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Thursday, March 25, 2010 11:55 am

From clueless to homeowner

Considering the available incentive programs, low interest rates and low home prices, the number of first-time homebuyers in the market has increased to approximately 47 percent, up by more than 10 pe...
Thursday, Dec. 14, 2006 04:54 pm

A programmable thermostat helps keep heat in balance

During winter and summer, it is difficult to keep all the rooms comfortable for my family. They are either too warm or too cool, and it varies throughout the day. What is my best option to fix this? ...
Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2006 08:26 am

Ways to camouflage defects in a plaster walls

Our house has plaster walls with many minor cracks. Is there a special paint that will camouflage these cracks? I can’t afford to replace the walls. Texture paint, a heavy-bodied paint that lea...
Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2006 11:38 pm

Don’t rely on price as an indication of effectiveness

I need to get a room air cleaner for my son’s allergies. I see advertisements on television for expensive ones with no fans and others called “HEPA.” How can I tell which air cleaner...
Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2006 05:25 am

Stoves that rely on wood-pellet or corn fuel are energy efficient

I use my fireplace for extra heat, but it is a hassle. I am considering getting a corn or wood-pellet stove instead. Are they energy- efficient and low-maintenance? What are my options? A wood-pellet...
Thursday, Nov. 16, 2006 01:51 pm

Readers suggest cats, duct tape, and glue traps

Untitled Document A recent item on dealing with an infestation of crickets in a basement brought so many ingenious tips from readers that the subject seems worth a follow-up. ...
Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2006 03:14 pm

When windows aren’t enough, try fans, air exchangers, or “fresheners”

Dear Gene: My townhouse sometimes has a stale odor. I can’t open the windows for ventilation because they have no screens. What do you suggest? I would certainly take steps to install screens i...
Thursday, Nov. 2, 2006 04:11 pm

Stability and durability are key

Dear Jim: I am getting rid of wall-to-wall carpeting because of the kids’ allergies. I want to replace it with hardwood floors. Will hardwood insulate as well as the carpet? Which woods are best...
Thursday, Nov. 2, 2006 04:39 pm

A few inches isn’t enough to keep you warm and tingly

Dear Gene: Our house, built in the 1960s, has several inches of insulation in the attic. The upstairs rooms get warm in summer and cold in winter. Should we add new insulation to improve the comfort? ...
Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2006 02:33 pm

Ultrasonic alternative to poison sprays

Dear Gene: Our basement is infested with crickets, and for years they have resisted our efforts to control them with sprays. We are considering trying an ultrasonic device because we do not like to us...


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 Illinois Times was gratified by the number of entires that we received for the Visitors Guide Cover Art Contest. We would like to thank all of the 56 participants who submitted entries. Your eff...