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12 Answers

Metlund D'Mand hot water recirculation pump

I am thinking about installing hot water recirculation pump to reduce hot water usage. Metlund D'Mand hot water recirculation pump seems to be a good choice since it's passive and does not use energy until you push a button when hot water is needed.

Asked By Rian Bart | Dec 2 10
4 Answers

What is the best insulation for an unfinished work/craft room in the basement?

I have a basement workroom that I'd like to expand to a craft room for our kids, but it's currently uninsulated poured concrete and freezing in the winter. I was hoping to slap up something like a rigid board insulation, that could be left uncovered, but it seems even polyisocyanurate needs a gypsum board layer.

Asked By Laura Braceland | Mar 16 14
3 Answers

Trash organization?

Right now I have, in the kitchen, a roll-out cabinet thing with a trash can and recycling can. I also have a standalone "dual recycler" that I use as two compost bins, one for back yard compost and one for city compost (which can take things like meat). I'm not really thrilled with this mishmash arrangement, but there isn't a lot of space to steal another cabinet. The compost can currently blocks a small cabinet. Glass just sits on the counter by the sink, since there usually isn't much, and there's nowhere else for it to go.

Asked By Nick Welch | Mar 14 14
1 Answer

Looking for a fire rated garage door

I’m building a new home in Everett Washington area and I’m looking for a source for a fire core (man) door from the garage into the house.
I’m looking for one that is 30x80 and that will pass a blower door test, possible passive house rated. Studio on top of garage design does not allow for a detached garage.

Asked By Paul Huntman | Mar 14 14
1 Answer

Are there any good isocyanate-free alternatives to spray foam insulation?

I'm looking to build a home from shipping containers, and I see that closed-cell spray foam insulation is typically chosen for these kinds of projects due to high R value and anti-moisture properties of the spray foam.

Are there any good alternatives to closed-cell spray foam for this kind of project?

Asked By Mark Baxter | Mar 14 14
3 Answers

Dishwashers for small families

What's the most energy efficient approach for washing dishes for a family of 2?
We dirty 2 place settings (2 dinner plates, 2 bowls and 2 small plates)/day. Our dishwasher holds 5 or 6 days of dishes. We only own 6 place settings, not enough to run a full load.

We live in a condo, don't pay for water usage (hot or cold).

Currently we wash by hand and use the dishwasher as a drying rack. We probably run the dish washer a couple of times a year.

Asked By jeff wilson | Mar 13 14
10 Answers

How can I find an efficient electric oven for my kitchen?

My electrical oven adds a tremendous amount of heat to the house. The top surface, beneath the broiler pans, is 175 degrees when the oven is at 350. The sides of the oven are at 125 degrees.

The expensive ovens don't seem any better. A GE smoothtop range I used in a rental condo blew air through vents at the top of the door - it seemed to be for keeping the door cool to prevent folks from burning themselves on the door. The fan continued to operate for about 15 minutes after the oven was turned off.

Asked By Kathy Reynolds | Mar 6 14
6 Answers

Heat pump clothes dryer finally coming to US

Looks like the stagnation in dryer efficiency is finally starting to give way to progress:

Coming summer 2014, supposedly, with cost of $1500-1600.

Asked By Nick Welch | Feb 25 14
0 Answers

New wood foam!

Might not be news to all of you,
but it is the first time i read about it in this form.

Seems kind of promising in terms of base material used.
If it can be "foamed up" using co2 or other natural gases ...

If it uses a low % of material VS air once it is foamed,
it could be very very cheap to supply
( as in using a mix of many wood industry residues )

Even greener if the natural wood "glue" is used in the biding process!!

Then, what about resistance to insects and fungus ??

Asked By Jin Kazama | Mar 8 14
2 Answers

Solar thermal doesn't seem dead when I read about this:

I keep seeing it mentioned here in blog posts, etc, that solar thermal is dead. Just use PV and electric water heat. Okay, makes enough sense. But then I came across Solaris when it was mentioned in one of the comments of a blog post (

Asked By jonathan nagar | Mar 6 14
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