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Green & Clean Air Conditioning

  In the past, air conditioning has been accused of being the bad guy. Now, with one ear tuned to customers’ concerns, the industry is making air conditioners so much more efficient that you can save money by investing in a new one.There are a couple of guidelines to keep in mind. First, buy one

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Green Grows the Air Conditioner

It would seem to be a conundrum. You want to leave a light footprint, go green, be eco-conscious and all that. But you surely don’t want to live without air conditioning! Fortunately, the industry is on your side. Air conditioners have been steadily gaining in efficiency and environmentally friendly technology for the past few decades.

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Good News for Homeowners: Lower Fuel Bills

There’s good news, and then there’s good news! Americans will pay less for heating their homes this year than they did last year (or the year before). While there are some regional differences in the savings on fuel bills, the entire picture looks rosy, according to the U.S. government (http://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.cfm?id=23232).The average homeowner, using natural gas

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Five Reasons to Go With Ductless Mini split

For some reason, the United States has never completely embraced the idea of zoned heating. If you visit Germany, you will notice that the kitchen and the living room are warm and cozy. But the bedrooms are kept at a sleep-comfortable 50 degrees. Since the Germans are among the world’s most rational and technologically savvy

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5 Myths About Heat Pumps

Heat pumps have been slow to catch on in the United States, but they are selling like hot cakes now. Even with the recent plunge in energy prices, homeowners are looking to a future where gas & oil prices— not to mention electricity— keep rising. There are still doubters out there. One builder announced recently

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Should You Buy an Extended Warranty for New HVAC?

You’re buying a new furnace, or an air conditioner. You’ve signed a contract with a local HVAC guy (we’ll call him Harry’s Plumbing & Heating) who’s got a good reputation and was recommended by your father-in-law. Then he pops the question, ‘Do you want an extended warranty on this thing?’ Obviously, Harry’s not going to

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Is the Ionizer Safe? Is It Effective?

If you want cleaner fresher air in your home, you’ve got some work to do. Not in terms of installing a new gadget or retrofitting the air conditioner, but homework. It’s difficult to balance the glowing reports of certain ozone generators, negative ion generators, ionization laundry systems . . . with more skeptical comments from

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Heat Pumps Beat the Cold

Cold comfort in northern zones Once considered appropriate only for warm climates, heat pumps are gradually creeping northward. A feature in the Boston Globe, for instance, touted a ductless heat pump as an environmentally friendly option for folks living off the grid in New England. Technical improvements such as inverter technology have made mini-split ductless

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How to Ensure a Troublefree Heating Season

Fall is definitely here, and in most areas of the country our thoughts turn to . . . the heating system. We start thinking about that annoying odor that had arisen before we shut it down for the season. Or we recall our gas bill, and wonder— again— whether we should look into a more

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Thermostats Smarter Than Typical User

The Nest learning thermostat, first conceived as a way for the smart home to control its own temperature, is venturing into new areas. Last week’s Sunday New York Times magazine contained a glossy four-page spread on home fires and the Nest fire alert.(http://paidpost.nytimes.com/nest/in-a-flash.html?_r=0) It’s gripping to read. Whereas in the past ‘legacy’ home, the residents

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