the choice between recycling and landfill would be obvious. As an aside, I was recently at a place where they labelled their bins: "recycling", "landfill", which brings the question of options into starker relief.


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