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

March 2003

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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.

CCA Safety Tips

In June 2001, the wood-treating industry and the EPA agreed to begin an enhanced "consumer awareness program" for treated wood. One of the program's most important features is a consumer information sheet, or CIS, that retailers are supposed to provide to buyers of treated lumber. When you buy CCA-treated wood, make sure to ask for a copy of the CIS (also called the consumer safety information sheet). It contains safe-handling recommendations from the EPA. You can also get this information at at or by calling a toll-free hotline (800-282-0600).

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.

Helpful Websites

Department of Energy: American Wind Energy Association: National Wind Technology Center: Department of Energy wind maps: Wind Energy Resource Atlas:

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