Ancient HVAC, Part II: Cooling Ancient Rome
According to The Old Farmer’s Almanac, the approaching Dogs Days of summer cover the span of 40 days between July 3rd and August 11th.* Chances are good you’ve always assumed this period was referred to as the “Dog Days” because any hound worth her salt can be found chilling in a cool, shady corner until the swelter has passed. But it turns out there’s more to it… Assuming you live in a northern latitude, step outside at dawn this time of year and just above the horizon you c
Central A.C. Explained with Words We All Understand
Have you ever stopped and pondered all the conveniences we utilize every day, seemingly with the touch of a button? You turn on the faucet and instantly water appears. You tap a few keys on your laptop and suddenly your video conferencing with someone on the other side of the globe. With a turn of the ignition, a car can transport you distances in one day that 200 years ago might’ve taken weeks. And then there’s air conditioning; without it, places like Las Vegas or Phoenix m
Spring storm season is upon us. Are you ready for a tornado?
Tornado season arrived right on cue this year. Sadly, the first deadly tornado of 2019 touched down on March 3rd in Alabama. History shows that peak tornado season begins in March and ramps up through July. But tornadoes have been recorded literally every month of the year and in almost every state. According to NOAA statistics, an average of about 1,200 tornadoes each year spawn in the U.S. While you can’t be absolutely certain one will spawn near you, it’s a good idea to be
Joining the Workout from Home Movement? A Few Tips!
If you’re considering dumping your gym and working out at home, you’re part of a growing movement. With the explosion of online fitness platforms, streaming workouts, remote coaching, professional-quality home gym equipment, exercise apps and wearable technology, a home gym makes getting into shape and staying in shape easier than ever. Whether you’re planning on creating the perfect space for yoga, barre, Pilates, weight lifting, treadmill running or a fancy connected exerci
Ancient HVAC: The Story of an Ephesian Goddess, the Roman Baths and Pliny the Elder’s Possibly Grues
If this sounds like an unlikely historical timeline, don’t worry, it’s not. This glance back at history begins with the Greeks, who not only gave Western civilization democracy, medicine, astronomy, mathematics, philosophy and the Olympics, but also pioneered warm winter nights by inventing the first central heating system. Let’s begin at the sacred Temple of Artemis, built in tribute to the Ephesian goddess of fertility. At least twice the size of the Parthenon and one of th
Are Smart Vents a Smart Idea?
Smart appliances are everywhere. We use them for everything. There are now smart refrigerators, smart trash cans, even smart litter boxes! I’m beginning to feel like Elroy Jetson. So, I wasn’t surprised when I came across a few articles in various tech publications that were touting the latest generation of smart air vents being manufactured. Full disclosure: we ran a blog about these gizmos a couple of years ago, but has our opinion changed after reviewing the latest models?
What’s the Right Temperature for Yoga at Om? I Mean Home!
If you’re like me, maybe you don’t have time to jet to a yoga class. I have a jam-packed schedule and have to plan my laptop-based yoga sessions around it. For the best workout, I require two things: the absence of family members pointing and laughing at me and a temperature that doesn’t leave me so cold that I hurt myself. Not to mention (but I’m completely mentioning), it’s a bummer when I get to Shavasana and I’m too chilly to fully relax. The argument for warmth in yoga i
This Old House? Or, This Old Money Pit?
How to Add Central A.C. to Your Old House Without Breaking The Bank According to the last Census, about 50% of houses in America were built prior to 1975. Combine summer's scorching temperatures with aging homes and the result is a lot of homeowners sweating their lack of central AC. If this includes you, what are your options? Well, that depends… CENTRAL AC Does your house have pre-existing ductwork? If the home already employs a forced-air heating system — indicated by air
Is Duct Cleaning a Scam?
Recently a friend of mine whose opinions and recommendations I value — on anything from movies to marriage to motor oil — told me he had just had his home’s air ducts cleaned. In fact, he couldn’t stop raving about it. He claimed he’s never breathed easier, the air is fresher and he regrets not doing it years ago. I politely nodded and tried to change the subject. Working in the HVAC industry, I’m no stranger to the debate on duct cleaning. Debate? Yes. The fact is, empirical
October is Bat Appreciation Month
Bat-proof your home to protect yourself and our winged friends. Does the sight of a bat send shivers down your spine? Or are you thrilled knowing that a single brown bat, one the most common bat species in North America, devours 1,200 insects an hour? Hopefully, you’re in the second category. Be a bat lover! Bats get a bad rap. Not one of them has ever actually been found to be Dracula. And our only flying mammals eat so many insects that they’re essential to controlling the