Innovative solutions for creating healthy, efficient, eco-friendly homes

January 2003

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Tips on Using Grey Water

If you can be choosy about the gray water you recycle on your garden, then use shower and bathtub water first, followed in decreasing order of desirability by water from the bathroom sink, utility sink, washing machine, kitchen sink and dishwasher. Water from the kitchen sink and dishwasher is not desirable because of the larger proportion of grease, food particles and other materials it will contain. If there is no way you can avoid using water from the kitchen sink and dishwasher, try to limit the amount of grease and solid food particles that go down the drain.

Stop Guessing About Filter Changes

Even the most attentive homeowner could use a little help remembering to perform routine maintenance and upkeep. Changing the A/C and furnace filters, for instance, are important tasks that can easily slip your mind. But if you attach the FilterTone dirty-filter alarm to your air filters, you'll hear a pleasant tone when it's time for a change. As dirt builds up in air filters, it produces an increase in pressure that triggers the tone.

Disposer Dos and Don'ts

Disposal units have become quieter, more compact, and easier to use and maintain.A garbage disposal, or food-waste disposer, as it is properly called, is considered by most to be a domestic godsend. But when this appliance acts up, it can wreak havoc in the kitchen.

Power to the People

A transfer-switch system is the safest and most effective way to connect a portable generator to your home. Installed next to the home's main panel, it allows users to choose which circuits to run in an outage. A house without electricity is like a car without gas, but it doesn't have to be that way.

Engineered Wood

  An I-joist is a wood version of a steel beam. Their structural performance is much better than old-fashioned dimensional lumber.

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