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Sean Green
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The Inspector Newsletter
November 2015: Heating and Cooling
Maintenance Matters

Save Energy (and Money) With These Weatherization Tips

Weatherizing your home can prevent warm air from leaking into your home in the summer and out of your house in the winter — which costs both energy and money. The good news is that weatherizing your house is a cheap and easy task. All you have to do is caulk, seal and weather-strip seams, cracks and openings to the outdoors. And it’s well worth the 10 percent or more you’ll save on energy costs.

Maintenance Matters

Every house has some common culprits for air leaks. These are some of the areas you’ll want to focus on when weatherizing your home:

  • Dropped ceilings
  • Light fixtures
  • Attic entrance
  • Electrical wires, boxes, switches and outlets
  • Water and furnace flues
  • Air ducts
  • Door and window sashes and frames
  • Chimneys

Here are some tips for weatherizing your house:

  • Test your home for air leaks. On a windy day, hold a lit candle or incense stick next to windows, doors, electrical outlets and other areas that are common culprits for air leaks. If the smoke or flame wavers noticeably, then you have found an area you need to seal. You can also have a professional home energy audit.
  • Caulk and weather-strip around drafty doors and windows — don’t forget basement windows.
  • Caulk and seal air leaks where electrical wiring, plumbing or ductwork penetrates through exterior walls, floors and ceilings.
  • Purchase inexpensive rubber or foam insulation kits specially designed for electrical outlets and switch plates.
  • Install storm windows over single-pane windows or replace the windows with better insulated double-pane windows. During the cold winter months, you can also purchase window insulation kits, which allow you to install clear plastic over drafty windows.
  • Consider plugging the fireplace flue with an inflatable plug or a rigid insulation plug if you don’t use the fireplace.
  • Caulk the exterior of your house around all areas where electrical, gas, cable and water lines enter the house. Also, caulk around your dryer vent.

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The 411 on Candles

Speaking of candles: The candle market is on a smaller scale than a variety of other products and industries, but we rounded up some fun facts about the candle industry from the National Candle Association and Small Business Chron:

  • In the Unites States, annual candle sales, excluding accessories, are reportedly $2 billion dollars.
  • More than 1 billion pounds of wax is used each year for these candles.
  • Manufacturer surveys reveal that 90 percent of candles are purchased by women.
  • More than 10,000 candle scents are available.
  • Fragrance is the most important characteristic when a consumer is choosing a candle.
  • Most candle consumers use a candle up in a week.
  • Around 35 percent of annual candle sales occur during the holiday season.

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Taking a Hard Look at Your Water

An overwhelming 85 percent of the United States has hard water, and the cities with the hardest water are Indianapolis, Las Vegas, Minneapolis, Phoenix, San Antonio and Tampa. In Canada, Yorkton, Laval des Rapids, Beaconsfield and Kitchener are among the cities with the hardest water.

What is hard water, and why is it a concern? The elements that make up water, hydrogen and oxygen, do not account for the foreign ingredients found in every drop of the water we use every day. Most of these other ingredients are considered safe to consume, through municipal sources, but they can be damaging to appliances and the plumbing that distributes water.

Click here to read the rest of the blog posts.

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What term did Frederick Law Olmsted and George Oskar use to describe “the whole professional task of designing a composition of planting, landform, water, paving and other structures”?

Be the first to answer correctly and win a $10 Starbucks gift card. Submit your answer to your local NPI/GPI inspector to find out if you’ve won.

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