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

September 2007

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Bristling at Waste

Think about your paintbrushes. The handles never need replacement - just the bristles, right? So why do you have to buy a whole new brush? The theory behind the Envirobrush is a solution to this problem. The bristles can be easily removed and replaced by flipping a small clamp on the brush handle. The bristles, held together by a solid block of plastic at one end, are sold separately at a fraction of the cost of a full brush, the manufacturer says. The Envirobrush comes in three widths up to 2.5 inches.

Cost-Cutting Appliances

Joan Stewart of Port Washington, Wisc., was thinking energy as she shopped for a replacement for her 10-year-old refrigerator. She finally settled on an Adora, a mid-priced General Electric model with an Energy Star rating, and the payoff was almost immediate. Our electric and gas bills had just skyrocketed in the last year, so we jumped at the chance to save on our energy bill, Stewart says.

A Home Inspection Checklist

Your home is probably the most significant purchase you will ever make. Most homebuyers focus first on finding a real estate agent and shopping around for the best mortgage and interest rate. While some important details of homebuying include the number of bathrooms, the lot size or the proximity to good schools, you should also be sure to have your new home inspected professionally before you buy. It's important to understand that no home is perfect.

Electricity 101: How Home Wiring Works

Most homeowners fear electrical wiring. No doubt this has saved a few lives. But it's not much help for homeowners who want to know how things work or to repair them when they don't. Electricity is simply the movement of electrons through a wire, and because electrons are invisible, it helps to think of electricity as water flowing through a pipe (see Illustration 1). The electrical half of the water analogy is obvious. A power plant creates an electrical pressure (voltage), which propels a current of electrons through a wire.

7 Better Home Innovations

The beginning of a new year is a great time to evaluate your home and plan projects for the coming months. So what better way to start 2005 than by catching up on the latest developments in home systems and technologies? We've identified seven noteworthy innovations that can make your home a more efficient, more environmentally friendly and more comfortable place to live.

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