Aging in Place

“Aging in place” is the phenomenon describing senior citizens’ ability to live independently in their homes for as long as possible. Those who age in place will not have to move from their present residence in order to secure necessary support services in response to their changing needs. The Baby Boomers As the baby boomers […]

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Home Winterization

Winterization is the process of preparing a home for the harsh conditions of winter. It is usually performed in the fall before snow and excessive cold have arrived. Winterization protects against damage due to bursting water pipes, and from heat loss due to openings in the building envelope. Inspectors should know how winterization works and […]

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Electrical Safety

Electricity is an essential part of our lives. However, it has the potential to cause great harm. Electrical systems will function almost indefinitely, if properly installed and not overloaded or physically abused. Electrical fires in our homes claim the lives of 485 Americans each year and injure 2,305 more. Some of these fires are caused […]

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Electrical Service Panels

Electrical panels are boxes that house circuit breakers, which are are safety devices that stop the electrical current if it exceeds the safe level for some portion of the home electrical system. Safety Many people, even experienced electricians, have been killed or seriously injured while opening electrical panels. In 1991, an Atlanta electrician was killed […]

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Advantages of Solar Energy

Solar energy offers considerable advantages over conventional energy systems by nullifying flaws in those systems long considered to be unchangeable. Solar power for home energy production has its flaws, too, which are outlined in another article, but they’re dwarfed by the advantages listed below. Solar energy is a great choice The following are advantages of […]

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Inspecting Aluminum Wiring

Between approximately 1965 and 1973, single-strand (solid) aluminum wiring was sometimes substituted for copper branch-circuit wiring in residential electrical systems due to the sudden escalating price of copper. After a decade of use by homeowners and electricians, inherent weaknesses were discovered in the metal that lead to its disuse as a branch wiring material. Aluminum […]

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Electricity: Origins, Consumption and Costs

Electricity — the flow of electrical power or charge — is a basic product of nature and one of the most widely used forms of energy in homes. It is generated from energy sources found in the environment, such as sunlight, coal and wind. Houses themselves are, in effect, electrical devices, fed directly from utilities to power almost all appliances, from […]

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Bloom Boxes

A Bloom Box® is a refrigerator-sized domestic power plant that produces electricity cleanly and cheaply, and may one day replace the traditional power grid. Its inventor wants to put one in every home by the year 2020. The Bloom Box® is the creation of Bloom Energy, a Sunnyvale, California-based company that promises to revolutionize energy with […]

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Window Gas Fills

Improvements in window design are an important step toward reducing overall energy costs, as heat gain and loss through windows account for up to half of a home’s heating and cooling needs, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.  Gas fills, as well as other efficient or green window features, such as low-E coatings and […]

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