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30 General Topics Lists

Comfort - Miscellaneous Topics

Click on the column headlines below to read the entire unedited columns and view the related illustrations. Most of my columns that you read in your newspaper or magazine have been edited due to space constraints.

Homeowner Benefits? - These are the potential benefits that a typical homeowner will realize by following the tips or by installing the home-related products that are discussed in this column.

400 - Use portable electric power packs for emergencies and recreation
Update Bulletin Description
- Buyer's guide of six portable power pack and plug-in inverter manufacturers listing nominal voltage, battery power in amp-hours, battery pack type, features, weights, sizes, many illustrations and prices of various models, chart showing household electrical appliances and typical wattage consumption with estimated run time, chart showing automotive/marine accessories and typical current draw with estimated run time.
Homeowner Benefits: Have electric power during emergencies, use for camping, fishing, starting car

407 - Stop squeaky floors with simple-to-install kits and engineered lumber
Update Bulletin Description
- Buyer's guide of 12 manufacturers of do-it-yourself floor "stop-squeak" kits and engineered lumber showing installation instructions for several stop-squeak kits, descriptions of various engineered lumber products (LVL, glulams, I-joists, rim boards), specifications, maximum lengths of the lumber, features/uses, and prices of the stop-squeak kits.
Homeowner Benefits: Quieter floors and house, restful night of sleep

425 - Easy-to-use smart thermostats save money, improve comfort
Update Bulletin Description
- Buyer's guide of 11 smart programmable thermostat manufacturers (25 models), time/temperature schedules, number of setback options, comfort/convenience features, installation instructions with illustrations, typical time/temperature family schedule chart and a setback saving charts.
Homeowner Benefits: Improve comfort, lower heating and air-conditioning bills

429 - DIY kits to get hot water to bathroom faucets in seconds
Update Bulletin Description
- Buyer's guide of seven manufacturers of quick-delivery hot water kits showing types of controls (timer, demand button, remote controls), prices, installation instructions, detailed product descriptions, illustrations, and six manufacturers of tiny point-of-use electric water heaters showing water capacities, first hour hot water ratings and sizes.
Homeowner Benefits:Get hot water to any bathroom faucet in seconds, cut water and heating bills

450 - Generate your own electricity from the sun for free
Update Bulletin Description
- Buyer's guide of 13 PV systems, kits, controls, shingle manufacturers listing solar cell/kit type, selection guide, suggestions on sizing your PV system, overview of photovoltaics (crystalline silicon flat plate systems, thin film systems, concentrators), PV system terms, illustrations and prices.
Homeowner Benefits: Back-up electricity during emergency, continuous free electricity once installed

462 - New hardwood flooring is attractive, warm, easy to install
Update Bulletin Description
- Buyer's guide of solid and engineered hardwood flooring manufacturers, types of wood species, sizes, patterns, prices, prefinished or unfinished availability, hardness/stability guides, descriptions of wood flooring choices, wood flooring styles (strip, plank, parquet), description of surface finished, description of type of cut and wood flooring grades, and floating floor installation details.
Homeowner Benefits: Attractive flooring, easy to install yourself, natural material

463 - Roll small portable air conditioner from room to room
Update Bulletin Description
- Buyer's guide of 10 manufacturers (30 models) of portable air conditioners showing cooling capacity, efficiency ratings, dehumidifying outputs, comfort/convenience features, weights/dimensions, and cost-to-use and utility bills savings charts.
Homeowner Benefits: Roll one unit from room to room, spot cool any room, lower utility bills

464 - Install a new, efficient hydromassage spa kit on your deck or patio
Update Bulletin Description
- Buyer's guide of the nine best spas, tub material (cast acrylic, vinyl), seating capacities, description of jet types (massaging or invigorating) and specialty seats, type of cabinets, comfort features, illustrations of models, warranties and a monthly energy usage cost chart.
Homeowner Benefits: Comfortable outdoor living, relaxation

482 - Cork floor tiles are beautiful and durable, provide warmth
Update Bulletin Description - Buyer's guide of nine cork floor tile ans panel manufacturers listing tile sizes, colors, finishes, thicknesses, features, typical patterns, installation instructions and maintenance recommendations, and general information on how cork bark is stripped from trees.
Homeowner Benefits: Attractive and quiet flooring, earth-friendly product, low-cost for do-it-yourselfers.

485 - Generate your own electricity with a windmill for house, boat, RV
Update Bulletin Description
- Buyer's guide of 10 portable and whole-house windmills, rated power output, voltage output, sizes (includes weight, number of blades and rotor diameter), start up wind speed, rated wind speed, features, prices and a wind speed chart for 116 cities. Specifications and information are listed for selected models and siting and tower recommendations.
Homeowner Benefits:Free electricity during power outages, generates electricity continuously, lowers electric bills, sell excess electricity to utility company, good for environment

486 - Register/duct booster fans improve year-round comfort, savings
Update Bulletin Description
- Buyer's guide of 14 automatic register and duct booster fan, filter and decorator register manufacturers listing design types, dimensions of the units, fan air flow ratings, electricity usage, features describing automatic and special controls, decorative finishes (registers only), illustrations of many units, and prices.
Homeowner Benefits: Boost cooling output to a hot room (summer) or heat to a chilly room (winter), more attractive registers

493 - Decorative ceiling fans for style, comfort and savings
Update Bulletin Description
- Buyer's guide of 11 manufacturers of high-quality, standard and air cleaner ceiling fans listing unique and unusal styles, blade pitch, blade size, blade finishes and colors, speed range (rpm), controls (hand-held or wall-mount), features, many illustrations and features of selected models, a chart showing recommended fan sizes and temperatures for various rooms.
Homeowner Benefits: Improve indoor comfort year-round, lower utility bills, attractive appearance

499 - Simple devices and wireless/wired home security systems
Update Bulletin Description
- Buyer's guide of 13 security products/systems (hardwire, wireless, audio/video systems, barking dog alarm, mechanical deadbolt pushbutton combination lock), brief descriptions, illustrations of several products, features and tips for safeguarding your home against burglars.
Homeowner Benefits: Greater security, fire protection, child-safety, create smart house

540 - Good bugs, birds, bats control bad bugs
Update Bulletin Description
- List of mail-order suppliers of beneficial insects and organic products, suggestions on attracting and keeping good bugs in your yard, beneficial insect and natural control chart showing beneficial organism and pests it attacks, amounts required and when to release, chart showing products to control over 50 different pests, natural pest control tips, do-it-yourself bird and bat house plans (illustrations with dimensions), suggested dimensions for various birdhouses and nest boxes.
Homeowner Benefits: Fewer annoying bugs, less insect damage to landscaping, does not poison environment

544 - No-maintenance wood-alternative deck materials and kits are beautiful
Update Bulletin Description
- Buyer's guide of 18 wood-alternative and recycled material decking/railing kit manufacturers showing plank sizes and designs, standard colors, warranty periods, attachment methods to deck framing, special features, prices and diagrams of several of the various designs.
Homeowner Benefits:No-maintenance, long lasting attractive appearance, lower overall lifetime costs

555 - Warm feet floor radiant heating kits for low utility bills, comfort
Update Bulletin Description
- Buyer's guide of 15 warm feet water radiant floor system and kit manufacturers listing tubing material types, diameter sizes available, comfort and design features, descriptions of the most common types of tubing materials and six typical installation methods for existing houses and new construction.
Homeowner Benefits: Most comfortable and efficient, quiet heat radiates up from floor

569 - New water filters/purifiers for safety and better taste
Update Bulletin Description
- Buyer's guide of the best 16 water filter and purifier manufacturers listing descriptions of the filtration methods, styles (countertop, under-counter, faucet, water bottle) of the various models, features, prices, many illustrations of models, and two charts showing the recommended filtration methods for hazardous contaminants and common water problems.
Homeowner Benefits: Water tastes better, healthier to drink, cooked foods taste better, cheaper than bottled water

586 - Use certain houseplants and special planters to purify air naturally
Update Bulletin Description
- List of purifier planters, 20 most effective house plants for specific pollutants and a growing guide, tips for healthy houseplants, general information on hydroponics, description of different hydroponic systems and kits, list of manufacturers and suppliers of hydroponic kits and supplies, do-it-yourself instructions for building a simple hydroponic unit.
Homeowner Benefits: Improve air quality naturally, add moisture to air

589 - Room zoning system saves money, improves family's comfort
Update Bulletin Description
- Buyer's guide of 13 home zoning systems, number of zones, type of dampers (internal, side or bottom mount), range size of dampers (rectangular of round), control/comfort features, a savings chart and illustrations and descriptions of several models and designs.
Homeowner Benefits: Even room temperatures, improved comfort, lower utility bills year-round

603 - Home-sized steam room kits are comfortable, easy to install
Update Bulletin Description
- Buyer's guide of 12 steam generator/room kit manufacturers listing kilowatt usage, controls available, features, aroma therapy options, illustrations of models, prices, guidelines for sizing your steam room and steam room design tips and considerations.
Homeowner Benefits: Comfort, relaxation, easy to install

605 - Back-up whole-house generator for emergencies
Update Bulletin Description
- Buyer's guide of automatic whole-house emergency generator systems, power outputs, fuel types (gasoline, diesel, natural gas, LP gas), dimensions, features, prices, a sizing chart, wattage charts for home appliances and portable electric tools, operation and installation instructions.
Homeowner Benefit: No power outages during storms or other emergencies.

617 - Window film improves comfort, blocks fading, saves energy year-round
Update Bulletin Description
- Buyer's guide of do-it-yourself and professional window film manufacturers (34 films) listing colors, properties (total solar transmittance, total solar reflectance, total solar absorption, visible light transmittance, ultraviolet rejected, U-factor, shading coefficient, emissivity, total solar energy rejected), definitions/technical terms of the properties and installation instructions.
Homeowner Benefits: Reduce summer heat, winter heating bills and furniture fading, safer around children

649 - Portable, room-size humidifiers improve comfort, save money
Update Bulletin Description
- Buyer's guide of 10 humidifiers, designs (tabletop, console), selector guide of various humidifier types shoqing illustration of evaporative, warm steam, steam mist, cool mist, ultrasonic, description of how the differnt types of units work, advantage and disadvantages of each type, outputs, features, humidification sizing chart and a chart showing maximum indoor humidity levels to avoid window condensation.
Homeowner Benefits:Improve indoor air quality, protect furniture from damage, lower utility bills

667 - Efficient SAD therapy light kits are available in many designs
Update Bulletin Description
- Buyer's guide of 12 powerful SAD therapy light kits, visors, window and dawn/dusk simulators, lux levels (light intensity), sizes, weights, warranties, bulb type (incandescent, fluorescent halogen, red light), features, prices, various illustrations of several styles, suggested light box usage procedures, chart of light levels in the environment.
Homeowner Benefits:Reduce wintertime depression, bright task lighting

699 - Small direct-vent gas, kerosene space heater for comfort and efficiency
Update Bulletin Description
- Buyer's guide of the most efficient direct-vent gas, propane, kerosene heater manufacturers (55 models) listing types of heater with illustrations (wall/floor mount, counterflow wall furnace, in-floor furnace, radiant console, through the window, dual side) efficiencies, heating capacity, sizes, comfort features and cost-to-use chart, chart on selecting the correct size heater, illustrations of selected models.
Homeowner Benefits: Heat chilly room, quiet operation, lower overall heating costs

706 - Quiet electric space heaters have safety and comfort features
Update Bulletin Description
- Buyer's guide of 10 electric space heaters, design types (oil filled, convection, radiant/quartz), heat settings, thermostats, comfort and safety features, portable electric heater safety tips, illustrations and descriptions of several models and a savings chart.
Homeowner Benefits: Heat a chilly room, lower main thermostat, safe heat

731 - Non-toxic alternative cleaning methods and insect controls
Update Bulletin Description
- List of 18 natural and organic garden controls, recipes for 42 natural household cleaners (alternatives to household chemicals) and 16 indoor and outdoor organic and non-toxic insect controls.
Homeowner Benefits: Control mosquitoes, natural insect control methods without poisons

742 - Uninterruptible power supply (UPS) protects computer and files
Update Bulletin Description
- Buyer's guide of eight UPS manufacturers (34 models), VA ratings (350-1500), styles (floor or tower), dimensions, number of backup powered outlets and surge protected outlets, AVR, equipment damage warranties, automatic shutdown software, features, prices, and sizing chart for 10 typical PC systems.
Homeowner Benefits: Protect computer hard drive from power outage, not lose files, continue to operate system

760 - Whole-house voltage surge suppressor protects entire house
Update Bulletin Description
- Buyer's guide of the 13 best whole-house and plug-in surge suppressor manufacturers showing model names/numbers, design types, mounting methods, speed of surge reaction times, max. surge power each can handle, clamping voltage, unique features, many prices and illustrations of many whole-house and pont-of-use models.
Homeowner Benefits:Eliminate damage to electronic equipment, computers, TV's, etc.

775 - Warm your deck/patio efficiently for comfortable year-round use
Update Bulletin Description
- Buyer's guide of 14 gas, propane, alcohol-gel, and wood outdoor deck/patio heaters, type (radiant infrared umbrella heater, portable log set, outdoor fireplace, portable fireplace, tank-top heater, earthenware woodburning fireplace, portable infrared heater) heat outputs, features, prices, cost to operate heater chart ($ per hour), recommended placement and area of warmth of umbrella-type radiant heaters, illustrations and features of selected models.
Homeowner Benefits: More months use of patio or deck, more comfortable on deck in spring and fall, fewer insect pests

778 - Electric radiant ceiling/wall heating kits are efficient, comfortable
Update Bulletin Description
- Buyer's guide of 11 electric radiant panel, film, cove, and quartz heater manufacturers listing panels sizes and cove heater lengths, wattage heat outputs at various settings, comfort controls and thermostat types available, design and installation features, illustrations of many systems and an electricity cost-to-use-per-month chart.
Homeowner Benefits: Lower electric bills, excellent comfort, good indoor air quality

787 - New electric fireplace kits have realistic flames, use year-round (heat off)
Update Bulletin Description
- Buyer's guide of 11 electric and gel- or liquid-alcohol fuel log and fireplace kit manufacturers showing how the realistic flames and sound are created, the maximum heat outputs for winter use, the various flame settings, heat and sound controls, unique features, cost-to-use chart, prices, and many illustrations of various models.
Homeowner Benefits: Use year-round, install in minute, flames look real, efficient heat

792 - Save money with a solar food dryer kit or build a DIY one
Update Bulletin Description
- Buyer's guide of electric food dryers and dehydrators showing wattage, warranty and features, recommended features to look for when selecting a food dehydrator, recommended tips for solar drying fruits, recommendations for solar drying vegetables, suggestions for successful drying in a solar food dryer and do-it-yourself instructions for a solar food dryer, materials required, illlustrations and dimensions.
Homeowner Benefits: Save energy, preserve foods naturally, lower food costs

800 - Home-size sauna kits are easy to install and available in many sizes
Update Bulletin Description
- Buyer's guide of 11 sauna kits, styles ( modular, outdoor, porable, precut) size range and height, materials, designs, heaters, controls, standard accessories, features, sauna use and helpful tips, installation instructions for a portable sauna, illustrations for a complete modular and precut package.
Homeowner Benefits: Easy-to-install small kits, healthy and comfortable

851 - Control mosquitoes with zappers, repellers and birds
Update Bulletin Description
- Suppliers and manufacturers of mosquito control products (hand-held repellers, bluebird, purple martin and bat houses, eletronic insect traps), simple mosquito control tips and do-it-yourself plans with illustrations and dimensions for making bat, bluebird and purple martin houses.
Homeowner Benefits: Control mosquitoes, natural insect control methods without poisons

862 - New attractive whirlpool baths provide a relaxing hydro-massage
Update Bulletin Description
- Buyer's guide of 12 whirlpools and air jet tubs, water capacity ranges, shapes, number of jets, tub materials and descriptions (acrylic, gelcoat, cast iron, soft-sided tub), pump power, features, prices and illustrations with features and descriptions on several models, tips on using a whirlpool tub.
Homeowner Benefits:Relax after work, therapeutic for sore muscles, easy to install

Do-It-Yourself Weekend/Fix-it Projects - This DIY Homeowner Guide section lists 17 different do-it-yourself projects for around your home. Some projects relate to fixing things and others are just interesting weekend projects. This list is constantly growing.