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.

Keeping Your Whole House in Hot Water

On a cold winter's night, nothing is nicer than a cozy, warm house. If you live in an area of the country that calls for home heating for the better part of three seasons, then hydronic heating can be a very comfortable choice for a new heating system. Yet many people in the United States are not familiar with hydronic heating because, as yet, it still only commands a small percentage of the overall domestic home-heating market. But the market for hydronic heating is warming up, and with good reason.

The Care and Feeding of Your Septic System

Do you know what happens when you flush the toilet? While it usually isn't a topic discussed at cocktail parties, it can be a critical issue for many homeowners. People who live in a city rarely think about it because their waste usually goes through a central sewer system to a wastewater treatment plant. Approximately 25 million suburban and rural homeowners using onsite wastewater systems, however, do need to pay attention, because a failure in their system could affect their property or even their drinking water.

Selecting Trees and Shrubs

Besides their beauty for your own enjoyment, trees and shrubs contribute significantly to your property value without increasing your property taxes. Here's an investment that grows in aesthetic and dollar value every year, while potentially reducing lawn work and related costs. Trees and shrubs can also reduce your cooling and heating bills by providing shade in summer and windbreaks in winter.

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.

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