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Induction Range Versus Gas Stove For The Farm Kitchen? + Other Ways We Are Going To Be Sustainable During The Renovation (And Beyond)

There are some things you just can’t un-hear. Perhaps I was doing that “eyes-shut-fingers-in-ears, ‘lalalalalal'” thing for years. But like fast-fashion and un-clean beauty, once you realize what you’ve been mindlessly purchasing you become much more intentional (despite not being perfect). Such is the case with gas versus electric anything in our homes (and cars) and boy was I ignorant on the subject until a couple of weeks ago. And I figured if I “knew but didn’t know” and I’m supposed to be “an expert in home design” then a lot of you might also not know so I’d be failing in my job if I didn’t write about it. If you are currently renovating or about to update your home PLEASE continue reading this post – I dedicate this post to you 🙂 Listen, I use smart lightbulbs, I buy local and vintage when possible, I (often) reject when offered a disgusting plastic straw, I’ve generally reduced my consumption drastically this last year, my wardrobe is tiny, we have a pasture-raised meat delivery system and we buy nuts in bulk! I’m a good person, right???!!!!! Well, let’s dive in deeper.

It’s not just plastic straws…

While we’ve been freaking out about plastic straws, the gas companies have been ramping up their marketing machines to distract us from the more looming energy crisis. I’ve now had multiple consultations on the subject of sustainability in the home with different experts – Josh Salinger from Birdsmouth Design-Build and Brian Stewart from Electrify Now. Through their generous giving of their time and expertise, I’ve learned so much. Don’t fall asleep – this is actually FASCINATING stuff. I don’t want to shame or guilt anyone – just empower (!!) us all to know that there are great options that we can feel proud of that will actually give us a better performing home, reduce our bills and maybe save the planet. No one can be perfect but with some knowledge, we can all be better.

design by emzed architecture via birdsmouth design-build (earth advantage zero energy certified new home

But Wait, Doesn’t Electricity Come From Coal? And Isn’t Coal The Worst Fossil Fuel???

Yes. But it’s all changing, and as more and more states (and countries) invest in solar and wind, our electric grid will start switching over to those renewable CLEAN sources. Ideally, when we turn on the hairdryer it will pull “electricity” from solar/wind – “electricity” isn’t the bad guy, it’s how we get it that needs to change. The more of us that switch over from gas to electricity now (in addition to conserving energy), the more those clean solar/wind energy sources will grow and expand, the less reliant we are on fossil fuels in our home.

If you put in a new gas range now you will be stuck with it for decades. It’s not as bad as putting in baseboard heaters or lead paint – but it’s good for your health or the world, and eventually, you might have to rip it out and replace it with electric or induction. It’s actually good news. The building world has shifted and we have better, safer methods beyond natural gas now, the technology is so good and makes a better home. But I feel like no one is really talking to us about it – the designers, consumers, and homeowners – and helping us understand how important this is and how good it can be. I don’t go on environmental blogs and there aren’t big PR initiatives around this in the home space. There is very little of this marketed to you and I and the more educated I got the more I was like, “I’VE GOT TO TELL MY MILLION ONLINE FRIENDS!!!”

Wait Why Is Natural Gas Bad For The Atmosphere?

If you want a layman to break it down very simply here you go: Natural gas, propane, coal, gasoline – any fuel that burns, emits carbon into the atmosphere where it gets stuck for decades and the carbon then traps heat, creating a greenhouse effect thus warming the earth and creating natural disasters by messing with our atmosphere. I know that sitting in the mountains right now I see none of this and it does feel abstract but it’s real. By switching our electricity to be powered by wind and solar we eliminate this. Boom (but hopefully not).

photo by sara ligorria-tramp | from: about those integrated appliances in the mountain house kitchen

Can Normal People And Older Homes Really Make Any Sort Of Difference?

Hear me out – I love this fact – 60% of our individual carbon impact on the planet comes from the ENERGY we purchase – our heating, water heating, cooking, venting, cooling, and operational usage (how much we use each appliance, light bulbs, hairdryer, etc). The other 40% is our purchases – food, clothes, beauty, and household stuff. The good news is that as Brian Stewart of Electrify Now told me that while consuming less “stuff” we can reduce that 40% down a few percentage points, but going forward, especially if you are renovating or building your house, you can get the other 60% impact down to ZERO. And by doing this you’ll actually get a higher-performing home with fewer bills and a better internal environment. Now, will the farm-house renovation net zero on the carbon footprint? Probably not because it’s old and we aren’t totally rebuilding it, but there is still so much I can do (see below).

I’ve been CONVINCED, while still nervous. I think it had all been so greenwashed for me to the point of not really listening, thinking “going green” would be really expensive, super hard, and frankly I was worried that “green technology” is too new, that it would breakdown because it’s not tested long enough in a home. This is chalked up to general skepticism due to ignorance. But Josh Salinger, from Birdsmouth (a high-efficiency home design/build firm in Portland), made me feel so empowered and more importantly excited to have a better farm and fewer bills. They are both helping on our projects in hopes that some of you will get excited to also implement some of our ideas and opt towards some of these better for us and the world. And not everything you can do requires renovation, AT ALL. But the first thing they both said was – BUY ELECTRICAL, NOT GAS WHENEVER POSSIBLE.

So Induction Range Instead Of Gas Range?

We are doing it. And besides, I certainly can’t go back now after writing this:) Here’s why:

  1. Many people, including chefs, say induction ranges are way better for actual cooking – better heat distribution, faster to boil and cool down, way easier to keep clean, and safer to the touch as they only heat the pot, not the top. Now the drawbacks are that there is a learning curve, you have to have the right pots and things like wok frying take some troubleshooting.
  2. Some of them are still beautiful! I had no idea. I definitely thought that some people just liked the more high-tech digital look so they went induction – a style preference – and frankly, it didn’t necessarily align with my farmhouse dreams. But we found some that are VERY beautiful, and as more of us start opting for these the price will start coming down and affordable brands will design better-looking models (just like integrated appliances).
  3. Induction is so much better for interior air quality for my family and the planet. I was THIS CLOSE to ordering our beautiful gas range, but since I have an opportunity to change my choice, I am. I cook broth on the stove for 24 hours without venting, I soup a couple of hours a day. I had no idea that I was emitting gas into my house the entire time. “Silly, Mama,” as Birdie would say.
photo by sara ligorria-tramp | from: the world’s most beautiful stove (+ all about the portland kitchen appliances with build.com)

Should I Throw Out My Perfectly Good Gas Range??

NO. Just be mindful of use and vent while using. That’s why this is dedicated to new renovators or people in the market of a new range – don’t go chucking something into the river that works. But for new purchasers, I was surprised to know that gas ranges aren’t used very much in Europe, illegal in many countries and many are pushing for them to be illegal to install in the states in the next couple of decades (specifically CA). So if you buy a gas range now (or gas furnace, gas water heater, gas dryer, or gas fireplace) you are committing yourself to decades of gas use, even as the energy grid changes more to clean energy. While we can’t eliminate the use of natural gas completely, the more of us that commit to relying on clean energy the better.

What Else Are We Doing At The Farm To Be Sustainable??

I’ve learned a lot and I’m not done learning or sharing. So far we’ve committed to doing the following which we’ll be blogging about later in detail:

  • Opting for electric heat pumps over gas furnaces (currently shopping around).
  • Electric heat pump water heaters over gas.
  • Signing up for a Community Solar electricity plan so we get 100% clean energy in our home (if you don’t have Community Solar in your area you can put solar panels on your house or sign up for the green energy plan from your utility. Brian (Electrify Now) highly recommended this – and this is the one I’m joining, I’m also signing up for this).
  • Electric washer/dryers instead of gas.
  • Hiring a green insulation contractor for our insulation (which means yes, that we might now replace our vintage windows upstairs as their sashes are extremely drafty, the glass is dangerously thin and we can’t insulate around the frame due to their old rope/weight pulley system that needs to be clear for them to function). This is where it gets tricky to balance “going green” with “being wasteful”. So we’ll try to repurpose those somewhere if we can’t make them slightly more energy efficient (I have some exciting ideas).

But Are These “Green” Electric Products As GOOD, Reliable, And Durable As The Gas Counterparts?

This is one of my biggest questions with anything that is “green” – it has to still perform really well and I have to really LIKE IT. A “green” product that you have to replace in a few years is NOT green (this is also why I prefer vintage furniture over, say, chairs made out of recycled cardboard). So I asked this of both Brian (Electrify Now) and Josh (Birdsmouth) and they recommended products to me that have been around for decades and are really high quality (stay tuned). But the problem is that many installers and HVAC professionals just aren’t trained on them so, of course, they want to recommend the old reliable gas furnace. I get it, mastering a new system is hard and takes a lot of time and practice so most contractors just stick with what they think “works”. Also, listen I’m not an expert so maybe your particular house will have some needs or idiosyncrasies that don’t work with the electric heat pump. But there are a lot of contractors and HVAC experts in every city that can help.

Other Ways We Are ALWAYS Trying To Be Sustainable (Even If You Aren’t Renovating)

Before I learned all of this I had written down my sustainable philosophy for the farm, and nothing I learned negated it. I was naive, sure, but I also wasn’t wrong – I just am less ignorant now.

  • We are buying so much less. It’s so freeing not to buy new clothes when you like what you have. It’s so liberating to get fewer boxes and have less to put away.
  • Buying as much local as possible. Less shipping means less fossil fuels and supporting the local economy is always very important. Portland makers here we come 🙂
  • Buying USED/vintage when it makes sense – you don’t have to ask me twice.
  • Using what we already have and love, by repurposing/updating. For instance, if we can’t use our vintage windows we have many plans for where they can go on the property that make more sense (and will be so pretty).
  • Donate what you can’t use that still works to places like Urban Renewal – they’ll be getting all our cabinets and former washer/dryer. AVOID THE DUMP Y’ALL.
  • And most importantly, we intent to buy and install ONCE for long-term use, not short-term dopamine hit/satisfaction or “fun”. I’m now so careful of the phrase “switch things out” because while you can with lamps, etc, you should buy as if you can’t ever change it. Sure I’m going to have Christmas pillows (OBVIOUSLY) and I’m not saying I will deny myself the joy of shopping (and I realize my job is an occupational hazard to this philosophy) but I’ve just changed in this way. My budget allows me to be more intentional about every choice and so I will be.

But listen, throughout this renovation (and in my whole life) I’m not going to be perfect and CERTAINLY have made egregious errors in the past. We are still figuring out our fireplace situation (but NOT using a log set with a gas flame like we have now at the mountain house – I had no idea how wasteful they are). We know that our love of big windows, skylights, and fireplaces can let energy out if we aren’t really intentional about where, when, and how often we use them. But even this shift of being so much more mindful will make a huge difference to our family’s footprint. Heck, I’m even getting rid of my car because I hate driving, prefer to bike, and work from home anyway. I’ll Uber when I need and we’ll have Brian’s vintage truck (yes, a 1980’s gas-guzzler) for emergencies if Brian is out with the other car. See? Not perfect, but certainly more intentional about my impact.

I knew I couldn’t go in-depth in all the ways to be sustainable today because it’s just too much. But with so many people renovating right now I wanted to catch as many of you as possible in hopes of opening minds to at least thinking induction over gas ranges and electric heat pumps over gas furnaces.

Need proof of how pretty they are? Here are some that I’m considering:

Ilve Majestic II Series 40 Inch – So pretty!

Viking 30″ Electric Induction Range – Too small for us but pretty cute.

Bertazzoni Professional Series 30 Inch Wide 4.6 Cu. Ft. – Modern with a hit of classic.

Cafe 30 Inch Wide 5.7 Cu. Ft. – Again we are hoping for larger so this won’t work but totally cute.

Fisher and Paykel 36 Inch Wide 4.9 Cu. Ft. – This is too modern for this project but this is pretty simple and sleek.

AGA Mercury Series 48 Inch Wide 6 Cu. Ft. – Comes in many different colors! This is a real contender for me.

La Cornue Chateau – Lastly, A La Cornue that has induction options (but no pictures with that exact option). You can find these at Ferguson showrooms. Clearly, this one is BEAUTIFUL and very dreamy.

Thanks for your patience with this one. It took me obviously longer than I want to admit to “get it” but that just shows how we need better voices helping people understand the importance and we need more brands making good-looking and affordable home products. Frankly speaking, “being sustainable” needs better marketing, (Yo, Bill Gates – I’ve DM’d you like 6 times to chat about this). It’s not just lightbulbs anymore and the more the average homeowner demands better looking and more affordable high-efficiency products the more home building companies will scramble to fill that hole.

As we say in our house every night, “We love you, mother earth”. And while I know that I said like 19 things wrong in this article, many arguable that you’ll let me know in the comments, let’s use this to be a place of educating all of those who were or are ignorant like me. No shaming allowed (or comment threads will be deleted). Most importantly I’m glad we are even talking about it. HAPPY EARTH DAY<3

If you’d like more information on this topic, you can read articles herehere, and here.

Opening Image Credits: Photo by Sara Ligorria-Tramp | From: Velinda’s Tiny Kitchen Makeover Takeover (With Tons of Smart Storage Hacks)

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Gwen
22 days ago

Love to see this! If you’re open to a separate cooktop and oven(s), this one is pretty rad: https://www.thermador.com/us/products-list/cooktops-rangetops/induction-cooktops/CIT36XWBB. You can put pots anywhere on the surface! Lauren Liess used it on her previous house, and it looked pretty great :https://laurenliess.com/pure-style-home/our-finished-ish-house/

Another very good reason to switch from gas to electric is indoor air quality, in addition to the greenhouse gas impacts.

Samantha
22 days ago
Reply to  Gwen

This is the one I’m looking at for my new build.

Thea
21 days ago
Reply to  Gwen

everyone in Scandinavia is doing this, and putting the ovens on the wall so it’s eye-height. Can still be done farmhouse style but much more convenient!

Kika
22 days ago

looooove my induction stove and all others feel like the middle-ages

Amber
22 days ago

I expect this post is going to solicit lots of opinions. I’m here for it :). So glad you are thinking about this stuff, but it is pretty nuanced and complicated. Oregon is unique in that more than a third of its energy comes from hydroelectric sources. Some people think that’s renewable and some don’t. Setting that aside, most states, even progressive ones like California, only get about 12% of their energy from renewables. It is going to be a LONG time, before our electricity is carbon free, especially because you need a backup to wind and solar (for when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine). Personally, I think transitioning from coal to natural gas (less carbon producing) power plants in the short term, until we can rely more heavily on renewables, is something we should be talking about more rather than lumping all fossil fuels together. I am all for induction ranges if you want better indoor air quality and you like cooking on it, but this is not a super straightforward choice. We should all do our part to think about sustainability — and one big thing left out here is what you eat (see… Read more »

Amber
22 days ago
Reply to  Amber

P.S. since this post is dedicated to renovators, if you are considering switching from gas to electric, check to see if your electrical service and panel can accommodate the new appliance(s). Upgrading that stuff can be really expensive.

Amy Simms
20 days ago
Reply to  Amber

Exactly! I checked with an electrician (he was coming to my apartment to do other things) about whether my apartment’s wiring could accommodate an induction cooktop. No, it could not, and the building isn’t even that old (built in 2007). Rewiring isn’t an option, so I’m obligated to stick with my gas stove. Check with an electrician first!

KP
22 days ago
Reply to  Amber

+1 on the plant-based diet. A big consideration for sustainable cooking is the food you’re cooking ON the stove, not just the stove itself.

Rusty
22 days ago
Reply to  KP

Yesssssssss!!!!
Both considerations are important.
Plant-based all the way.

Emilie
21 days ago
Reply to  KP

And cutting back on meat, particularly beef, is still valuable even if you don’t want to go vegtarian!

CB
22 days ago
Reply to  Amber

This is a good addition to the conversation. Reducing our consumption of meat is so important!

Kali Benbrooks
22 days ago
Reply to  CB

It’s actually more about the type of meat your eating as opposed to how much. Meat grown through regenerative agriculture like the meat subscription box that Emily subscribes too can help reverse climate change by revitalizing the soil to be able to hold methane as it’s supposed to and once did rather than releasing it into the atmosphere. It’s the same exact thing with plants. Crops that are grown anaerobically and with fertilizers produce just as much methane, sometimes more, as traditional animal agriculture.

Rusty
22 days ago
Reply to  Kali Benbrooks

But then, if one chooses to eat fish, the problems are there too!
Plant-based is the answer.
Cows need 40 litres of water per day!

Alison
22 days ago
Reply to  Rusty

Per this chain on regenerative agriculture, two great episodes of the How to Save a Planet podcast I would recommend listening to:

Yes, these issues are complicated and there isn’t one single answer or change to make that will work for everyone. If you can buy all of your meat from a regenerative source, that will a) likely mean you’re eating less because it costs more, and b) will make a huge difference for our planet versus conventional farming.

22 days ago
Reply to  Alison

Thank you for those recs! I’ll give them a listen. Two of my favs are from the Doctor’s Farmacy:
Can Regenerative Agriculture Really Heal Humans and the Planet?
Can Regenerative Agriculture Reverse Climate Change and Chronic Disease?
I’m loving all the discussion today!

21 days ago
Reply to  Alison

More tips on how you can engage with regenerative agriculture in Oregon – https://www.familiesforclimate.org/sequestration

Rusty
22 days ago
Reply to  CB

Yes!
In fact, meat is the bigger problem, along with the massive dumping of food, especially the type of meat the mass population buys and eats.
The science is in on this. Irrefutable.

22 days ago
Reply to  Rusty

I 100% agree, conventional farming meat is the biggest issue. Completely irrefutable. I eat beef maybe two or three times a year and am mostly plant based but when I do eat meat, I seek RA raised meats. The water consumption for conventional beef is added up predominately from the feed their being fed but in RA beef, they are being fed RA plants and feed which uses significantly less water to grow. In addition they are adding nutrients to the soil they graze, helping water retention on the land.

Massive dumping of foods is what kills me most! I operate a small compost organization in New Orleans that sets up free food scraps collections for residents in the city. If you can’t eat the food or feed it to animals, COMPOST!!! 🙂

Rusty
21 days ago
Reply to  Kali

Ka.i, good on you for walking your talk and being in action!

Lesley
21 days ago
Reply to  Amber

Also note that McDonald’s popup ads are running with this blog post. Really???

Kelly
21 days ago
Reply to  Lesley

Just as someone familiar with the ad network that EHD uses, this gave me a quick chuckle. They don’t control the specific ads you see the site as those are determined by your own browsing history or because you fit a certain demographic chosen by the advertiser. Lots of valid commentary here, but this one was humorous 🙂

Lesley
21 days ago
Reply to  Kelly

Thanks for this info, Kelly. I honestly don’t know anything about ad networks but doesn’t Emily still choose to do business with this network that might run McDonald’s ads? That’s an honest question. And I can’t see how my browsing history would generate a McDonald’s ad. I haven’t eaten fast food or any kind of burger in many, many years. Does browsing vintage lighting generate McDonald’s ads?

Lesley
21 days ago
Reply to  Amber

And, the ad is designed to deceive, so that when you try to close it you instead open a new window for McDonald’s.

Kathryn
21 days ago
Reply to  Amber

California actually gets about 30% of its energy from renewable sources (this does not include other non-carbon sources), and depending on time year/day as much as 80% of the grid is coming from renewable sources. The CA ISO has a nifty realtime table on their homepage that lets you see electricity production (http://www.caiso.com/Pages/default.aspx) Setting your laundry or dishwasher on delayed start can help to take advantage of the times of peak renewable, as well as doing things like charging cars during the day. Installing batteries with renewable projects can also help extend the period of time we car getting energy from renewables or flatten the other curve. There are also sources of renewable natural gas and hydrogen that can be injected into the natural gas pipeline. The California PUC also recently cleared the way for residential customers to be able to purchase renewable natural gas from their utilities. The good news is we have everything we need to make the switch we just have to deploy the resources. I am about to embark on a home addition project, and because my husband and I are energy dorks, we are going to do some carbon intensity modeling when making decisions about… Read more »

Mjbytbebay
21 days ago
Reply to  Kathryn

Katheryn, is there an app/site for energy intensity modeling that you recommend?

Jane
21 days ago
Reply to  Amber

I love my induction stove and I’m very happy to hear about how much more environmentally friendly it is! But Emily, where are your references when quoting facts? “60%”?? Where did this come from ? USA only? World? Wikipedia? Please consider including referencing for those of us who would like to see! I’d love to know where all of these ‘facts’ came from that you use Xx

Alison
21 days ago
Reply to  Jane

This would be super helpful for all of us if your experts can give you the resources they’re quoting you from, Emily!

Kim
19 days ago
Reply to  Jane

Indeed — living in France, i am, at the least, skeptical about this statement that was blithely tossed out there with no backup: “I was surprised to know that gas ranges aren’t used very much in Europe”. That doesn’t ring true to me at all.

Chantal
15 days ago
Reply to  Kim

I wondered about that too. Perhaps, I’m wrong but if there are French and Italian gas ranges available all over Europe, surely lots of people must use gas, right? I’d love to see a source for this.

Monika
20 days ago
Reply to  Amber

I’m really happy to see you writing about the problems with gas. I’ve been researching the exact same issues for my 1910 craftsman in Irvington. I’ve concluded gas cooking/heat are my goal and I will swap out appliances over the next several years.

Indoor air quality is also a huge factor in my decision.

I look forward to seeing what you pick and am very interested in your hvac and water heater selections!

Thanks for covering this topic

Concerned
17 days ago
Reply to  Amber

Hi Amber, I work for the state government of California on this issue.

If you look at the California Independent System Operator today, you’ll see that California has renewables serving 71% of load. http://www.caiso.com/TodaysOutlook/Pages/supply.aspx

Where on earth did you get the 12% number? It’s incredibly out of date. If you live on the West Coast, it is certain that your induction stove is contributing less to climate change than a gas stove. Now I personally think the indoor air pollution issue is overblown and if you have a gas stove, then by all means use it, but if someone is about to make a decision about a new and relatively durable piece of equipment like a cooktop, then buying electric is a guaranteed way to reduce their carbon emissions. Period.

Amber
17 days ago
Reply to  Concerned

Apologies, I didn’t mean for my comment to be misleading. I was just using California as an example of a progressive state; the 12% number is national. A lot of states have set ambitious targets for renewables, which I think is great start, but California is one of the few that actually has the capacity to meet them most of the time (unless they want to deal with blackouts).

And there are other considerations besides fuel source that have environmental impacts. This article outlines many of them:
https://www.thegoldhive.com/blog/2020/10/15/choosing-the-most-environmentally-friendly-cooktop-weighing-all-of-the-considerations-for-gas-or-electric

HerselfInDublin
22 days ago

Great to see this post, and looking forward to seeing more. For people on the fence about induction cooktops, Ikea has a portable induction cooktop for $49.99 and a set of 3 pots that work with induction (as you mentioned, some don’t) for $12.99. So for $63 you can road-test induction and, whether you go with it or not, have a spare burner to take out and use if you need it. And also get a set of 3 pots that will work on any stove. I don’t have induction myself (I have electric) but I’ve had a set of those pots for 12 years, they’re great. Also, you may think you haven’t personally experienced climate change because you haven’t personally found yourself in the middle of a natural disaster, but I bet if you ask older people in the area where you live they will tell you that the weather has changed. That certain crops no longer flourish because there is more/less rain than there used to be, that a certain lake used to always freeze over and now it doesn’t (or it didn’t but now it does), that you could never sit outside in August because it was… Read more »

Alexandra Rose
22 days ago

I would also suggest that pretty much anyone who lived in California last year experienced some degree of climate change. Was there anyplace NOT filled with wildfire smoke late last summer/ early fall? Even my in-laws in Kansas got that wildfire smoke.

Rusty
22 days ago
Reply to  Alexandra Rose

Aaaaand Australia lost 3 BILLION animals and forests the size of Texas!
It’s REAL, people.

Caro
22 days ago

Some areas of America have the same insulation grant program! Massachusetts does, and we got about $3k in attic insulation work for only $300. It dramatically reduced our fuel consumption during the winter, and also made our upstairs bedrooms smell better because the attic smells couldn’t leak out anymore! One tip is to hire them in the summer, if you can, when demand is much lower.

DeniseGK
21 days ago
Reply to  Caro

And even states that don’t do the same thing are trying to do something. I live in Mississippi, a very backwards looking place (i.e., we are always looking at the past and thinking it was better) and even here EntergyMS and Atmos (the gas company) are offering programs to help residents make their home more efficient and less polluting. Our state government also has some grants and programs, although they are not as generous as what I read is available in other parts of the country (we’re poor y’all). So, it is always worth it to check.

Kristin
21 days ago
Reply to  DeniseGK

Where in MS? I live in Nashville but was raised in MS!

Rusty
22 days ago

Emily… Hallelujah!!!🤗
I.Finally.Feel.Seen.And.Heard.
Yaaaay!!!! 🌏
Busy cooking dinner, on electric, I have more to say later.
You’ve made me sooooooo happy!
Rusty 🥰 xx

Annie
22 days ago
Reply to  Rusty

Can’t wait to read your thoughts 🙂

Vera
22 days ago
Reply to  Annie

Same! How do I set up an alert for when Rusty weighs in? 😃

DeniseGK
21 days ago
Reply to  Rusty

Lol! I was thinking of you from the time I read the post title on the blog homepage! Happy Unbirthday to you!

mab
19 days ago
Reply to  Rusty

Same. Switched to high end electric last year after a gas leak incident – terrifying experience, that had me not wanting a gas stove in my house again. And I love my Bosch electric, will never go back. Mine is sleek, easy to cook on, easy to clean, no worries about anyone leaving a burner on, feels safer, better for indoor air quality, and looks stylish and sleek in the kitchen. Electric stoves have come such a long way, and the higher end stoves look at work great.

Karen
22 days ago

I’m happy to learn with you. I appreciate how you use your platform.

22 days ago

Aside from environmental concerns, I think induction hobs (would you call it a stove top in the US?) are all-round superior to gas. I find mine as flexible as the old gas one (quick to heat up, powerful enough to griddle steak) with the added bonus of being an absolute doddle to clear. Honestly, I would rather scrub a LOT of toilets rather than clean a gas hob. My induction hob rarely needs more than a wipe with vinegar-water spray and then a dry-off – even after griddling those steaks. Electric ovens are just better all round. Gas ovens can BITE ME, I think that cooking things properly in them requires black magic. I think it’s interesting that in the US ranges, or at least cookers with the ovens underneath, seem to be the thing. Here in the UK, while some people do love their ranges, it’s pretty common to have a built-in oven. I have an eye-level microwave with an oven underneath (with a fancy-schmancy slide-and-hide door), and I am grateful for it every time I don’t have to bend down to get something out. Although lifting a big cast-iron casserole full of stew might be a good substitute… Read more »

Carolyn
22 days ago

Thank you, thank you, thank you for this post! We built a passive house (makes as much energy as the house needs to run) a couple years ago and we love our Cafe induction stovetop. Pasta water boils up in five minutes, which is great for life with our 1 and 3 year old. The extra thermal insulation keeps our internal temp comfy even with huge windows and sky lights. Have you looked into a tankless electric water heater? All our appliances are electric and it’s the best decision we ever made. We’re just saving up for the solar panels now!

Sarah
22 days ago
Reply to  Carolyn

Love our tankless water heater!!!

CB
22 days ago
Reply to  Carolyn

Genuine question… I thought tankless hot water heaters were gas only? We are looking to replace our electric hot water heat with a heat pump version unless there’s some crazy tankless electric one that we didn’t know about?!

Sarah
22 days ago
Reply to  CB

Electric tankless is also somewhat dependent on your climate and the electric supply to your house. In colder climates (think regular temps below freezing in the winter) electric tankless systems are often slower to heat water coming from cold sources and may not be as efficient if you’re spending a lot of time waiting for water to heat, since you naturally use more water than you need if you wait for your shower to be the right temp. We looked into it in the upper Midwest, but we’d have also had to run a new electric line to our house to support it. We went with a different electric option instead.

Tanja
22 days ago

What a great and informative post! As an European I had no idea how common it is to have gas appliances in U.S. I’m glad to see you using your voice to advocate such an important topic. Happy Earth Day!

Evelin
22 days ago
Reply to  Tanja

Totally agree, I never heard that wash/dryer run on gas, too. And I always wondered why so many US blogs use aluminium foil for baking… Now I know. Due to burning gas as the heat source. And cleaning a gas stove is such a pain, I hate it when we go on vacation in Italy or France.

Dottie
22 days ago
Reply to  Evelin

I have never seen anyone’s house with a gas oven or a convection cooktop in the Southeast US. The common set up is either all electric or dual fuel range: gas cooktop and electric oven.

DeniseGK
21 days ago
Reply to  Dottie

I live in central MS and there is a neighborhood of “gas-powered homes” right down the road from me – all the homes in the neighborhood use gas to run as many appliances as possible, including the heat side of the HVAC. A gas company works with a real estate developer on these types of projects. This is not even close to the first one I’ve seen. I grew up in Louisiana, near Baton Rouge. We had a gas oven in 2 of the 3 homes we lived in. We were poor, and both those homes were very old and that may have something to do with it. The one newer home we lived in had an electric stove. It was common among poorer families in older homes. I knew lots of people with the same set up as us. It was seen as a real positive, bc you could use the oven as a room heater. Even people who got better jobs and better houses, if they owned the old home rather than rented they would bring the old gas oven with them to the new home. I’m unfamiliar with a convection cooktop though. I thought convection was only… Read more »

Juanita
21 days ago
Reply to  DeniseGK

Hi DeniseGK, here is a quick link https://inductionpros.com/the-difference-between-convection-and-induction-cooking/#:~:text=Induction%20cooking%20is%20reserved%20for,or%20slow%2Dcooking%20your%20food. I found to explain difference in terms of induction cooking (stove top) and convection cooking (in your oven, only!). I did a college paper on a dude called Count Rumsford (of the baking powder fame!!), he invented lotsa stuff in Revolutionary/ Colonial times… but one of them was accidentally discovering convection heat from a chimney—- when you have air blowing across a hot source (in a chimney, this is the fire), it would cook the roasting food FASTER. The modern convection ovens work on the same principle: air blowing across the oven via a fan in the back, allows you to cook the food faster (and at a lower temp.). There’s the cocktail knowledge tidbit for the day…. 😊😊

Amber
22 days ago
Reply to  Tanja

In the United States, natural gas is much less expensive than electricity (for many reasons). For example, my neighbors in Connecticut (a place that has winter but is not crazy cold) pay about $900 a month in winter to heat their house using an electric furnace. It would cost less than $200 to heat the same space with natural gas.

Rusty
22 days ago
Reply to  Amber

And then solar … ???

K
21 days ago
Reply to  Rusty

You forget solar is not highly effective in places without adequate sunshine. We would love to put up solar panels but we live in the woods in northern michigan, our sunny days are very limited. The cost of solar panels is often too far beyond the benefit in northern climates.

Rusty
21 days ago
Reply to  K

K, modern solar panels only need light, not sun. They’ve changed dramatically.

Alexandra Rose
22 days ago
Reply to  Amber

Is it an electric heat pump though? Those technologies are quite different.

Rusty
21 days ago
Reply to  Alexandra Rose

Good point.

Amber
21 days ago
Reply to  Alexandra Rose

No, it’s an older house with a traditional furnace. Heat pumps haven’t been effective in our winter climate until relatively recently. I was just pointing to the historic preference for natural gas in the United States.

I’m grateful we have more options now, but it’s going to take a while for people to upgrade. Fwiw, people around here tend to upgrade to pellet stoves in an effort to reduce heating costs.

Alexandra Rose
20 days ago
Reply to  Amber

This is why the Infrastructure plan needs to pass. Government $$ credits for switching to clean energy.

VKN
21 days ago
Reply to  Amber

Amber – thanks for bringing up an important point. Electric is prohibitively expensive to heat even in Dallas, leave aside Connecticut. And air-source heat pumps don’t work well in cold climates. Heck, they don’t even work in Dallas in sub-freezing temperatures, where I live.

Solar is not a solution for everything. Last I checked, break-even for solar was 10-15 years and this doesn’t even include batteries.

Rusty
21 days ago
Reply to  VKN

It’s less than that time frame for the average home. It also benefitsresale value ofthe property.

Emilie
21 days ago
Reply to  VKN

I live in upstate NY and air source heat pumps are a very viable option here! Natural gas is still cheaper, but heat pumps are far cheaper than heating oil or propane. And there are great incentives, for those people who are thinking about it. Also, although I live in one of the cloudier parts of the Northeast, solar panels are still financially viable for us. There are loans available that target solar arrays, that allow you to pay no more than what your electric bill would be; and, with an expected life span of at least 25 years for solar panels, we then get 10-15 years of free electricity after the loan is paid off.

Alexandra Rose
20 days ago
Reply to  VKN

Don’t forget that after the break even, your energy is basically free.

Chantal
15 days ago
Reply to  Amber

Totally agree about the price of electricity being lower with gas vs electric. My 675sqft rental apartment in the DC suburbs cost me $170 to heat back in February this year! My parents own a 3,000sqft home in MD with gas heating and their bill for the coldest month this past winter was under $70! 😬 As for solar, no idea about the upfront costs. Years ago, nearly every neighbor on my parents’ street got solar panels for their homes. They live in an older subdivision with homes built circa late 90s to present day.

I. AM. GIDDY! FINALLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’ve been waiting for you to start posting REAL green living for so long! I was just excitedly yelling to my husband that it’s finally happening. he’s basically like, okayyyyyyyyy. but he knows me, i talk about this pretty much all the time (since we first met), so he’s not totally weirded out.
ANYWAY, thank you thank you thank you for writing about this. Just wanted to suggest you check out treehugger.com. I used to read this every day in my 20s (i’m the same age as you) and share all the things i learned there with everyone around me. It’s like apartment therapy, but about environmental stuff. It’s an easy way to immerse yourself.
I canNOT wait to see all the things you do. I’m so excited for this because you have so much reach and influence to an audience that isn’t necessarily aware of all the things green (I mean, REAL green stuff, not the greenwashing nonsense).

Rusty
22 days ago

Yeah, baby!!!🌏

Rusty
22 days ago
Reply to  Emily

You have more than my support! I’ll do anything to help get the facts out there!
You’re a good human, Em! xx

Sarah
22 days ago

Wind energy is complicated. I read a great book last year called A season on the wind by Kenn Kaufman. It’s about bird migration and the distances some of the tiny warblers travel each year. Woven in is also the fight against putting in a wind farm along a critical migration route. Coming to the conclusion that all energy comes at a cost. The question is how do we get smarter and more knowledgeable about each when industry doesn’t have to be transparent about the real costs to other species?

Alex rose
22 days ago
Reply to  Sarah

I agree that we need to have our eyes wide open when it comes to the pros and cons of alternative energy but if we don’t us every tool in our belt to stop burning fossil fuels right now entire species of birds (as well as humans if we reach quickly approaching tipping points) are going to go extinct due to climate change. We can’t lose sight of the bigger existential picture.

Rusty
22 days ago
Reply to  Alex rose

I sometimes wonder if we, humans, aren’t the Earth’s virus?!?

Rusty
22 days ago
Reply to  Rusty

And, of course, the ‘gang’ are here to vote me and the science down **waving** 😊

Lindsay
22 days ago
Reply to  Rusty

Yes, we totally are… there’s no question

Sarah
21 days ago
Reply to  Alex rose

Agree but… read the book. When companies sue so they don’t have to disclose the number of birds and bats killed by wind farms, that’s a problem. Consumers not to mention experts can’t weigh the true costs. And just as important, there’s no incentive to innovate and solve the issue if the issue is kept invisible.

Rusty
22 days ago
Reply to  Sarah

There’s research into this and it affects other species too…eagles, etc. right up the feathered food chain. There are some mitigations that can be put in place IF governments are prepared to listen to tge experts and look at migration pathways and turbine placements. It’s trickier with wind than solar.

Amber
22 days ago
Reply to  Sarah

Solar energy is complicated too. In addition to dangerous materials that go into making solar panels, solar farms are really destructive to the landscape and can irrevocable impact wildlife as well.

Laura
22 days ago
Reply to  Emily

The EMF piece is the only thing holding us back. If you learn more about the risks/benefits, can you share? It’s not discussed enough. The most extensive info I have found is on Elana’s Pantry: https://elanaspantry.com/green-house-almost-killed/ This ties into “smart home” design as well. We have been cooking with induction in our camper and love the ease and efficiency. Aside from a high-pitch sound that makes me and my son cringe. But dinner is done in a jiffy since everything cooks so quickly. There is no time for sipping wine with that sauté! We are deciding on gas vs induction in the coming months, so I will be following! Thank you for addressing such an important issue. My favorite part of this post is the shift to longevity vs trend. As we approach our remodel, I keep looking for finishes and design that will last us a lifetime. It’s one thing to swap out pillows, but the rest of it should be timeless. The Fast Fashion take to interior design is taking a toll on the environment. ** Unrelated: I would love to see a post about the future for washer and dryers. Appliances we use all the time and… Read more »

Cami
21 days ago
Reply to  Emily

One of the big long term concerns I have regarding solar is what happens with the panels as they come to their end of life cycle? Most articles I’ve read have talked about how toxic the waste is when they’ve reached their end of life/usefulness. How do you weigh that into your decision making process?

Alexandra Rose
20 days ago
Reply to  Cami

Solar disposal won’t really matter if we don’t stave off the climate apocalypse by eliminating the burning of fossil fuels. I would rather have a disposal problem than the end of the world. Brutal truth.

Rusty
22 days ago
Reply to  Amber

The rare earth precious metals actually make recycling the panels worth it. The latest EV panels are dar superior to those even 8 years ago.

Rusty
21 days ago
Reply to  Amber

In some parts of Australia, farmers graze sheep beneath the solar farms.

DeniseGK
21 days ago
Reply to  Rusty

And I just read last week about how they figured out a way to grow hothouse/greenhouse food crops under solar panel roofs: https://www.reddit.com/r/science/comments/mawvzk/greenhouses_fitted_with_semitransparent_solar/
(for those of you not familiar with reddit.com, you will click on the little arrow coming out of a square just under the post title in order to read the whole piece)

Concerned
17 days ago
Reply to  Amber

Amber, what is your problem with renewable energy? All of your comments seem to indicate some sort of issue.

Amber
17 days ago
Reply to  Concerned

I don’t have a problem with renewable energy at all. I just think our energy problems are complicated, and we tend to oversimplify these discussions.
We need to make decisions thoughtfully and work to mitigate the negative impacts of any type of energy development (and yes, there are much more negative impacts from fossil fuels).

Melissa
17 days ago
Reply to  Sarah

My mom is a wind lobbyist for Sierra Club. This is fake news created by well funded polluting power industry lobbyists. The risk to birds is minuscule compared to fossil fuel devastation.

Karen
22 days ago

Interesting post, I appreciate you sharing with us what you’ve learned. I know when it’s time for my husband or myself to get a new vehicle, I will definitely consider electric. We put solar on our home when we moved in. My husband has a huge salt water coral aquarium, and we have a pool and a big house. Our electric bill – even with our solar – is about $2500/year. OUCH! Our solar guy said if we didn’t have our panels, our electric bill would be twice that (so the solar does help). Besides hurting our wallet what does it mean? That we are energy hogs. And I 100% blame the fish tank……..but sometimes, when you marry someone, not only do you marry their family, you also marry their hobbies, lol. (Hey, at least he sold his Harley a few years back; I’d much rather have him home with his arms in his fish tank than riding around town on a motorcycle…) Range feedback: based on the kitchen plans for your new house that I’ve seen so far, you gotta go with a range wider than 30″. It’s such an important factor for a more upgraded look, and is… Read more »

Suzanne
21 days ago
Reply to  Emily

The AGA is 48”, too, and so much more affordable.

Alexandra Rose
22 days ago
Reply to  Karen

Have you test driven an electric car yet? They are so fun to drive!

Rusty
21 days ago
Reply to  Alexandra Rose

And they’re silent! My local community gas an electric, driverless bus for tourists and people to try out. Itsmagic and such a great adevertisement for electric. The driverless bit still does my head in though.

Betty
21 days ago
Reply to  Alexandra Rose

Yes!! I bought one afterwards and love it…..I even have a dog temperature mode in the car for our Fido here in case he’s left in the car for a few minutes (never ever longer than 5 min.)

KP
22 days ago

As someone who works in energy I love reading this stuff. I would encourage others to read a similar post Ashley at The Gold Hive posted titled “Choosing the Most Environmentally Friendly Cooktop” – there are so SO many considerations to weigh, and what makes it hard for us consumers is that each consideration doesn’t weigh equally (i.e. one pro is not necessarily equal to one con). One interesting point that Ashley makes is the manufacturing and shipping, which gets overlooked a lot when purchasing (importing from italy vs. made in America – not to mention the economy).

As well, just as Emily has signed on to get 100% solar electricity, even though much of Oregon is coal-powered, in lots of jurisdictions you can sign on to get your gas supply blended with renewable natural gas (comes from methane emitted from landfills) – that will help your gas footprint as well, and could be more beneficial than an electric range where that electricity is generated from coal or diesel.

In my opinion, as long as you are being thoughtful and intentional about your purchases, you cannot make the wrong choice. Inform yourself and choose as you see fit!

Rusty
22 days ago
Reply to  KP

I agree with most of what you said.

The key here is that most people might think it’s too hard or expensive, when the reality is renewable energy is cheaper to produce per volume of energy than any fossil fuel production.

Being “thoughtful and intentional” doesn’t quite cut it when the person’s thoughts may not be well informed, leading to i tentions paving the road to…?
Until people ‘get’ it, they cannot GET it enough to take appropriate action (zero single-use plastics, no straws ever, no balloons ever, no plastic clothing, no excessive purchases, no wearing blinkers just because they like something…).

Once we see, we cannot unsee.

KP
21 days ago
Reply to  Rusty

f course I don’t mean to suggest someone should just ruminate on their existing non-informed thoughts. Read – Think – Decide.

Kristi
22 days ago

“Being sustainable needs better marketing” – so much yes! My husband is very much not green but hearing something will save him money is a big motivator. We installed a geothermal heating/cooling system when we renovated a few years ago and he’s so proud of it, simply because we pay so much less than all our neighbors who use oil. He wants to do solar now for the same reason, but talk about an industry that needs to improve their aesthetics….

Rusty
22 days ago
Reply to  Kristi

Bingo!

DeniseGK
21 days ago
Reply to  Kristi

Oh my word, are you me? I was in the same boat with my husband! He’s finally on board with a solar roof after the man who got a raccoon out of our ceiling talked about it and showed him some pictures. My husband is a real dealhound, but I am not usually (I use paying full price as a way to limit spending) so he never really took my assurances of money-saving seriously. But the critter guy started talking about how he has no electrical bill and he even ran power out to his shed and I could see my husband’s eyes starting to shine. I am so over the moon! It’s been put onto our list for what the savings account is for, so I can now really celebrate.

Alison
21 days ago
Reply to  DeniseGK

So excited for you, Denise! I think if I can get my husband on board with us staying in our house for a few more years, we could do something like this too!

Emilie
21 days ago
Reply to  DeniseGK

Have you checked out financing options for solar? When we installed solar, there were short-term, no-interest loans cover up-front costs until we received government rebates, and then we obtained a “green” (low-interest) loan to cover the remaining cost. Our loan is for 10 or 15 years and less than our old utility bill.

Jen
22 days ago

I’m curious about electric fireplaces (as opposed to gas). Has anyone found one they like?

Vera
22 days ago
Reply to  Jen

Curious about this too! We are thinking of adding a propane fireplace. And we already have a wood stove which we’re keeping. Would love to hear anyone’s thoughts on all things fireplace-related!

Rusty
22 days ago
Reply to  Emily

It is SO hard.
At least saying “No” to a wood burning fire pit is a no-brainer!

KP
21 days ago
Reply to  Rusty

Let’s keep our eye on the nuances and not say things like no-brainer. Everyone has different considerations depending on where they live. I live somewhere where our electricity is generated by diesel, and we have a LOT of uninhabited wooded land. I have a wood burning fireplace in my home (original to 100yo house), and I source firewood from a local company who sustainably harvests wood and re-plants trees. Is it better for me to purchase an electric fireplace and then essentially burn diesel to power said electric fireplace?

Alexandra Rose
21 days ago
Reply to  KP

Actually, that’s a really good question. Burning wood creates what is called “black carbon” and it’s a significant contributor to climate change. I don’t know 100% which is better but I would guess that burning diesel is actually better than burning wood. We need more, better choices than these two, that’s for sure!

Sara
22 days ago
Reply to  Jen

Jen, my parents have had an electric fireplace and mantle for probably 15 years. It’s good but the fire part is weak. We just got one last year and the fire part is light years better than my parents’. It has all different lighting features, heat temperatures, and a timer. It’s the best thing we’ve added to our house this past year as we turn it on all day every day for the ambiance. And when we need more heat, that’s a bonus. I looked for the most beautiful one that was still affordable to us and found the best price for it from Bed Bath and Beyond though Pottery Barn sells it too; the brand is called Real Flame.

If money were no object though, I would definitely get a MagikFlame. They’re incredible!

Elizabeth
22 days ago
Reply to  Sara

Just looked at MagikFlame – looks and sounds real and made in Nashville!
Incredible!

Alexandra Rose
20 days ago
Reply to  Emily

My architecture firm was looking into these fireplaces as well. They use water vapor! https://modernblaze.com/blogs/shopping-guides/water-vapor-fireplace-buying-guide

Vera
21 days ago
Reply to  Sara

Thank you Sara!! I’m going to look into this.

A
22 days ago
Reply to  Jen

Kate Rumson on IG is getting one that uses alcohol cartridges to create real fire without gas. I’m not sure on the sustainability but maybe another option to look into as I hadn’t heard of it and I’m sure a lot of others haven’t.

Katie
21 days ago
Reply to  Jen

I would be very interested to learn more about Emily’s and others’ fireplace plans with regards to environmental impacts. Our old house has a regular wood fireplace that doesn’t work, so this is very much on our list.

Vera
21 days ago
Reply to  Emily

Emily, I’m so excited you’re looking into fireplace options. Please do a giant fireplace post with EVERYTHING you learn!

Alexandra Rose
21 days ago
Reply to  Katie

Here’s a link to some information on the “black carbon” produced by burning wood. Cliff’s Notes- It’s not good.
https://www.burnrightvermont.org/the-science

Sarah
22 days ago

I wish we had known all of this when we renovated a couple of years ago!! I do use the exhaust fan now every time I turn on a burner but I had NO idea what gas meant for indoor air quality when we chose our beautiful range. We did actually get a “dual fuel” option that uses electric for the oven and gas for the range, not because of the environment but because my research suggested that electric ovens heat more evenly than gas, and I wanted my baked goods to be as delicious as humanly possible.

Rusty
22 days ago
Reply to  Sarah

Imagine wonderful, delicious baked goods that don’t ‘toast’ the planet? Win-win.

Grace
22 days ago
Reply to  Emily

I switched to using my InstantPot for broth and it’s SO much faster, and easier. Plus it made me nervous to have a pot on the stove for hours on end.

Lacy Ellsworth
21 days ago
Reply to  Grace

I am not one for having tons of kitchen gadgets, though I am an avid cook. But I literally bought an instant pot just to use for bone broth though I rarely use it for anything else. I’d highly suggest you get an 8 qt and make the switch Emily. It takes 2 hrs to make bone broth in the IP and the bones come out fork tender. Much faster and efficient.

Kara
18 days ago
Reply to  Emily

I rent in NYC where the standard is gas stovetops. And we don’t even HAVE a vent hood or even a fan. I hate it and swear it’s why I’ve had a headache a few times a week for the past 25 years! Probably gas leak plus the whole “living in NYC thing” LOL

Emma
22 days ago

Thank youuuuu for using your platform to talk about this!! We are renovating our 1980s kitchen this summer and also switching from gas to induction. To further reduce my environmental guilt I found a used stove on marketplace – our kitchen designer is horrified lol. But we’re also in Canada where our electricity comes from hydro so it’s a total no brainer.

Rusty
22 days ago
Reply to  Emma

Fabulous choosing right there!

Vera
22 days ago
Reply to  Emma

Ahh I love all of this! Also hi fellow Canadian 🙂

CB
22 days ago

Thank you, thank you, thank you. I’ve been so dissapointed that almost every home related influencer I follow is late to the induction party. We bought our 30″ viking induction used and we love it. It’s a beautiful pop of color and the knobs give it a classic, not super modern tech feel. There is a learning curve but it is so much more precise than gas. I’ve had a gas bertazzoni, an electric glass top and an old electric coil in my houses. The Viking induction is by far my favorite! We also bought a condensing dryer and did heat pumps as well. Sure the condensing dryer takes a bit longer but it’s absolutely worth it to be saving energy. As your insulation pros will tell you, these appliances will work in concert with your upgraded insulation because you won’t have to venting all of your conditioned air outside.

Sara
22 days ago

Since it sounds like you’ve become really interested in how the energy in your home works for you, I encourage you to check out Sense. My brother is one of the founding engineers with the company, but the device monitors your total home usage and is pretty fascinating. https://sense.com/
This brother lives in Cambridge and installed solar panels on their 1800’s Victorian, and they are now selling energy back to the grid, so don’t let the age of a house stop you!

Annie
22 days ago

How wonderful to see this post. I appreciate the focus here is on cooking but your readers may be wondering the same as me so, may I ask, when you mention electric heat pumps, are they the same as ground source heat pumps? In our house in London in the UK we use a lot of heating in winter so we installed a ground source heat pump. This technology is one of the most energy efficient ways of heating homes and water and can be reversed in summer to cool houses as well. You need a lot of land (which I believe you have) but, for those who don’t, air source heat pumps are also really good.

Scandinavia leads the way in renewable thermal heating; we should take our lessons from them 🙂

For anyone who is interested in ground source pumps:
https://www.gshp.org.uk/ground_source_heat_pumps.html

And air source pumps:
https://energysavingtrust.org.uk/advice/air-source-heat-pumps/

Verity
21 days ago
Reply to  Annie

YES! We installed geothermal last year and now have a ground source system boosted by electricity rather than propane heating. And it gives us air-con too! Win win! It was far easier to install than I had expected, much more effective than our old system, and works out cost-neutral over the years with tax allowances in NY State.

K
22 days ago

YES!! Loved this and I can’t wait to hear more, Emily! I’m so glad that you are doing this research for yourself and sharing it with us!

Also, if you live in a state with a deregulated electricity market you can choose how the electricity you buy is generated! I live in Maryland and I just switched from the default (which was coal for me) to 100% wind and solar generated. My electricity still comes from my same electricity provider (Pepco), but instead of supporting coal I’m supporting renewables. It only took filling out a form to switch and is totally worth doing!

Here’s a map of states with markets that allow you to choose:
https://www.electricchoice.com/map-deregulated-energy-markets/

Rusty
22 days ago
Reply to  K

Positive change 8n action!
Thank you.

Sara
22 days ago
Reply to  K

I had no idea this was even an option in some places! Unfortunately I live in Missouri where we don’t get to choose.

Alexandra Rose
20 days ago
Reply to  K

Yes! We have done this when we were living in California and also now that we moved to Wisconsin. My parents switched to renewables in Illinois and my sister is on a waiting list in Colorado.

Catherine
22 days ago

I’d like to make another plug for restoring your original windows rather than replacing them! There’s good evidence from old house preservationists that restoring old windows will get you the energy efficiency you want, without sacrificing the aesthetics of your house or sending old-growth wood to the dump. This Old House and Old House Journal both talk about this issue, and this blog (https://thecraftsmanblog.com/are-historic-windows-energy-efficient/) has a great discussion of the issue.
I know this is slightly off-topic for today’s post, but you mentioned it again in this one so I think it must be on your mind a lot. So I’m just adding my (unasked for!) two cents. 🙂

Alex rose
22 days ago
Reply to  Catherine

Thank you for bringing this up! Old windows are made from superior, more dense wood than new windows making the wood part of the window actually have better insulating properties. The trick is to either replace/ reset the glazing as well as adding storm windows during the cold season.

Jessie
22 days ago
Reply to  Emily

This will probably be an unpopular opinion, but I would use those windows to build a gorgeous greenhouse for growing your own veggies. That way you could see, use and enjoy them daily, but still get the efficient windows you want for your home.

Alexandra Rose
22 days ago
Reply to  Jessie

That’s a great idea! I’d love to see a post on greenhouses, growing your own food as well.

Catherine
21 days ago
Reply to  Emily

I would guess that they’re drafty because they need some TLC, not because they’re inherently drafty. People 100+ years ago weren’t stupid and weren’t building drafty houses — these houses are made to be repaired.
Last summer I re-did the glazing putty on one of our huge 5’x6′ single-paned glass windows, and “just” re-doing that made a HUGE difference in how much summer heat gain we got through that window. Actually taking the window apart and installing modern inulation around the old windows, and restoring the old windows will make a massive difference.

Rusty
22 days ago
Reply to  Catherine

Plus, retro-fitting double glazing over the window is possible.
IF Emily changes her windows she said they’ll be given to a place that reuses them.

Emilie
21 days ago
Reply to  Catherine

I live in the Northeast (so I would expect colder winters than Oregon) and we had an energy audit when we bought our 1880 house. They recommended many insulation upgrades (all of which we did) but said our original windows could be made basically as good as the originals. So that’s what we did.

Emilie
21 days ago
Reply to  Emilie

We do have storm windows, which are not beautiful; but I’ll take something slightly less beautiful on the outside to be able to keep the windows and have a more energy-efficient hosue!

Hillary
21 days ago
Reply to  Emilie

Emilie (and Emily, too) have you looked at Indows? They are interior storms made from acrylic with a silicone gasket around them. The company is HQ’d in Portland. I installed a bunch of them in the Victorian house I manage for work and they’ve made a HUGE difference — no more drafts. Easy to install and remove, if you want to stash them somewhere for summer. Daniel Kanter introduced me to them via his blog years ago.

Emilie
20 days ago
Reply to  Hillary

Hillary, I have seen them and I think they look amazing! If we didn’t already have storm windows, I would consider them for sure. But given that we have
functional storm windows already, we’re just sticking with those.

tilly
22 days ago

when i was renovating my house one of the thing I knew i NEEDED was an induction cooktop. My choice was mostly driven by cost. I had gas in my old rental apartment and I had a smart gas meter which showed exactly how much gas I was using for my 30/60 minute dinner every night. It was a LOT and gas is so much more expensive than electricity here in the Netherlands, so induction was the natural choice when i bought and renovated my first house. Induction is also so much easier to clean and so much less greasy somehow than cooking with gas. I chose a green energy provider so my energy comes mostly from windmills. I always recommend my friends to ‘go for electric wherever possible’ purely from a cost perspective, doesn’t hurt that it’s also better for the earth 😉

Rusty
22 days ago
Reply to  tilly

Yup…Europe is leagues ahead in all of this!🌏

Alicia
22 days ago

We live in Seattle in a 1908 four square and we create more electricity than our household of 5 can use (solar panels installed upon our move in), we have an old 1970s electric coil range and now are upgrading to fisher and paykel induction. So even in a grey/rainy place like the PNW we can create, use, and give back to the grid our own GREEN power. Everyone should look into the option of solar for their house. The monthly payment is lower than an electricity bill and you get paid for the kwh you put back into the grid. Thanks for the article.

Rusty
22 days ago
Reply to  Alicia

Yessssssss!!!😊

Rusty
22 days ago
Reply to  Emily

Yessssss!!!!
Pleeeeeeease do it and educate your million or so readers about the possibilities. I’m sure a Portland company will sponsor you.

Juanita
21 days ago
Reply to  Emily

Just near our neighborhood where I go for my daily pandemic walks… there are two houses that were built circa 1990— by the same builder… same floorplan, just slightly different finish choices on exterior of house…. so it’s obvious they are “the same house”, yet not identical. About 3 weeks ago there were spiffy Tesla logo vans parked outside one of the houses. I thought they were installing one of the Tesla wall battery storage systems… but no: they were there for about 2 weeks installing the Tesla roof shingles. Oh. My. Goodness. You can see the one house has the roof shingles that look just like the conventional roof shingled house to the right of it, but they are slightly blacker, and look a little ‘matte”. The point being: when you stand and look at the two houses from the street— you cannot tell that the one house has “solar panels”— because its shingles are not thicker, don’t look weird, etc. it looks superbly amazing!!! I know it’s a cliche… but once you’ve ‘seen’ this… you can’t ‘unsee’ it— !!! The shingles over the ‘solar panel’ in terms of the looks/ aesthetics, hands down. Not exaggerating.

Rusty
21 days ago
Reply to  Juanita

Juanita, this is fabulous to read! Thank you.

Kelsey
22 days ago
Reply to  Alicia

I am also in Seattle, this is something my husband and I have been talking about doing soon, did you use a specific vendor for the panels and install that you would recommend?

RachieT
22 days ago

Great post!
Marmoleum is one of my favorite flooring products. It’s green. It’s natural. It’s not too expensive. Endless color options. “Soft” with a wonderful underfoot feel and adds amazing texture to any room. I highly recommend it.
Get it (and so much more) from Green Building Supply. They’re HQ is in my town and they’re an awesome company with the best customer service you could ever ask for and they have fantastic green products that HOLD UP
I also love their wool carpet options
Anyhoo, happy Earth Day everyone

RachieT
22 days ago
Reply to  RachieT

I should note I am not affiliated/connected with them in any way. I’ve renovated two homes using some of their products with great outcome.

Hillary
21 days ago
Reply to  RachieT

Yes! I installed Marmoleum in my basement and I love it.

MB
22 days ago

Thank you for this post, Emily!!!! Yay!
Next up….your landscaping plan founded in native plants that support local wildlife…and the wildflower meadow…. 😉 (Time to start planning that is now actually…it takes three years for a meadow to get established….)
Some resources (I am not affiliated with any of these!):
https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/meet-ecologist-who-wants-unleash-wild-backyard-180974372/
https://wmswcd.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Meadowscaping_Publication_Complete_LR.2.pdf
https://northwestmeadowscapes.com/

21 days ago
Reply to  Emily

Hi Emily – I’d love to talk to you about wildflower meadows and other native planting any time you like. It doesn’t need to be terribly expensive, and there is so much beauty and good that can come from an inspired ecological landscape design! The birds and the bees will thank you.

Susan
22 days ago

So my better half is from Iowa. When we go to visit family, there are wind turbines as far as the eye can see in some areas. I also live in a port city at the end of the great lakes, where blades for each of the wind turbines come off the ship and are loaded on to special trucks with chaser cars ro keep traffic around the oversized load safe. Has anyone ever SEEN how incredibly HUGE one blade is?? Massive. What I’ve learned is that the life span of the blades is limited and when the wind mill is “done” they take it apart and BURY THOSE MASSIVE BLADES IN THE GROUND where they DONT decompose. I am ON BOARD with energy sustainability but to my mind, trading one terrible practice for another isn’t a long term solution. Of course, The blades are buried in flyover country so no one has to see it. I want us to advance, I applaud all efforts to make our earth better and I cringe every time I watch a blade creep through our city, knowing how many birds it will kill before it ends up in the ground. A person starts… Read more »

Rusty
22 days ago
Reply to  Susan

85 percent of turbine component materials—such as steel, copper wire, electronics, and gearing—can be recycled or reused

Emma
22 days ago
Reply to  Rusty

Also no one talks about the lifespan of power plants – these companies have just had a lot more practice in learning how to hide their waste. Even if a coal plant, for example, technically has a lifespan of 50 years (https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-019-12618-3#:~:text=Historically%2C%20coal%20plants%20have%20retired,3a).), I know (as a chemical engineer) the CONSTANT upgrades/retrofitting (whether for safety, or wear & tear, or environmental reasons, etc.) that happen inside large power plants, so it’s not really a fair comparison to just look at the discarded turbine blades in isolation. I find it helpful to think of wind turbines and other currently-available renewable solutions as ways of buying us more time to figure out more sustainable, long-term solutions.

Angie G
22 days ago

We remodeled (here in OR too!) a couple of years ago and for sure thought we’d convert to a beautiful gas stove (from a 1970’s Jenn air electric coil stove!) and after learning about induction when we went appliance shopping we quickly realized the benefits. I was shocked because we had never even heard of induction. I’m so thankful we were educated because we absolutely love our induction stove!!!

Rusty
22 days ago
Reply to  Angie G

Knowledge is power. Power changes the world.

Alexandra Rose
22 days ago

Yes!!!!!!! Thank you for posting this truly necessary information for your readers that goes beyond recycling and to the real heart of sustainable living- ridding yourself of your reliance on fossil fuels! Of course, waste is bad but it is even worse to burn fossil fuels. I would advocate that anyone interested in upgrading to induction and heat pumps, to do so, no matter how old their appliance. It’s all about reducing carbon right now!

Also, I’m thinking about starting a group called Moms Against Fossil Fuels In America. Of anyone can get sh** done, it’s moms looking out for their kids best interest. Would anyone be interested in joining the MAFFIA???

Rusty
22 days ago
Reply to  Alexandra Rose

Alexandra Rose – we can all do gard things if we believe the outcome is worth it.
You CAN do this.
You can BE the change.🤗

Nora
21 days ago
Reply to  Alexandra Rose

Alexandra — there are already some great parent-powered Climate groups you should check out! Mothers Out Front is doing amazing work (and has a very strong education campaign around induction cooking btw 💚). And if anyone is here in Portland and feeling inspired to join other parents taking action on climate, check out Families for Climate! (Www.familiesforclimate.org)

Alexandra Rose
20 days ago
Reply to  Nora

Oh, wow, thank you for sharing!

Allison
22 days ago

This is an awesome post. Thank you so much for sharing! An easy to way to go ahead and start using some of the solar energy towards your current power is by setting up an Arcadia Power account! It’s not available in all areas, but I would highly recommend it 🙂
https://www.arcadia.com/

22 days ago

This is so exciting, Emily! It took a bit of convincing to my husband but we just got our induction cooktop for our kitchen remodel and it will be installed soon! It’s so beautiful. I got it for many reasons.. I live in New Orleans so the fact that it doesn’t produce any heat will be INCREDIBLE while cooking in the summer. I definitely wanted to avoid gas for the same reasons as you, and the cleaning aspect is a dream! Other things to think about today on Earth Day.. I’m curious if you guys plan to compost on your farm? If not, I highly recommend at least taking your food scraps somewhere to be composted. I run a compost organization in New Orleans and cannot express enough how important composting is for our planet. To me it’s the single easiest thing to do that has the biggest impact on an individual level. I hope you guys are able to implement it on your farm. 🙂 HAPPY EARTH DAY!!!!!!

Rusty
22 days ago
Reply to  Emily

Hahaha 😹 You won’t be needing that garbage disposal unit in your sink then?!
(The odd piece of pennne pasta can go in the compost too)

Rose
22 days ago
Reply to  Emily

I think that depends on your part of Oregon 😉 as a rural apartment dweller (Oregon coast) they didn’t even provide us the option to recycle. Illegal miiiight be a stretch.

Rusty
22 days ago
Reply to  Rose

Even in an apartment you can compost. Thereare special in-kitchen gizmos available (Google it) and usually community collections done by organisations (contact your council).

22 days ago
Reply to  Emily

Trash is only picked up every two weeks here in PDX; it is amazing how much you can put into the compost. I love it. In our last home, we had a garbage disposal – which I loved for the convenience – but I will admit I really wasn’t cognizant of the power of composting (city collection of compost was just being introduced, and it was in the next county to PDX). Composting is such a better option!

Rusty
22 days ago
Reply to  Diane

Garbage disposals are completely unnecessary and many countries don’t have them at all, because they’re bad to the bone.

Katie
21 days ago
Reply to  Diane

I remember a plumber telling me once that he would never have a garbage disposal in his own kitchen because they always break—but that he loved them in others’ kitchens because they kept him in business.

21 days ago
Reply to  Katie

Agreed, even if I could have a garbage disposal now – I would opt out of it.

Katie Chapple
21 days ago
Reply to  Emily

That’s what the chickens are for! We compost in their coop – recycle edibles into eggs, and minimize inputs (in terms of their feed).

Rusty
22 days ago
Reply to  Kali

Yaaay! Cali 🤗

Santa Josep
22 days ago

I’m not sure where you get your information about Europe but gas is very popular, for cooking appliances and for heating houses and water! We buy gas wherever possible because we live off grid (in Spain). All of our electricity comes from solar panels on our roof, which is obviously the green choice. However it does limit the amount of electric available and we simply could not power an induction hob, among other electrical appliances. Spain is catching on to gas even more and has only in the last few years started plumbing in mains gas to homes, which have previously had to run on bottled gas.

Rusty
22 days ago
Reply to  Santa Josep

That’s where solar batteries come in for storage. There are so many competitors to Tesla batteries now.

Santa Josep
15 days ago
Reply to  Rusty

😀 We have a massive bank of batteries but these things only go so far. Lots of people here live purely on solar power, with no connection to the grid and we are all in a constant search for the lowest consumption electric devices and we use gas where we can.

Rose
22 days ago

Emily, thank you so much! I’m a lifelong tree hugger and never knew this. I just moved into a rental (aka cannot change anything) and it has a gas fireplace. It heats the house much more quickly than the 6 electric wall units we have. Does anyone know if it would be sustainable, while living in this place that we can’t modify, to run a gas fireplace for a shorter time or the electric heaters for a longer time?

I know you mentioned how you’re contending with your love of fireplaces and the environment and I would love to read a similar deep dive to what you’ve written here. Thank you for educating us!

Rusty
22 days ago
Reply to  Rose

Rose, it actually depends on the age and efficiency of the appliance, the size of tge space to be heated, etc. There are online calculators to use and many countries have nuanced calculators to suit the country’s specifics.
In this case, Google is your friend.

Tiffany
22 days ago

I am currently working with a builder in E. Washington to have my new home built. They are known for being a green builder and use electricity to power their homes exclusively. At first I was really bummed to lose my gas stove and the idea of an electric fireplace just isn’t quite as cozy as gas or wood burning. This post made me feel more confident about switching to electric -I hadn’t known before how beneficial it is.

Thanks for helping me change my mindset. Now I can feel proud that I’m doing a little better with using clean energy (most of the energy in our region comes for wind and hydro). Our builder has the goal of building a 100% sustainable neighborhood, eventually building in solar panels.

Rusty
22 days ago
Reply to  Tiffany

Yaaay Tiffany! You’re scoring goals!🤗

Vera
22 days ago

Thanks so much for this post! I’m reading this and the comments and learning a lot. 😊

Vera
22 days ago
Reply to  Vera

And another vote for a whole post dedicated to fireplaces!

k
22 days ago

Hi! We have 1920’s sears kit home (a four square that looks very similar to the main farmhouse) and have made many improvements to increase the energy efficiency. We live in Maine and while it is colder here, you can transfer our experiences pretty well to Oregon. And like Oregon, Maine has a high rate of renewable energy on the grid (primarily hydro with wind and solar coming in strong). Anyway, a few notes: WE LOVE OUR HEAT PUMPS! With the right insulation both in the attic and basement, and correct ventilation (and ventilation is KEY and often overlooked), our house is very comfortable and our energy costs are less than when we lived in a condo half the size heated by natural gas. I WOULD RECONSIDER A HEAT PUMP WATER HEATER. Or at least, know what you’re getting into. The are LOUD. We have ours in an insulated basement and we can hear it go on and off in our bedroom on the second floor. During the day, it isn’t too noticeable, but at night, and especially if your primary bedroom is on the first floor, you will hear it and in the colder weather it runs almost all… Read more »

Rusty
22 days ago
Reply to  k

Can’t potential noise be mitigated by sound dampening around the pump in the basement??

k
21 days ago
Reply to  Rusty

Hi Rusty! From what I understand, heat pump water heaters work best in a location in the home that is 40-90 degrees (4.4-32.2 C) and provide at least 1,000 cubic ft (28.3 cubic meters) of air space around which is typically a basement. A big space like that is hard to dampen (we have tried with spray foam insulation). They are great for the right household–just know that there are noise trade-offs 🙂

Rusty
21 days ago
Reply to  k

Thanks for the feedback.

Holly
21 days ago
Reply to  k

Huh, we have an electric heat pump water heater in the connected garage, right next to our dining room/bedrooms and can’t hear a thing! Even in the garage it doesn’t seem that loud…but maybe it’s the brand/type/size or insulation…

k
21 days ago
Reply to  Holly

Hi Holly! Good to know!! I think our unit is 5 years old, and maybe age and brand make all the difference?

Holly
21 days ago
Reply to  k

Yes ours is less than a year old!

Maxine Becker
22 days ago

I have had my induction stove top for 9 years and would never go back. Finding suitable pots and pans is not a problem and many in your cupboard will work, including cast iron. You’ll never regret this decision.

Erin
21 days ago
Reply to  Maxine Becker

I use my big cast iron lodge pan as a wok replacement on my flat cooktop, works great and cleans up like a charm!

A
21 days ago
Reply to  Erin

I’ve been waiting for someone to mention cast iron! I love my thrifted pans; they are high quality & extremely heavy. I’m thinking about induction but don’t know anyone who has it and was worried they would scratch the cooktop surface. I hope Erin or others can weigh in more on this!

Rusty
22 days ago

Emily, THIS post is the start of such a huge conversation. Thank you is insufficient for the gratitude I have for you getting on the bus of change and demonstrating HOW everyone CAN do the work and BE THE CHANGE we ALL need if our kids are going to gave a livable planet. These things must happen now. It’s a cop-out when people say “too hard… next year… byt I like drinking my soda through a plastic straw out of an aluminium can/plastic bottle/throw away coffee cup”…or….leaving it for somebody else to do. Apartment Therapy has been influencing for the better on these issues, including cleaning products, sustainable living in general, composting when you live in an apartment, etc. No matter where you live or what your income is, we can ALL make a difference. It factually comes down to whether we’re too lazy to care or not. This is from AT recently: “Make no mistake about it: The trash we accumulate at home adversely impacts the environment. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Americans generated a total of 292.4 million tons of trash in 2018, which equates to an average of about five pounds per person every day.  Sadly, the bulk of… Read more »

Vera
21 days ago
Reply to  Rusty

Thanks Rusty for all this info!

Erin
21 days ago
Reply to  Rusty

Whoa, that 5 lbs per day average of trash creation per person is shameful. I found that when I stopped buying a lot of prepared and prepackaged foods, we not only cut back on our waste but my families health has improved greatly. As a family of 3 we usually only have 1 bag of garbage per week, with a good dose of backyard composting.

BW
22 days ago

Very excited for you! We switched from gas to an induction range (we have a Cafe Appliances one – it’s wonderful!) when we moved and renovated our kitchen, and, while there is a small learning curve, I would never go back now! So many other benefits in addition to the obvious environmental and air quality concerns – it’s much easier to clean (imo), I can set things down on it without worrying about the cooktop being hot or dirty, the handles of our stainless steel pots don’t get hot when cooking, water boils super quickly… I was also nervous, but I’m more than satisfied with induction!

Sarah
22 days ago
Reply to  BW

Happy to hear that you like your Cafe induction. That is the one I think I’ve settled on for our remodel. I like that it has knobs and looks a little more traditional. I couldn’t decide between that one and the Bosch, but the Bosch is very slick looking and has electric controls on a panel.

Sarah
22 days ago

Your pretty induction ranges are perfect timing for me. We are remodeling 0ur 1980s kitchen and going induction (from electric). I’m in Austin, and after we experienced 3+ days with no power and 10 degrees in that freak storm in February, I was really considering a gas cooktop. People who had gas could still have warm drinks and food. We ended up using our camping stove. But we had hot water the whole time because our water heater is gas. We also have a gas fireplace, which kept our living room a balmy 50 degrees and kept our guinea pigs alive. My parents are rural and had no heat and no water at all because they have an electric well pump and no fireplace. That storm brought to light how much work the Texas electric grid needs, and it made us think about how we could be self-sufficient should our utilities fail again. I think we’ll get a portable generator. Not saying that all the things should be gas, but I’m sure glad that some of ours were.

Rusty
22 days ago
Reply to  Sarah

Sara, if you install solar panels and a battery, you’ll have electricity 24/7 no matter what.
EV panels these days only need light, not full sun and the whole system is much more affordable. They pay for themselves.

Sarah
22 days ago
Reply to  Rusty

Thanks, we are starting to look into that. We have one of those huge sloping roofs that a lot of 80s houses around here have; seems ideal for panels.

Rusty
22 days ago
Reply to  Sarah

Absolutely! If you work out the cost, the more = the better when it comes to panels. I recommend raking time to drill down and research the actual panels seek reviews for each product and go for the latest panels available. German ones are usually great. So etimes cheap dwals are cgeap because the panels are old technology and they’re sellingthem off, aka: dumping stock.
Good luck. Great choice! 🤗

Holly
21 days ago
Reply to  Rusty

Yes, the price of solar has come down so much in just the last five years. We are just grid connected and sell our extra solar to the grid, however I’m looking at options to use our electric car (Chevy bolt) as a back up battery! There are some off-market adapters out there that can withdraw the energy from the car for use in your home and I’ve read that more ev companies are looking into this.

Lori
22 days ago

There are definitely ways to make old windows more airtight and energy efficient– spring bronze weatherstripping and a well fitting storm window. Alex at Old Town Home has blogged about it before. You can also use low-profile Indow inserts as an interior storm– Jessica at @parkanddivision has them on her beautiful old windows and has shown on Stories how easy they are to put in and remove. Old windows get a bad rep, but I feel like there’s a ton of misinformation out there. Unlike new double paned windows, if something breaks or the glass fogs, you don’t have to replace the entire window. Since old wood windows are easily & infinitely repairable, that makes them the more green option, IMHO.

22 days ago

I know you had mentioned putting in a gas insert in your living room, and doing away with the wood burning fireplace. I’m curious if this has changed your mind? We have a wood burning fireplace, and are currently (today!) installing a wood burning insert. It’s much more efficient than an open fireplace and it will actually warm the house, opposed to just looking nice (plus, we really didn’t want to go the gas route).

Rachel
22 days ago

We had an induction cooktop at our last house and I absolutely loved everything about it! Our new home has a gas range (older), and now that we are about to change out countertops I am ready to purchase another induction. The ONLY thing giving me hesitation is that if the power goes out (which it has), I can still use the gas cooktop. Now I feel frozen in my decision. Are you getting an emergency generator at the farm house?

Rusty
22 days ago
Reply to  Rachel

Generators are terrible polluters. Emily said she’s considering solar panels.

aforss
21 days ago
Reply to  Rusty

Did you see the “emergency” part of this? In remote areas in cold climates, not having a generator means your pipes (and you) freeze if the power goes out — probably more environmentally costly to repair than running a generator for a day not to mention a gigantic pain. Solar storage will get there hopefully soon, but it just isn’t cutting it yet if your power outages might last for a day or more. Not even close if you’re heating your house with electric.

Katie Chapple
21 days ago
Reply to  aforss

I’m in a deep dive with solar now – we’re almost entirely electric, and if our power goes out, we lose water from our well in addition to power in general. Current assessments for our place support up to 3 days power with the equivalent of 2 tesla batteries. Of course, you want to minimize usage to extend that lifetime, but it’s rare for us to have a day without sun that would recharge the batteries in the meantime.

Alexandra Rose
22 days ago
Reply to  Rachel

Solar Panels plus battery storage is the way to go. You can choose to hook up a small number of items, such as a refrigerator, stove and water heater to be hooked up to a dedicated circuit that is fed by the panels and battery in case of an emergency where you want to be conserve your energy usage. It’s a bigger investment but a smarter and cleaner one.

Lindsay
22 days ago

We have a 14 yr old electric stove that is fine… but I have been dying to upgrade to gas for the last decade or so. Even gone so far as to get estimates for moving the gas line over to the stove, and I’ve picked out my dream range (well as dreamy as under $2000 gets you). And then I saw the Gold Hive article someone else mentioned above, and damn it, why did I never consider that gas is bad for our air quality and the environment? We both drive Priuses, we compost, we recycle, we use plastic free toiletries, cleaning supplies, etc. So I had to say goodbye to my gas range dreams. I am now committed to getting an induction especially now I know it should work with my beloved cast iron pans. The problem is they’re so dang pricy! We’ve settled on the Cafe 30″ induction but holy smokes, it’s literally 8 times more expensive than our current range! And not available anywhere near me… thanks pandemic! So we’ll wait and keep looking. Thanks for bringing this issue up to your readers.

Rusty
22 days ago
Reply to  Lindsay

Lindsay, you’re doing so many great actions already!
Kudos to you for keeping on learning. Technology is changing so fast.
You’re definitely walking your talk. 😊

Erica
22 days ago

Love my induction stovetop. Mine is built into my counter (I have a wall oven), so it’s interesting to see these combo units.

Sam
22 days ago

I absolutely loved this!!! Thank you for bringing sustainable home-talk to your large audience. So important for our Mother Earth 🌱✨

Betsy
22 days ago

What a cool post — and I didn’t realize induction ranges could be so good looking. Thanks!

Casey
22 days ago

We just renovated and installed the Bertazonni induction range and I love it! It really is beautiful and I love the mechanical dials. There was a bit of a learning curve with induction and one thing I wish I had known before I installed is that it makes a buzzing sound when the pan is in contact with the cooktop. But now that I’ve gotten used to that I think I’m a convert. I especially appreciate that the cooktop doesn’t get super hot, especially with a toddler around. The oven is awesome too, so much better than a gas oven.

Kelsey
22 days ago
Reply to  Casey

so excited to hear you love it, mine is being installed in 3 weeks 🙂

Ellen
22 days ago

Emily you may want to look into the new technology that actually puts induction built *under* the stone counter so you dont have to SEE any cooktop anywhere and your counter space is un-interrupted. I am DEF doing that when I renovate my kitchen, with a small wall oven on my appliance wall. That is the REAL beauty of induction, IMO – the choice to not clean ANYTHING extra bc its all done by magnets. A lot of Japanese homes also have separate induction hobs that they clean and put away in a drawer when not in use (im currently running my kitchen like that with a cheap Ikea hob). Its a DREAM.

Sophie
22 days ago

Love this post and very timely as we are thinking of switching to induction in the next few years when we can remodel our kitchen. Have you seen the induction plates that can be placed under stone? There are a few companies is Europe that sell them but have not found any distributors in the US.

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