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

May 2003

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Ruling Out Radon

The PVC pipe in the garage is installed at a prescribed pitch along the ceiling. Once it is run up into the storage space above the garage, a 1.5-amp fan is installed and plugged into a standard electrical outlet.

Smart Energy Savings

Caulking and weather-stripping begins at construction and continues throughout the life of the home. Done properly, it can be extremely effective and economical.More than 30 years have passed since the Middle East oil embargo made Americans aware of energy prices. But for many people, the lessons haven't hit home.

The Evolution of Vinyl Siding

Homeowners can be an obsessive bunch. They think it's good sport to drive around new, upscale subdivisions and study siding. It's fun to see how that Victorian reproduction has mixed natural-colored, hand-split shakes with ivy green, half-round shingles. That Colonial looks striking, with its crisp, gray clapboards, trimmed out with white crown window molding and corner blocks flanking the doors. But look closely. The biggest surprise might be that most of these handsome facades are created not from wood, but from vinyl. There was a time when vinyl-clad houses were easy to spot.

Put a Match to Your Siding

When I was a teenager still living with my parents, a neighbor's son was mowing his yard when he hit a rock and sent it flying about 40 yards across our backyard and through the vinyl siding on our house. After chuckling with the neighbor about it for a bit, my father went to the spot where he stored siding, left over from when he installed it just a couple of years before, and replaced the damaged piece.

A guide to the language of cellular technology

CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) - The most common digital technology in which information is digitized, assigned a unique code and spread over the entire bandwidth available to the phone. The receiver uses the same code to reassemble the signal. CDMA allows as many as 10 separate calls to occupy the same amount of space as an analog call. TDMA (Time Division Multiple Access) - The first digital cellular technology to hit the market.

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