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

September 2003

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Dandy Ductwork

Let's face it, considering improvements to your duct system is not as exciting as choosing new tile or kitchen cabinets, but the benefits can be huge. The October 1998 Appraisal Journal reports that the value of a home increases $20 for every $1 decrease in annual utility costs. Translation: If your yearly heating and cooling bills total $800, and you make a change that saves 25 percent ($200), you will realize $4,000 in added value when you sell the house. And that doesn't include the $200 savings you pocket every year until then!

Ins and Outs of Moisture

Water is essential to our survival, yet it can be detrimental to our homes. Water damage is common, costly and devastating to millions of homes across the country. The Institute for Business and Home Safety has put together a guidebook to help homeowners identify early warning signs of excess moisture in order to prevent major structural damage.

What's New With Hot Water

Boiling Over There's a rift in the home-heating industry that pits professionals on the water side against those on the air side. That is: hydronic vs. forced warm air. Some contractors prefer one type of heat to the other, but many have learned that to serve their customers well they must offer both types of heat. The term hydronic heat may sound like an obscure, futuristic form of heat production. Yet, it has been around for centuries and is widely regarded as the finest type of heat available for the home.

More Than Just Hot Air

This boiler uses automatic burner modulation ranging from 57 percent to full fire, preventing short cycling.Technology changes in heating equipment have been pioneered in the United States by manufacturers of forced hot-air furnaces.

Not the Time to Fall Behind

  Freeze-proof faucets are self-draining -- as long as no hose is attached to them. Traditional faucets require removal of the hose and closing the valve inside the house to prevent bursting.

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