☰ Menu
Close to home with Mary Beth Breckenridge

Heat pump clothes dryer cuts energy use

By Mary Beth Breckenridge Published: August 26, 2014
Titan 27_Hybride Dryer_VCM_1

Will heat pump clothes dryers be the next big thing in energy efficiency?

LG Electronics is getting attention in the U.S. with its EcoHybrid Heat Pump Dryer, which was just recognized by the Environmental Protection Agency with its 2014 Energy Star Emerging Technology Award.

Heat pump dryers like LG’s capture heat leaving the dryer, remove moisture and then send the warm air back to the appliance to be used again. They’re fairly common in Europe and elsewhere in the world, but until now their higher price tag hasn’t made them economically feasible here in the States, where energy is cheaper.

The annual Energy Star award is given to innovative technologies that reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions without sacrificing features or functionality.

To read more or comment...

Hate bluish light? Here's how to get the right bulb

By Mary Beth Breckenridge Published: August 22, 2014

I went for a walk in my neighborhood last night after dark, which I love to do. (Not because people have their lights on, making it perfectly legal for me to see in their windows and check out their decorating. No, not that at all. But to my neighbors with the leather chair and bookshelves in the front room: Very nice.)

There must be a rule in the development next to mine requiring post lights, because every house had one. And looking down the street, it was striking to see the difference between the lamps that had warm white bulbs and those that used cool white.

Which led me to think it’s time for a primer on light color.

I’m definitely a fan of warm white bulbs, especially for something like a decorative outdoor fixture. The light those bulbs produce is yellower and softer, more like the light from the old-time gas lamps these post lights are trying to imitate.

To read more or comment...

'Ask This Old House' coming to N.E. Ohio

By Mary Beth Breckenridge Published: August 21, 2014

Does your old house need help from This Old House?

The PBS series Ask This Old House is coming to Northeast Ohio the week of Sept. 22 to offer on-camera advice to selected homeowners. Submit your home improvement questions online, and you just might find yourself on TV.

Owners of homes old and new are welcome to submit questions. Even if you're not chosen to appear on camera. your general question could still be answered on the program, in This Old House magazine or on the show's website.  

Ask This Old House features experts including This Old House host Kevin O'Connor, general contractor Tom Silva, plumbing and heating expert Richard Thethewey and landscape contrator Roger Cook, who take on everyday home improvement and repair questions. In the process, they help not just the homeowners they visit, but millions of viewers.

To read more or comment...

Unconventional cleaning ideas

By Mary Beth Breckenridge Published: August 18, 2014

No cleaning supplies?

No worries.

The Family Handyman offers these unconventional cleaning ideas:

-- Slip a piece of foam pipe insulation over the tines of a garden rake to create a squeegee for floor cleaning.

To read more or comment...

Save the tomatoes!

By Mary Beth Breckenridge Published: August 15, 2014

Bad news for all of you who are patiently waiting for your tomatoes to ripen: Late blight is back.

The fungal disease can hit this time of year when the weather turns cool and either wet or very humid. And guess what we’ve had lately? Cool temperatures and wet conditions.

Ohio State University Extension’s Erik Draper found the fungus, Phytophtora infestans, on tomatoes in western Trumbull County, he reported in this week’s Buckeye Yard & Garden Line e-newsletter. He’s concerned that Northeast Ohio is poised for an outbreak.

If you want to save your tomatoes -- or your potatoes, which are also vulnerable -- now’s the time to treat them with a fungicide containing chlorothalanil or copper. Chlorothalanil is more effective against late blight, but if you grow organically, copper is your only option.

To read more or comment...



Prev Next