Saturday, January 11, 2003

Home hints

The Associated Press

Keeping warm: Gas-fired furnaces provide more heat for your energy dollar than do any other type. They're better than steam, coal, oil, propane, and yes, even better than heat pumps.

But most gas-fired furnaces are designed to heat large areas. In other words, if you're having a party and want to warm the whole house, a gas-fired central heating unit will give you the best bang for your buck.

Portable electric heaters are probably the least-efficient and certainly the most expensive type of heating device you can use. Nevertheless, when you retire to that special room where you like to rest, they can be a money-saving friend.

Space heating with electricity still makes sense when heat is needed in one room, and the rest of the house is empty. Make sure your portable heater is UL-approved, and that it has a tip-over warning device.

Fixing windows: In the remodeling industry, window replacement is big business.

Damaged wood sills and frames prompt consumers to consider spending $5,000 to $15,000 and more in replacement costs. This is because most folks don't realize that wood frames can be repaired.

A two-phase, two-part epoxy repair kit is needed. Scoop out the soft, rotted wood, mix the two-part liquid that makes up phase one and apply it to the affected area as a weather seal and bonding coat.

Next, use the two-part putty that makes up phase two to fill the hole.

The finished product can be planed or sanded just as wood is. Use an oil primer and an oil- or latex-finish coat to make the frame look new again.

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