Dear Pat and Brad: Several of my appliances are getting old and will need to be replaced soon. Will the appliance choices I make have much impact on my energy bill? – Chelsea Dear Chelsea: Your energy use varies month to month, so it can be difficult to see how much difference an appliance purchase… Continue reading.
When severe weather hits, I want to be prepared, and I’m considering purchasing a backup generator for my home. What types would you recommend to take care of the entire house? Purchasing a backup generator is becoming more common. Residential backup generators are called standby models because they are only used when electricity from the… Continue reading.
We are planning to remodel our older home, and I’ve read that increasing thermal mass can improve energy efficiency. What exactly does this mean, and how do we incorporate it into our home? Increasing the thermal mass means increasing the ability of materials to retain heat energy. This can be done anytime, but it is… Continue reading.
My kitchen faucet has a very slow drip and the finish is worn. I want to replace it with one that is attractive and convenient to use. I often wash dishes by hand, so what is the most efficient design to purchase? Most people think of a kitchen faucet as just a simple valve to… Continue reading.
I often feel chilly in my home, especially during the winter months. I know electric resistance heating can be expensive to use, but I really like the idea of in-floor heating. Does it only work with tile flooring, or can it be used under carpet? What types are available? Electric resistance systems are expensive to… Continue reading.
Five months ago, this “Indiana Home” in Lafayette was gleaming — but not in the moonlight upon the nearby Wabash. Rather, the cute clapboard bungalow new to Shenandoah Drive basked in the sunlight upon the Potomac — amid memorials and monuments in the nation’s capital — and in the glow of national praise. Dubbed “INhome” for… Continue reading.
Q: I have an old picture window I want to replace with a bay window. My budget is tight. Which type is best and most efficient? Should I buy an entire unit or assemble one from individual windows? Those old, large single-pane picture windows, which were common in houses built many years ago, are extremely… Continue reading.
Q: We have many electronic gadgets in our house, and I am concerned about a voltage surge ruining them. Are there whole-house surge suppressors that will protect everything electric in our house? People often think of only electronic gadgets, such as computers, game consoles, and audiovisual items, as being at risk from electrical surges. Actually,… Continue reading.
Q: We have a problem keeping several rooms comfortable. These rooms are either chilly during winter or hot during summer. What are some simple efficient methods to balance out room temperatures? Nearly every house has some problems keeping all the rooms evenly warmed or cooled. The heating, cooling, and ventilation system (HVAC) is one of… Continue reading.
Tilt toward wind turbines needs to be more than a monetary quest Bartholomew County grain farmer Jay Shoaf could hardly be confused with Don Quixote, the retired country gentleman of 17th century Spanish literature. To make better the world, Quixote, the story goes, set aside sanity to become an idealistic “knight-errant,” and wound up jousting… Continue reading.
How co-ops power up consumers after a storm Waves of thunder rumble a warning, then roar as rolling dark clouds gather overhead. Strong winds whip through the trees. Lights flicker, then suddenly go dark, as errant trees and limbs somewhere along the way fall into power lines. Some storms are more silent. They come in… Continue reading.
Electric co-op home program reaps low bills, high praise Randy and Cathy Sherrod pay less than $300 to heat and cool their 3,200-square-foot home. But that’s not $300 a month — which is common for a lot of folks with a home that size. Their heating and cooling cost is less than $300 for an… Continue reading.
When I was 12 or 13, back in the mid-1970s, the dog-day afternoons this time of summer would really start dragging. Figuring it was way too hot and humid to run around outside, a couple neighborhood buddies and I would first watch TV. But reruns of “Gilligan’s Island,” on the only channel not showing soap… Continue reading.