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

June 2008

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Give Your Yard an Organic Makeover

Give Your Yard an Organic Makeover

Most of us spend many hours in the fall and early spring taking care of our yards — raking, sowing seeds, planting, fertilizing and watering — so we can enjoy a lush landscape by the time the warm weather rolls around. But when the long, hot, dry days of summer arrive, we often find our efforts laid to waste by drought, pests and munching wildlife.

Keeping a Low Profile

Smoke alarms have been integral safety devices in the home for nearly four decades, but during that time they haven’t changed much in appearance. The Silhouette Low-Profile Smoke Alarm is out to change that. With a sleek design that protrudes just a half-inch from the ceiling, it blends easily into its surroundings and won’t interfere with your interior décor.

Growing a Green Home

Linda Lessner describes herself, her husband Michael and their four children as “central Austin folk.” And being that green building has been central to Austin for more than 20 years, it’s little surprise that the Lessner’s home is in all probability the greenest one on their block.

High-Performance Prefabs

The one shining light in the real estate industry these days seems to be in green construction. Today it is far more chic to say your house is green than to mention you have granite countertops in the kitchen. Many homeowners are foregoing traditional materials like granite for more renewable or recycled options, and replacing wasteful heating and cooling systems with energy-efficient ones.

Taking Care of the Air

Air conditioners are not typically known as eco-friendly appliances, thanks to the use of refrigerants like Freon (also known as R-22), which has been shown to deplete the ozone. However, Freon is being phased out (as of 2010 it cannot be used in any new equipment), and a new generation of eco-friendly air conditioners is on the way.

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