Articles filed under Dulley, James

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  • Water-saving toilets will eventually pay for themselves Mar 3, 2013 5:21 AM
    Q. Our old master bathroom toilet does not flush well and we are thinking about adding a first-floor half bath. What are the best types of toilets to get for each room and which ones save the most water?

  • How to insulate your attic access opening Feb 3, 2013 5:01 AM
    Q. I just moved into a new house and I went up into the attic to store some holiday decorations. There was no insulation on the cover or seals around it. Shouldn't the cover be insulated and sealed?

  • How to make a build-it-yourself solar heater Jan 6, 2013 5:43 AM
    Q. I would like to use some free solar heating in a south-facing kitchen. I cannot afford to have a system installed professionally. What type of simple solar heater can I build myself for one room?

  • Zone control systems adjust ducts, room temperatures Dec 2, 2012 5:18 AM
    Q. Some rooms in our house are too hot or too cold and someone is always complaining. What can we do to even out the room temperatures to keep everyone happy. Will doing this lower our utility bills?

  • What to do about a noisy bathroom vent fan Nov 4, 2012 6:52 AM
    Q. Our bathroom vent fan has been getting noisier for years, so I want to install a new quiet one. How can I tell which are most quiet? Is it more energy efficient to run the vent fan or open the window?

  • A do-it-yourself energy audit Oct 7, 2012 4:43 AM
    Q. I don't have a huge budget to work with, but I would like to make my house more energy efficient. Instead of spending some of it on a professional energy audit, how can I do an energy audit myself?

  • It often makes sense to use smaller, countertop cooking appliances Sep 2, 2012 4:59 AM
    Q. I prefer to use the kitchen range/oven for cooking, but heard using small countertop appliances is more efficient. Is this true and is there a simple way to determine which appliances are the best to use?

  • Mini-split systems will cool second-floor rooms Aug 5, 2012 5:07 AM
    Q. We added a room, but our central air conditioner doesn't cool it well. Our second floor master bedroom also does not stay cool. Does it make sense to install a window air conditioner or a mini-split system?

  • Rolling shutters work similiar to a roll-top desk Jun 3, 2012 5:00 AM
    Q. The sun bakes us through a large window. We also have a fireplace for heating in that room. Would installing a rolling shutter save energy and improve comfort? I am also concerned about security and storms.

  • $ensible home: Tips on choosing a skylight May 6, 2012 5:30 AM
    Q. I want to reduce my electric bills especially with the upcoming summers air-conditioning costs. I thought about installing a skylight or tubular skylight so I need fewer lights. Which would be best?

  • $ensible home: Wood not a good insulator Apr 8, 2012 5:20 AM
    Q: My wood front door needs to be refinished again. When I put my hand on it, it feels cold and I think I can feel a chilly breeze around it. Would a stainable fiberglass door be a good replacement for it?

  • The Sensible Home: Air inside homes can get stale Mar 4, 2012 6:18 AM
    Q. The indoor air gets stale and too dry or too humid during winter and summer when we heat or air-condition. Is there any efficient way to get fresh air indoors without opening windows and wasting energy?

  • The Sensible Home: Open-front fireplaces are not efficient Jan 8, 2012 12:00 AM
    Q. I always buy firewood to use in my open fireplace. I burn it just for ambience, not really for heat. I thought about using fireplace logs instead. Are they as efficient and as good for the environment?

  • The Sensible Home: New refrigerators are more efficient Dec 4, 2011 12:30 AM
    Q. Our refrigerator is pretty old and I would like to get a new, more efficient one. We are empty-nesters now, so I am wondering if it makes sense to get a smaller one, but perhaps one with more features?

  • The Sensible Home: Options to improve window efficiency Nov 6, 2011 1:30 AM
    Q. I cannot afford to install new windows, but I need to do something to reduce heat loss and improve our comfort. Will installing insulated window shades accomplish this and which are best?

  • The Sensible Home: Backup electric power options Oct 2, 2011 12:30 AM
    Q. We had two electric power outages from storms lately. It was very inconvenient, so I find some type of backup electric power. What are my options which are not extremely expensive to purchase and install?

  • The Sensible Home: How to update bathroom lighting Sep 4, 2011 11:34 PM
    Q. The existing lighting in our bathrooms is not adequate. I am going to remodel the master and the children’s bathrooms myself. What type of efficient lighting do you recommend for both bathroom projects?

  • The Sensible Home: Select air conditioner carefully Jul 3, 2011 12:30 AM
    Q. My central air conditioner is 16 years old, noisy, and probably inefficient. I want to replace it with a quiet, efficient model. What are the best ones available for 2011 and which provide the best comfort?

  • The Sensible Home: Using electric or cordless tools makes sense Jun 12, 2011 8:43 AM
    Q. I want to use more cordless and electric tools, especially yard tools, instead of gasoline ones. Will they increase my electric bills much and which rechargeable batteries are best for the cordless ones?

  • The Sensible Home: Keep your air conditioner running efficiently May 8, 2011 12:00 AM
    Q: With recent concern about nuclear power plants, I want my central air conditioner to run efficiently to save electricity. Other than a professional service call, what can I do to tune it up myself?

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