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Why going green won't make you better


CSpec

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What's 'good' and how much it costs are seldom on the same side of the scale is all I'm saying.

And; that somewhere there's a bottom line to every scenario.

I'm NOT saying tankless systems are inherantly bad- they sound good on paper, but supposedly tankless only post a 20-22% advatange over the the 'huge, wasteful, obsolete' tank systems. Sure- that sounds considerable, and everything else being equal (is it ever??)- no one can legitimately argue against it. But what is the cost and when do you break even against the tank system ?? IMO, cost per longevity are paramount to 'being green'.

There's so much rampant 'green' hypocrisy that at times it's hard to take the cause seriously/consistantly. That said, I am rather environmentally conservative, I think (outside of what I drive/own).

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I've looked into a tankless system for the house in the event our water heater goes suddenly and you're right that for the money, they aren't a great deal. Part of it is that the new tank water heaters are so much more efficient these days and hold their heat better than ever.

That I wish I could do is solar water heat. Our friends in Cologne have that. It even heats their house through radiant floor heating. The only energy they use is for a circulator pump to move the water around. They do have a small tank water heater that can "top up" the water heat if needed on extremely cold days.

66Stang, you can hook me up? We need to do it soon I think. Every fall I do a re-enactment of the Dad from Christmas Story where I go to the basement and beat the thing with a hammer while cursing profusely. After I get it running at the beginning of fall, it's reliable... it's just those first few times it fires up that it needs help.

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I've looked into a tankless system for the house in the event our water heater goes suddenly and you're right that for the money, they aren't a great deal. Part of it is that the new tank water heaters are so much more efficient these days and hold their heat better than ever.

That I wish I could do is solar water heat. Our friends in Cologne have that. It even heats their house through radiant floor heating. The only energy they use is for a circulator pump to move the water around. They do have a small tank water heater that can "top up" the water heat if needed on extremely cold days.

66Stang, you can hook me up? We need to do it soon I think. Every fall I do a re-enactment of the Dad from Christmas Story where I go to the basement and beat the thing with a hammer while cursing profusely. After I get it running at the beginning of fall, it's reliable... it's just those first few times it fires up that it needs help.

Have you considered a geothermal heat pump system? Efficient and also provides air conditioning. Sometime in the future I'm planning on looking into a setup like that.

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Solar water heater would probably work here. Have just a conventional water heater out in the back carport. Water bill is higher in summer from refilling the pool every few days (lose water due to evaporation) and from running the sprinklers every night.

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This house's heating and hot water heater are oil powered. How lovely. Old house had natural gas units, but this area doesn't have that service. AT least the house is well insulated.

I miss the gas stove. I don't like electric stoves.

First thing I did when we moved was to replace the incandescent lights with CFLs. Lower operating cost, they don't get hot, and they last a lot longer.

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This house's heating and hot water heater are oil powered. How lovely. Old house had natural gas units, but this area doesn't have that service. AT least the house is well insulated.

I miss the gas stove. I don't like electric stoves.

First thing I did when we moved was to replace the incandescent lights with CFLs. Lower operating cost, they don't get hot, and they last a lot longer.

Oil is frequently more efficient than gas. What sucks is having a big, all at once bill for delivery of oil.

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I didn't know that oil tends to be more efficient. Interesting. I still miss the gas stove though :(

Electric isn't so bad. And with glass tops, keeping it clean isn't impossible.

This is true, and if our stove was a glass top I might not mind it so much. It's one of those coil type ones though. I hate it.

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Don't buy into that b.s. about the glass tops!!! I bought a glass-top stove to replace an old broken stove when I was at my old place - what a nightmare. Anytime anything spilled on the stove while cooking, it would burn into this black mess that stuck onto the surface and wouldn't come off without about 5 minutes of vigourous wiping with a special clearner. We even tried different products, and nothing seemed to do a better job. My new house has the coil type again, and I'm SO GLAD to have that again. First of all, you don't have to clean it every single time you use the stove, and secondly when you do clean it, it requires a lot less elbow grease to do so. Since going back to a coil stove, my total stove cleaning time has probably reduced by about ten or twenty times.

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I've never had glass so I can't speak for it, and maybe there are better coil stoves, but I don't like how 3 of the 4 the coils on mine don't sit level and wobble. I tried to fix that but with no real luck. I also hate cleaning the spill trays under the coils. It requires lifting the coil, which will only lift so high to get under it, or taking it off, which is a PITA. And the new trays I bought already look like $h!, and they're only 2 months old. The two front trays are discolored from the heat, and spill are a PITA to get off. SO my experience has been soured.

Whereas on the gas grill you could just lift off and move the grate out of the way to clean. And I like being able to control the flame and visually see how hot it is.

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I've never used a gas stove so I can't compare to that, but as far as coil electric vs. glass top electric, coil is far superior.

I also had a chef that gave me a cooking class once tell me that he swears by the coil as well, because he found that the heat transfer through the glass wasn't as good as when you put the pot straight on the coil.

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Cook more carefully? :P

Have you ever cooked rice or pasta? It boils over. That's just what it does. One second it's fine, the next starch bubbles are everywhere because it erupted like Old Faithful.

My main issue with electric is that if you are doing any kind of frying or stir-frying, electric isn't powerful to protect against temperature drops when you add ingredients. Thing is, especially with stir-frying, everything should cook rapidly and not absorb much oil; if you use gas, you still need plenty of BTUs to keep the wok temp up when you add your ingredients so it cooks quickly...otherwise, temps drop, food doesn't cook quickly, and it absorbs a ton of oil. Gross. Even my parents' gas stove couldn't keep up with stir-frying room-temp, sliced veggies properly; once we built the outdoor kitchen and opted for two very powerful side burners with the grill, our equipment was finally sufficient to do any kind of stir-frying.

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Have you ever cooked rice or pasta? It boils over. That's just what it does. One second it's fine, the next starch bubbles are everywhere because it erupted like Old Faithful.

Use a bigger pot, or use less water. And turn down the heat after the water starts boiling. Trust me, I'm Italian. Cooking macaroni is in my blood.

Though I have to say, once you get over the transition period, gas stoves > electric of any kind. You get much more even cooking all around. Electric burners turn on and off to control the temperature, whereas gas burners control temp via the size of the flame. And you also can get an almost instantaneous response from the pot (depending on the pots you use). You can have a pot of rapidly boiling water on a gas stove, lower the flame, and watch the bubbles subside. Cleaning is not that much worse than a glass-top electric stove.

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Use a bigger pot, or use less water. And turn down the heat after the water starts boiling. Trust me, I'm Italian. Cooking macaroni is in my blood.

Though I have to say, once you get over the transition period, gas stoves > electric of any kind. You get much more even cooking all around. Electric burners turn on and off to control the temperature, whereas gas burners control temp via the size of the flame. And you also can get an almost instantaneous response from the pot (depending on the pots you use). You can have a pot of rapidly boiling water on a gas stove, lower the flame, and watch the bubbles subside. Cleaning is not that much worse than a glass-top electric stove.

Get sealed burners though.

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Well, you can't say that all greening is a bad idea and not cost effective.

I spent $1700 (I think, it was 6 year ago) to have blow in insulation put into my house. It made a tremendous difference in both comfort level and gas usage. Once I replace my furnace that was installed in April 1950, I'll probably see another bump down in gas usage and an increase in comfort again.

the furnace alone will save you huge bucks.

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Don't buy into that b.s. about the glass tops!!! I bought a glass-top stove to replace an old broken stove when I was at my old place - what a nightmare. Anytime anything spilled on the stove while cooking, it would burn into this black mess that stuck onto the surface and wouldn't come off without about 5 minutes of vigourous wiping with a special clearner. We even tried different products, and nothing seemed to do a better job. My new house has the coil type again, and I'm SO GLAD to have that again. First of all, you don't have to clean it every single time you use the stove, and secondly when you do clean it, it requires a lot less elbow grease to do so. Since going back to a coil stove, my total stove cleaning time has probably reduced by about ten or twenty times.

mother in law had/has a glass cooktop.

she kept it meticulous. but invested a lot of time in doing so.

she died last year, father in law doesn't cook much but I can tell doesn't keep up the cooktop meticulously. the black mess, that.

it does heat nicely. I have gas cooktop, energy usage was not a factor, i just wanted flame cooktop. ideally, i think next house I'd want a couple electric burners and a few gas burners. sometimes you only want to cook noodles or heat up soup, you don't need to do stir fry.

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Have you ever cooked rice or pasta? It boils over. That's just what it does. One second it's fine, the next starch bubbles are everywhere because it erupted like Old Faithful.

My main issue with electric is that if you are doing any kind of frying or stir-frying, electric isn't powerful to protect against temperature drops when you add ingredients. Thing is, especially with stir-frying, everything should cook rapidly and not absorb much oil; if you use gas, you still need plenty of BTUs to keep the wok temp up when you add your ingredients so it cooks quickly...otherwise, temps drop, food doesn't cook quickly, and it absorbs a ton of oil. Gross. Even my parents' gas stove couldn't keep up with stir-frying room-temp, sliced veggies properly; once we built the outdoor kitchen and opted for two very powerful side burners with the grill, our equipment was finally sufficient to do any kind of stir-frying.

you are exactly right, stir frying is a test. my gas burners are like 17k btu and the thing is what you describes still even happens because i don't have a thin, fast transfer wok. I have to use my really heavy pans which don't pass on the heat like an expensive high quality wok, or a lighter alum pan like all clad.

Edited by regfootball
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you are exactly right, stir frying is a test. my gas burners are like 17k btu and the thing is what you describes still even happens because i don't have a thin, fast transfer wok. I have to use my really heavy pans which don't pass on the heat like an expensive high quality wok, or a lighter alum pan like all clad.

My wok is carbon steel, and it was a bitch to properly season (sesame oil, of course). Great wok. Company has really high quality and ridiculously low prices for what you can get. Can't remember if I have the 12" or 14", but I highly recommend this wok.

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