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

November 2001

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Disinfecting With UV

Whether they're in the air or in your water, bacteria and viruses are not welcome visitors in your house. New products are using ultraviolet radiation to rid them from both elements. Indoor Innovations, of Richmond, Va., says its Phase 2 UV system will help reduce the occurrence of illnesses caused by airborne pathogens. The device features a long, UV-emitting light bulb that is inserted into the main- or return-air plenum of a forced-air furnace. The light is attached to a housing that mounts outside the duct.

No-Fault Fire Protection

You may not have heard of arc fault circuit interrupter breakers, but you will. AFCI breakers are a new safety device designed to help prevent fires caused by damaged or worn electrical wiring. According to the National Fire Protection Association, problems in either a building's permanent wiring or cords feeding power to electrical equipment cause nearly 43,000 fires each year and kill some 370 people. The most common locations for these fires in a home are bedrooms, living rooms, kitchens and storage areas.

Busting Your Ice Dams

Anyone living in a cold climate has seen ice dams - those sparkling bands of ice that form along a roof's edge in the heart of winter. While they may look beautiful, they can be quite destructive. Ice dams develop when snow on the upper part of the roof melts. Water runs down the roof slope under the blanket of snow and re-freezes into a band of ice at the roof's edge, creating a dam. More melted water pools against the dam and eventually leaks into the building under roofing or through roof trim.

Keeping Clapboard Healthy

Non-wood sidings have captured the majority of the residential-siding market for two reasons: lower initial cost and less maintenance. No one disputes the unsurpassed beauty of natural wood sidings, but one also cannot deny their generally poor histories in retaining finish coatings. The problem is not with wood as a material. It's the multitude of factors that determine success or failure of the coating. A single wrong choice in material, preparation or installation can spell early failure. Here is how to install and treat wooden lap siding (clapboards) the right way. 1.

Zapping Germs With Ozone

More homeowners have become concerned lately about harmful bacteria like salmonella and E. coli. While chemical antibacterial products can eliminate these organisms, they aren't the best to use when preparing meals - who wants a salad sprayed with chemicals? The folks at Waterpik have devised a way to zap germs without nasty chemicals. The Waterpik Aquia infuses ordinary tap water with ozone, a highly reactive form of oxygen, to kill bacteria. After destroying deadly organisms, the ozone quickly dissipates, leaving no trace on food or food preparation surfaces.

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