June 28, 2011
…the Air Exchanger, that is
Most airtight homes these days have air exchangers, or ‘heat recovery ventilators’. They are often referred to by their trade names – Venmar and Vanee, for example. But of all the appliances in our homes, air exchangers are perhaps the least understood. They bring in fresh air and blow out stale air during those cold months when our windows are closed. However, their controls can be confusing to anyone who might have missed that science class explaining relative humidity.
The result? Air exchangers are often left on during summer months when windows are open, wasting power. As well, by bringing in heavy summer air, they may actually bring humidity inside.
There’s an easy fix: just turn your air exchanger off for the summer – either by turning the control way down, or by just unplugging the exchanger itself from the outlet.
June 13, 2011
Bring back the hanky!
Years ago, everyone carried a handkerchief. Then facial tissues came along. They were initially marketed to help ladies remove makeup – but people started using them to blow their noses, and today that’s the norm.
But maybe it’s worth reconsidering hankies. True, they need to be washed – but going paperless means less trees cut, less energy used to turn them into paper and, importantly, less trash to dispose of. Read an analysis comparing hankies and paper tissue here.
And what about hygiene? Our noses release a lot of germs when we’re sick, so disposable tissue might be a better option then. But in healthy times, hankies are perfect for everyday wipes and blows. Plus hankies are non-allergenic: no dust to inhale.
A few tips: make hankies out of scrap fabric; have a different hanky for each day of the week; wash them in cold water and dry on a clothesline; choose organic cotton or hemp. Happy honking!
Thanks to Trudy Mitic for this suggestion!