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The Environmental Protection Agency has designated January as National Radon Action Month.
What is radon? Radon is a radioactive gas, a byproduct from the decay of uranium in the soil that occurs naturally all over the world. Radon is in the air you breathe every day and can build up to dangerous levels when the gas is trapped inside our homes and other structures. You can’t see, smell or taste radon, but it could be present at a dangerous level in your home. Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer deaths among nonsmokers in America and claims the lives of about 21,000 Americans each year. In fact, the EPA and the U.S. Surgeon General urge all Americans to protect their health by testing their homes, schools and other buildings for radon. Exposure to radon is a preventable health risk, and testing radon levels in your home can help prevent unnecessary exposure. If a high radon level is detected in your home, you can take steps to fix the problem to protect yourself and your family.
According to the EPA, here are four things you can do during National Radon Action Month:
The EPA and U.S. Surgeon General recommend that all homes in the U.S. be tested for radon. Testing is easy and inexpensive. Learn more about testing your home, including how to obtain an easy-to-use test kit at www.epa.gov/radon/find-radon-test-kit-or-measurement-and-mitigation-professional.
Attend a National Radon Action Month event in your area — look for radon events in your community.
Spread the word
Spend time during National Radon Action Month encouraging others to learn about radon and test their homes. Tell your family and friends about the health risk of radon. Encourage them to test their homes. View or order the EPA’s free radon publications at www.epa.gov/radon/publications-about-radon.
Buy a radon-resistant home
If you are considering buying a new home, look for builders who use radon-resistant new construction. Read more about radon-resistant new construction in “Building Radon Out: A Step-by-Step Guide on How to Build Radon-Resistant Homes.”
DWIGHT BARNETT is a certified master inspector with the American Society of Home Inspectors. Write to him with home improvement questions at C. Dwight Barnett, Evansville Courier & Press, P.O. Box 286, Evansville, IN 47702 or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Date : 1/18/2016
by Nick Gromicko, Ben Gromicko, and Kenton Shepard
Most people don’t know how easy it is to make their homes run on less energy, and here at InterNACHI, we want to change that. Drastic reductions in heating, cooling and electricity costs can be accomplished through very simple changes, most of which homeowners can do themselves. Of course, for homeowners who want to take advantage of the most up-to-date knowledge and systems in home energy efficiency, InterNACHI energy auditors can perform in-depth testing to find the best energy solutions for your particular home.
Why make your home more energy efficient? Here are a few good reasons:
1. Find better ways to heat and cool your house.
As much as half of the energy used in homes goes toward heating and cooling. The following are a few ways that energy bills can be reduced through adjustments to the heating and cooling systems:
2. Install a tankless water heater.
Demand-type water heaters (tankless or instantaneous) provide hot water only as it is needed. They don’t produce the standby energy losses associated with traditional storage water heaters, which will save on energy costs. Tankless water heaters heat water directly without the use of a storage tank. When a hot water tap is turned on, cold water travels through a pipe into the unit. A gas burner or an electric element heats the water. As a result, demand water heaters deliver a constant supply of hot water. You don’t need to wait for a storage tank to fill up with enough hot water.
3. Replace incandescent lights.
The average household dedicates 11% of its energy budget to lighting. Traditional incandescent lights convert approximately only 10% of the energy they consume into light, while the rest becomes heat. The use of new lighting technologies, such as light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), can reduce the energy use required by lighting by 50% to 75%. Advances in lighting controls offer further energy savings by reducing the amount of time that lights are on but not being used. Here are some facts about CFLs and LEDs:
4. Seal and insulate your home.
Sealing and insulating your home is one of the most cost-effective ways to make a home more comfortable and energy-efficient, and you can do it yourself. A tightly sealed home can improve comfort and indoor air quality while reducing utility bills. An InterNACHI energy auditor can assess leakage in the building envelope and recommend fixes that will dramatically increase comfort and energy savings.
The following are some common places where leakage may occur:
Because hot air rises, air leaks are most likely to occur in the attic. Homeowners can perform a variety of repairs and maintenance to their attics that save them money on cooling and heating, such as:
5. Install efficient showerheads and toilets.
The following systems can be installed to conserve water usage in homes:
6. Use appliances and electronics responsibly.
Appliances and electronics account for about 20% of household energy bills in a typical U.S. home. The following are tips that will reduce the required energy of electronics and appliances:
7. Install daylighting as an alternative to electrical lighting.
Daylighting is the practice of using natural light to illuminate the home’s interior. It can be achieved using the following approaches:
8. Insulate windows and doors.
About one-third of the home’s total heat loss usually occurs through windows and doors. The following are ways to reduce energy lost through windows and doors:
9. Cook smart.
An enormous amount of energy is wasted while cooking. The following recommendations and statistics illustrate less wasteful ways of cooking:
10. Change the way you do laundry.
Homeowners who take the initiative to make these changes usually discover that the energy savings are more than worth the effort. InterNACHI home inspectors can make this process much easier because they can perform a more comprehensive assessment of energy-savings potential than the average homeowner can.
Spring brings on the opportunity to assess “just where is my home in the disparaging on set of spring showers” If you are like many home owners this is not a question that you have asked yourself until a problematic circumstance evolves. If you live in Seasonablly hot areas of the country such as Southwest, or the cold of the North East. Water drainage is and will always be an issue. Correct management of water run-off is critical to the overall success of the homes longevity, for so reasons like mold, staining and streaking of the walls, and the list goes on.
Focusing in on importance of Directing that water Away from the house, Gutters can be a most efficient tool. Today’s Gutters differ from a quality standard of years past, Do-It-Yourselfer can install PVC options, can vary in range of Quality. Aluminum or Custom designed installed gutters, generally will come with some form of Warrantee or Guarantee. Best to consult with your local Contractor for best solution that meets your particular needs. Gutters not only add value to your House but are common standard in the well Maintained home, allowing for collection of water and an effective Manner to redirect water away from Foundational structures.
New Modern Gutter Systems of today offer allow for a More Decorative look, but are more functional than wooden gutters of the past. More Modern gutters do not require as much Maintenance such as scrapping, painting and clearing out the debris is no longer needed because of protective Screens allow for less collection of waste Materials to gather in the gutter backing up the drainage process.
Professionally installed rain gutters will:
Over all professionally installed gutter systems will help with Water Related issues. When realizing the installation of an efficient Gutter system is necessary, not only is selection of type of gutter important but it is important to look water disposal weather it you want to do a Lateral drainage from guttering or an above ground Discharge, that should be at least 3 to 6 feet from the house. If space is an issue an dry well engineered for soil conditions and anticipated water load, will do the job. For a good look at drainage options we suggest that you look at the following link, http://www.epa.gov/iaplus01/technical/moisture/1_7.html, for Water Maintenance Ideas.
Spring is such a wonderful time of year in the continental United States, so Many good things come at the turning of the spring equinox. So many see spring as a time for yard Maintenance and Clean up, especially if you live in the North East or the Northern Central States. Whether you hire a Service or Do-It-Yourself Spring Clean-up can bring reminiscent of New beginings, new plantings, mulching, and pruning.
Pruning is generally a late spring or early summer task, some do require attention in the early spring while still dormant; i.e.
You can still get your pruner out this spring to shape the following list of trees and shrubs, while they are still dormant.
*About.com Home Gardening, Flowering Trees & Shrubs Marie Iannotti
It is well know that most Flowering Trees should not be pruned in the spring, with the exception to be that to unshapely overtaken tree, sacrificing a few blossoms to regain shape and longevity, early Grooming is probably necessity.
Grooming your Trees and Ornamental Shrubs, add a sense of wellbeing to your property and allows for others and yourself to enjoy their esthetic beauty. Some things are best done seasonally and if in doubt, best to check with your local Lawn and Garden shop, or Green house for those who are best trained for Plant Maintenance, whether you are pruning, fertilizing, they generally have the best advice and knowledge based resource to assist in your geographic area.