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Jul 06,2006
Dear Jim: With high utility bills and all the recent severe weather, I thought about adding rolling window shutters. Do they let any light in when they are closed and what options and features should I consider? - Julia K. Dear Julia: Rolling shutters can protect your windows and sliding glass doors from severe weather. In many hurricane-prone areas, such as Florida and the Texas coast, new homes and one's having major improvement projects are required ... [full story]
2355 times read - No comment posted

Jun 29,2006
Dear Jim: Our water bills are pretty high. We still have two old water-guzzling toilets which we like and they flush well. What can we do to them to save water instead of purchasing new efficient toilets? - Claudia H.    This shows a dual-flush kit installed in a clear toilet tank. Notice the instructions on the handle indicating which way to move the handle for more or less water. - Athena Controllable Flush   These are the actual ... [full story]
4009 times read - No comment posted

Jun 22,2006
Dear Jim: My family likes to be cool during the summer, but the electric bills kill my budget. What are the best ways to use ventilation to stay comfortable without using the air conditioner as much? - Michael A. Dear Michael: Proper ventilation can keep you feeling cooler and reduce your electric bills for air-conditioning. The actual air temperature in your home is not really important. What is important is how you feel. Human nature being ... [full story]
3513 times read - No comment posted

Jun 15,2006
Dear Jim: I want to use filtered water to remove chlorine when bathing and showering. Installing a whole-house filtering system is expensive and seems wasteful. Is there any way to filter just the bath water? - Jerome H. Dear Jerome: When people think about filtering and purifying the water in their homes, they usually think about water used for drinking and cooking. Actually, the exposure to chemicals in water is also significant when hot water ... [full story]
2177 times read - No comment posted

May 28,2006
Dear Jim: Our wood deck gets hot, almost too warm to be comfortable, in the summer sun. It seems to make adjacent rooms hotter. I am also tired of the maintenance. What decking options do I have to keep it cooler? -Ron H. Dear Ron: An old dark discolored deck can become comfortably warm in the summer. This heat will reradiate in through windows and make your house walls warmer. If the prevailing breezes are ... [full story]
4459 times read - No comment posted

May 27,2006
They look like pretty plants nestled in decorative containers, filled with layers of dirt and decorative rocks. Or pretty plants nestled in semi-enclosed containers filled with dirt and decorative rocks, much like terrariums. Lisa Hoerr-Grandstaff insists they are the next new thing in gardening - tabletop gardening. People have always had houseplants, she explains. But tabletop gardens are different. They're like stylish miniature container gardens. "That, in itself, makes them different from some ficus sitting in the corner," ... [full story]
3056 times read - No comment posted

May 21,2006
Decorating with a variety small houseplants, adds aroma and decor of the residential home. Houseplants are very healthy to everyone, because plants take in carbon dioxide (which is exhaled), toxins, and pollutants, and in turn release clean oxygen. Unfortunately, some people are allergic to certain types of houseplants. An indoor houseplant adds brightness to a room, and always a cheerful sight, on any gray day or a dreary winter day. Using an unconventional pot to ... [full story]
2564 times read - No comment posted

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