Patients with chronic heart failure (CHF) have a significantly lower peak aerobic capacity compared to healthy subjects, and, may therefore experience more inconvenience during the performance of domestic activities of daily life (ADLs). To date, the extent to which task-related oxygen uptake, heart rate, ventilation and symptoms during the performance of ADLs in CHF patients is different than in healthy subjects remains uncertain. General demographics, pulmonary function, body composition and peak aerobic capacity were assessed in 23 CHF outpatients and 20 healthy peers. In addition, the metabolic requirement of five simple self-paced domestic ADLs was assessed using a mobile oxycon. Task-related oxygen uptake (ml/min) was similar or lower in CHF patients compared to healthy subjects. In contrast, patients with CHF performing ADLs consumed oxygen at a higher proportion of their peak aerobic capacity than healthy subjects (p < 0.05). For example, getting dressed resulted in a mean task-related oxygen uptake of 49% of peak aerobic capacity, while sweeping the floor resulted in a mean task-related oxygen uptake of 52% of peak aerobic capacity, accompanied by significantly higher Borg symptom scores for dyspnea and fatigue (p < 0.05). Patients with CHF experience use a higher proportion of their peak aerobic capacity, peak ventilation and peak heart rate during the performance of simple self-paced domestic ADL than their healthy peers. These findings represent a necessary step in improving our understanding of improving what troubles patients the most-not being able to do the things that they could when they were healthy.