The howls of ghosts and goblins may be fading memories now but another danger still lurks in your home. It usually strikes in the middle of the night sucking the energy from your home and slowly draining the money from your wallet while you sleep. No, it’s not your freeloading younger brother who needs a place to crash and who apparently hasn’t eaten in weeks. No, I’m talking vampire plugs. The term refers to appliances such as DVD players, computers, tv’s and their power plugs, and specifically battery chargers for things like phones, computers, and even your beloved cordless tools, which draw power when left plugged in. They may look innocuous but by some estimates these little imps can waste as much as 60% of the electricity they consume, the parallels with younger brothers grows stronger and stronger. Read More
1978 was a very good year. It marks the appearance of the first cell phone (which was probably the size of a football), a pound of bacon cost just $1.20, and the country was enamored with a dancing-singing John Travolta. Most importantly, yours truly made her glorious debut into the world that year. It was also a good time for home owners. It was in 1978 that the government took your safety more seriously and banned the use of lead-based paint.
But what if your home was built prior to 1978? The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that 64 million dwellings in the United States currently contain lead-based products, so there’s a fair chance your pre-80s home is among them. As of this April, there are new regulations from the EPA concerning renovation, repair and painting work in your home – and you need to know about them.Read More