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

November 2001

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A Fan With Filters

Ceiling fans move a lot of air, but they also move dust, smoke, pollen and other less-than-desired elements in the air. The Clairion 2 in 1 air cleaner/ceiling fan helps filter all those elements. The fan's blades hold snap-in filters that can trap airborne particles and odors. To make the collection process more efficient, the fan's hub emits ions that make it easier for dust and particles to attach themselves to the positively charged filters. The fans come in a variety of models and sizes.

Saving with Shade

A site plan showing the best places for windbreaks and shade trees in much of the U.S.We all know that trees improve our lives. They make our homes look better, clean the air and make outdoor activities more pleasant. Yet not everyone knows that trees also provide financial benefits.

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.

Searching for Stachybotrys

Stachybotrys is getting a lot of press these days. The fungus, also called black mold, is being blamed for household illnesses ranging from stuffy noses to lung hemorrhages - and even a few deaths. Stachybotrys can grow on wet cellulose materials, including paper and paper products, cardboard, ceiling tiles, wood and wood products, and experts say it can be found in 2 to 5 percent of households. How do you know if yours is one of them? Pro-Lab Inc. has introduced a mold test kit that, for $9.95, will tell you within 48 hours if your home has stachybotrys or other dangerous mold.

Houses That Really Work

Thirty years ago I was teaching physics at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, and living in an old farmhouse. In winter, the best that could be said of my 1809 farmhouse's uninsulated walls was that they slowed the wind to a moderate breeze. Many were the nights my wife and I couldn't keep a candle lit and took to our bed for survival. Some sympathetic soul lent me a copy of Rex Roberts' Your Engineered House. In it, Roberts, an MIT-trained engineer, dissected the structures we call home into their major components and subjected each to two questions: 1.

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