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

March 2003

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Take the Kink out Of Your Hose

Take a look behind your dryer. Chances are the back of it is about five or six inches away from the wall and the vent hose resembles a snake. These tight bends in the exhaust hose can accelerate lint accumulation, which in turn reduces the dryer's efficiency and poses a possible fire hazard.

A Guide to Safe Water Within the Home

There are enemies lurking within your home. Just beyond each faucet and shower fixture, the pipes that feed them are - in most homes - filled with bacteria and parasites. Some of these, like the parasite Cryptosporidium, are quite dangerous. The good news is that there are sensible and cost-effective ways to rid your home of these unwanted guests. We'll guide you to the solutions. Over the past two decades, there has been a push to lower water-heater thermostat settings in the United States from the previously adopted standard of 140 F to a safer setting of 120 F.

Ventilation Discourse

Good ventilation is important to your comfort and safety, as are a reliable heating system, smoke alarms and a dry basement. It will help to protect the occupants from irritating pollutants and potentially dangerous gases like carbon monoxide. Well-planned ventilation also helps to manage moisture and reduce the likelihood of mold and mildew growth.

Going Up?: Find the Right Opener for Your Garage Door

Garage door openers are becoming increasingly popular as the garage becomes a fundamental part of the house, not merely a place to park the car. Garages nowadays are used as storage areas and workshops, and they often have bedrooms, home offices and other rooms above them. In many cases, the garage has become the primary entry and exit point to and from the house. Once viewed as indulgences for the privileged, garage door openers are now standard conveniences.

The Case For Pre-Wiring

If you're interested in home automation and you're building or renovating your house, give serious thought to pre-wiring it for the future. Installing an advanced cable system will serve your needs now and well into the future, and it's a lot easier to do before the drywall goes up. Cabling needs to run from the area in which you'll place your hub - the signal-distribution center - to every room in which you'll have equipment or controls. Remember to be generous with your estimates and run more cable than you think you'll need.

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