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

March 2003

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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.

The ABCs of VOCs

X10 Explained: Controlling Your Home Without Re-wiring

X10 is a popular technology that allows you to control electrical devices throughout your house with existing 110-volt wiring, eliminating the need to run new wires - a costly enterprise in some cases. Because X10 equipment simply plugs into wall outlets, it's usually simple to install and use. But it's far from simple in its design. For those who want to understand what's going on inside those little boxes, here's a quick tutorial. X10 is both a patented line of home automation products and a communications protocol for remote control of electrical devices.

Space Heaters: Down to Earth

  Most vented heaters today use a pipe-within-a-pipe arrangement that pre-warms incoming cold air, allowing the burner to fire more efficiently.

How to Cure a Wet Basement

How many times have you looked at your basement and thought how great it would be to have a playroom, a home office or a family room/entertainment center - if only it didn't get wet? Dampness is the leading reason that most people do not fully utilize their basement. Yet in many cases the causes of wetness can be eliminated or at least controlled. It is critical that you fix moisture problems before you tackle a basement remodeling job. What Causes Wet Basements? Wet basements are a common problem throughout much of the country.

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