The Time is Right for LED Bulbs

For reducing energy costs and reducing environmental impact from energy usage, there’s no easier way than replacing standard energy-wasting light bulbs with more energy-efficient products. After seeing a display at a home improvement store, I decided to do a side-by-side comparison, and believe LED (light-emitting diode) bulbs are the way to go. Continue Reading

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Green Ideas: Sources for Historic Restoration and Re-Purposing in Chicago

Whether you are restoring a period home, have an affinity for the aesthetics of a certain decade, or are looking for unique materials to bring character to your living space, Chicago has some great options for finding vintage fixtures and materials. And re-using salvaged items is environmentally friendly to boot. While eBay has myriad salvage items, shipping larger pieces can be an issue, and sometimes you just need to see something with your own eyes to know if it’s right for your home. Here are some great places to start:

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Radon Testing: Why and When You Should Do It

We are very strongly urging our home inspection clients to have a radon test performed before making a final decision about whether to purchase a home. Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that can be dangerous when it builds up inside of confined spaces. It is estimated that 20,000 people die each year due to exposure to radon, and it is the number one cause of lung cancer among non-smokers (number two overall). 25% of homes within Chicago and 40% of those in the suburbs that have been tested have come back with results showing radon levels above EPA safety guidelines. Due to the relatively small number of homes that currently get tested, the percentage of homes with dangerous levels of radon could actually be much higher.

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Tap Water Contaminents: What You Can Do

For the health and safety of you and your family, we strongly recommend installing a whole-house water filtration system. While not cheap (the most effective models can cost $800-1,200+, plus installation and maintenance), if you can afford it, you should consider doing it. While under-sink, faucet-mount and refrigerator models work for drinking water, they won’t protect you from the chemicals your body can absorb while bathing. For an in-depth article on the dangers posed by unfiltered tap water, visit http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/11/27/drinking-water-with-chloramine.aspx

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The value of Bathroom Vent Fans

Normal bathroom activities such as showering, bathing, etc. can significantly raise your indoor humidity levels. In fact, studies have shown that the typical family of four converts three gallons of water into water vapor every day, and it only requires four to six pints of water to raise the indoor relatively humidity of a 1,000 square foot home from 40 to 60 percent. In turn, this excess moisture is a complex problem that can cause a number of undesirable conditions such as the following: Continue Reading

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