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

September 2003

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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.

Burying The Main Power Line

One of the considerations when building a new home or upgrading electrical service to an existing home is whether to string the main power line from a nearby electric pole or bury it. The biggest advantage to burying a power line is aesthetics. Most people prefer the clean, natural look of buried service as opposed to the cluttered look of aerial lines. This is reflected in the fact that most new developments advertise buried power lines as a positive feature.

Let There Be Light

Have you ever thought about building an outdoor kitchen, adding a pool or hot tub, running decorative lights along your driveway or adding electricity to a detached garage? Many homeowners are afraid to work with electrical wiring and prefer to hire an electrician. While we certainly don't want to minimize the risks of working with electricity, this is one area where a knowledgeable homeowner can save a lot of money, if he or she is willing to learn the basics.

Keep Home Fires From Burning

This photo shows the damage that can be caused when the fire department has to be called into your home.More than 90 percent of American homes today have smoke detectors. Since their widespread introduction in the 1980s, smoke detectors have cut the number of home fire deaths in half.

The Home RF Alternative

You may have heard of another wireless networking technology called HomeRF. HomeRF uses the 2.4-GHz band just like Wi-Fi, but the standard is squarely aimed at the home and has had a slow start due to late approval from the FCC for a faster version that closely matches Wi-Fi's speed. Wi-Fi has built up momentum due to a rapid drop in price during 2001. Prices fell for most equipment by 50 to 70 percent, while HomeRF's fast version just started appearing in electronics stores last summer. If you expect to use a laptop or other portable device, Wi-Fi is the only way to go.

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