September 11, 2011 |
You won't believe the stuff that Jay Markanich has seen on his rounds as a home inspector in northern Virginia. Among other things: exhaust fans that vent to nowhere, faulty drain line connections, drywall screws used for everything but their intended purpose, insulation thrown into wall cavities but not stapled to the studs, decks so riddled with nails shot from power guns that they cause the wood to split. The kicker? This is new construction. Not remodeling projects but brand-new houses that have never been lived in. Markanich blames the shoddy workmanship he is seeing these days on subcontractors who hire workers from the groups of unemployed people hanging around local stores.
May 2, 1993 |
QUESTION: Most hot water tanks have a dial for water temperatures at their bottom. They read hot, warm and normal. What would be the minimum temperature and the next temperature and then the hot temperature? I have heard of a code in most places that the minimum temperatures should be 120 degrees and the maximum 140 degrees. ANSWER: Not all water heater manufacturers use the same names for the thermostat settings. Nevertheless, the settings are basically hot, medium and warm.
November 4, 2006 |
A new study on genetically engineered mice appears to offer a novel way to live as much as 20% longer: Chill out. Scientists engineered mice to have body temperatures 0.5 to 0.9 degrees lower than normal mice. Female experimental mice lived a median of 662 days, about 112 days longer than normal female mice. Male experimental mice survived a median of 805 days, 89 days longer than their normal counterparts.
July 23, 2006
I wouldn't exactly lump the community of Hidden Hills in with the rest of the Valley ("Provence in the Valley," by Barbara Thornburg, Style, July 2). I can do without the 10,000-square-foot house and all the energy it takes to heat, cool and maintain it, the built-in outdoor pizza oven and the private chef. Instead I will do my best to reduce my energy consumption, turn my thermostat down and fire up the grill in the backyard of my home. Get real. Carey Okrand Via the Internet
HOME & GARDEN
December 10, 1994 |
Who doesn't like to be waited on? Occasional tables with personality can hold snacks or reading material in small spaces and may be just the right piece to complete a playful setting or to lighten up a serious room. For those with sport in mind, Reginald is a caddie of wood, hand-painted and waiting to serve you.
HOME & GARDEN
November 21, 1992 |
Simple trouble-shooting of gas and electric water heaters is not difficult and can save you money as well as preventing potentially dangerous situations. A gas heater must have enough air to burn efficiently. If the heater shares space with the furnace and clothes dryer, then an ample air supply is even more important. When a burner is starved for air, it fires with an inefficient orange flame that jumps and pops.
June 28, 1998 |
QUESTION: Most hot-water tanks have a dial for water temperatures at the bottom. They read hot, warm and normal. What would be the minimum temperature, the next temperature and then the hot temperature? I have heard of a code in most places that the minimum temperatures should be 120 degrees Fahrenheit and the maximum 140 degrees. ANSWER: Not all water heater manufacturers use the same names for the thermostat settings. Nevertheless, the settings are basically hot, medium and warm.
November 24, 1991 |
QUESTION: What's the best way to store partly used cans of paint without having them develop a skin on the surface? ANSWER: Here are several solutions that have worked for us: * Store the can upside down. * Cut a piece of wax paper the same diameter as the inside of the can and drop it down on top of the paint. When you are ready to paint again, simply remove the paper and the paint under it will be ready to stir up and use without lumps or pieces of dried paint skin to strain out.
April 1, 2001 |
Question: To heat my home more economically, I considered a setback thermostat, but our family's daily schedule is never the same. Also, someone is always too warm or chilly year-round. Is a whole-house zoning system the answer for us? Answer: Adding a zoning system is the answer for almost any home, and I would not be surprised if it becomes standard equipment in every new home within 10 years.