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Wet Windows in the Morning

We have had trouble with condensation on the inside bottom few inches of our windows each morning.  None of the seals on the windows are broken. Our humidifier has been broken for the past couple of years. I have been told there is a chance that our house is too sealed up. Do you recommend cutting a vent by the furnace ductwork?

Keith,

Thanks for listening and for your follow-up.

If you have moisture on the bottom of your windows, the problem is either excessive moisture in the ..read more

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Mouse in the House

Why do I have so many mice around my home and how can I get rid of them?

We hate to be so blunt, but mice only live where there’s a good food source and places to nest.

What you really need to do is deep clean, vacuum and wipe down places like cupboards and food pantries.

Once the deep cleaning is done get some peppermint plants and some peppermint oil. Mice and all other rodents hate peppermint. We like using peppermint because ..read more

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Knock Knock, Who’s There? My Water Heater!

I hear a knocking noise coming from my water heater. What does that mean?

Jackie,

Thank you for your question.

That knocking noise your water heater makes is likely a sign that the bottom of the tank is coated with minerals like calcium.

The burner is below the bottom and as the materials warm up you will hear “pops” from air pockets in the minerals.

This usually starts to occur when the anode rod in the tank disolves and is no longer functional in keeping ..read more

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Insulation Issues

Can there be “issues” installing attic insulation over contaminated materials, using product incorrectly, or blocking needed attic ventilation?

George,

Thank you for a great question – we appreciate the thought and research you have invested.

YES.

This article you attached about another person’s bad experience reminds us of why it is so important to deal with professionals like Ace and Sons Insulation – 800-500-4223.

If you speak with Bill Creed at Ace about these concerns you will discover that the people at Ace and Sons ..read more

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Gas Range Overheating

My gas range is overheating – what should I do?

Hi Rose,

Thank you for the question.

You gas oven is overheating. We suggest taking issues with gas appliances very seriously and seek a professional solution quickly. You may have a sensor or thermostat failing on the unit.

With gas appliances, you can always find some good information through your utility company regarding appliance service and maintenance.

Talk with the folks at Appliance Service by Joe Gagnon and Sons – 734-953-6991 and see what they have ..read more

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Ceiling Tiles in Older Home Asbestos?

We are purchasing a home built in 1917. It has ceiling tiles instead of a regular drywall or plaster ceiling. Is there anyway to know whether this is asbestos?

Heidi,

Thank you for your question.

The ceiling tiles you describe could possibly be a stamped tin or a terne metal. If they are non-metalic, they may be an asbestos product, but you would have to have them tested to know.

The EPA says asbestos products such as insulation, floor tiles, siding, etc. are safe as long ..read more

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Insulated Garage Door

Our garage door is attached to our home – should we buy insulated or non-insulated door? 

Tim and Pam,

Thanks for the information – we appreciate you.

An insulated garage door on an attached garage can certainly help keep the garage warmer and the house it is attached to. How much depends on a lot of factors including orientation, exposure, how the garage is constructed, etc.

We generally prefer insulated doors for this reason and the fact they are heavier so, properly installed, they ..read more

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Unvented Gas Fireplaces

How safe are unvented gas burning appliances like fireplaces?

Travis,

Thanks for a great and timely question – we appreciate it.

According to government agency testing data and manufacturer information, the units are safe.

The units are intended to burn very efficiently, so in theory they consume near 100% of the gas and its contents and don’t produce (many) impurities.

Other thoughts to consider may include:

In any vented heating device, some of the heat produced goes up a chimney or out a vent whereas an ..read more

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Dryer Exhaust Technician Certification

How does one go about learning to clean dryer vent exhausts?

Robert,

Thank you for the question – we appreciate it.

The National Chimney Sweep Guild, in association with CSIA has created a Dryer Exhaust Technician certification program. This includes successful completion of an examination that demonstrates to an 80% level your knowledge and understanding of applicable codes, standards and techniques.

Because liability issues are such a huge part of any business, you have to consider expert initial and on-going training for any field ..read more

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Eliminating “Bad” Air from the Basement

How can I safely eliminate potentially contaminated air from my basement?

Deborah,

Thank you for a great question – we do appreciate it.

A lot of companies sell a device intended to accomplish this. The type of device you are asking about is essentially a thru-wall exhaust fan on the upper wall of your basement that pulls air through a duct from just above basement floor level.

The air at basement floor level is likely heavier air containing a higher percentage of humidity. Air ..read more

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