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roadcut likes 5 comments on an ideabook

Dish-Drying Racks That Don’t Hog Counter Space

Cleverly concealed in cabinets or mounted in or above the sink, these racks cut kitchen cleanup time without creating clutter Full Story
     Comment   on Monday
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If you google images for 'astiankuivauskaappi' you get hundreds of ideas for functional ones -It is the Finnish word for 'air drying dishes cupboard'....
last Wednesday at 10:46pm     
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Living in Italy I see drying racks above the sink all the time. I have one too and it is so practical - the top half is for the plates we use every day and saucepan lids and the bottom half is for glasses and smaller items.
I have had a dshwasher, or two in the past, but it takes so much time to load and unload the dishes, whereas washing everything by hand is much quicker. And saucepans get the attention they need too. How many of us have put a saucepan in the dishwasher only to be less than happy with the result?
last Wednesday at 11:45pm     
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Fl!p Breskin
I can no longer find the white wire "shoe racks" that we modified to make our dish drainer, but the combination of wire rack above an old white sink with a built in drainboard has worked superbly for 14 years. You just swipe off the sink after you do the dishes, and you're done. We only store constantly used dishes here, but I go for bright rainbow colored glass in front of the window for sparkle.
last Thursday at 12:19am     
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I love this idea! However, I am short (5'0") and this doesn't seem feasible for me. Things will only get lost in the back, or only the lower rack would be accessible. :(
on Sunday at 8:50am     
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My husband built this dish rack. It blocks an uninteresting view.
on Sunday at 11:15am     
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roadcut is following Laura Lang, dooenmabest, craigmerrow, lkollaras, Ai Jaedee and 5 others
July 20, 2014
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Think efficiency improvements first.

Heating air is the most inefficient way to heat space inside the home. Try increasing insulation in ceiling and floor, you can even get it retrofitted to walls without taking down the gyprock! Secondly, improve window coverings as single glaze windows are a heat sink to any room so cover them adequately, especially at the top. Allow sun into your house during the day and if it can heat the floor where it touches I.e no rugs or furniture then it will stay in the house for longer into the evening. I have a north-south facing double brick 1920s circa home with cavity filled insulation, ceiling and underfloor insulation, rugs in every room, draught sealed doors and windows, single glazed windows but high quality window coverings, and rearranged the furniture so sun shine heats up the floor and walls during the day and we don't need heating in the house over winter.... But we do dress warmly and have adequate bedding.

There's heaps of info on other energy efficiency tips for your home on you state government webpage.

Good luck!
July 20, 2014 at 4:37am        Thanked by chookchook2
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Probably the best source for information on renewable energy is Home Power Magazine - I highly recommend you get a subscription, as it delves into many aspects of solar power. Myself, I'm about to build a passive solar home here in Southern Maine....I can hardly wait to embark on this project!
July 20, 2014 at 6:26am        Thanked by chookchook2
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We have 16 solar panels on our roof and we don't get a power bill as long as we have plenty of sunny days. We're paying the panels off over 3 years. We live in Far North Qld, so we don't need heating and we rarely use our a/c. We rely on ceiling fans (and insulation) nearly all year round and run a pool pump. I think if we used power for heating or cooling, the solar panels wouldn't provide enough power to cover it. Perhaps if we didn't run the pool, we might have enough power for heating.

The panels need cleaning around once a year... and we can monitor the power production online at the manufacturer's website. The website shows us if any of our panels aren't working properly, so we can detect any problems and have them dealt with.

I hope this info is of some use to you, although your life in SA is very different from life here in the tropics.
July 20, 2014 at 6:33am        Thanked by chookchook2
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Oh yes, someone else mentioned SA in their post. We thought about a whirligig, but ceiling insulation and good air flow keep our house reasonably comfortable. Couldn't live here without the pool though.
July 20, 2014 at 7:00am        Thanked by chookchook2
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Laura Lang
I designed and built an eco-house in the greater Cleveland area in 2002-2003. Unfortunately this area has just about the fewest sunny days of any city in the country so you need a lot of 'extra' solar heating (panels or water) for the same effect as in a sunny city. The house was built as a single home for two families so it was larger than I would like for myself--3500 sq. ft. I used 2 Rinnai tank-less water heaters. One was a regular one for hot water. The other was a recirculating one for our in-slab radiant heat. We were out in the country so it was propane-fired. The house was a cape code and built VERY tight (with a good heat exchanger, etc.), R-33+ walls, R-55-65 (65 over collar ties) roof, situated properly, windows placed in the right places (had help of an expert). Our propane bill was 1/4 of our neighbors--whose house was half the size of ours. I would have loved to have had a solar heating system, but was told it would not work well most days of the year. In the end, a wind turbine probably would have worked better than solar panels--for electricity--as well. My house was on the local Solar Home Tour for a few years and was a favorite. Always had many architectural students come through. In the end my family shrunk to just me and it was much too much house for me and I sold it a year ago or so. Wish I could build another one however! A much, much smaller one!. If you live in a sunny area and can situate the solar heater properly (and make sure you have the right insulation and window placement), it would be a good way to go. The best thing about my in-slab radiant heat is that I 'could' go without heat forever! The way my house was built, it NEVER dropped below 65--even when it was 20 below outside. I know because a few times we had a 2-week cold snap, I ran out of propane, and it was 4 or 5 days until they could refill the tank due to extreme demand. Since I knew my house would never drop below 65, I always told them to bring mine last. I had open areas to the upstairs as well, and the upstairs needed no heat at all! City was a bit upset about lack of heating upstairs but my engineer explained to them it was completely unnecessary--and it was. If your house is insulated correctly, correctly placed windows, and situated correctly, it will need very little heat--none if your area doesn't drop much below freezing! Note: I built this home in fall 2002 to spring 2003 and it cost just $70 a sq. ft. to build. I find it sad that they continue to build homes that are totally dependent on major heating and cooling systems, are not situated correctly, do not have enough insulation and so on--when it barely costs any more per sq. ft. to be built properly. When I sold the house I averaged more than 1 family through per day for 1.5 years. Most loved the house but were terrified of the heating system! They would have been SO much happier to have had a normal system and paid 4 times more for heating and cooling lol! Attached is a picture of my house-front faces almost directly south.
July 20, 2014 at 7:01am        Thanked by chookchook2
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