Oregon Community Credit Union has a great new app for the iPhone that allows me to deposit checks by taking a photo of the check with my phone! Finally a piece of technology that actually saves time and money. I typically would make 2-3 trips to the bank a week to deposit checks. Now I can just do it from my phone! A couple days ago I was driving around and I had a check, I drove right by the bank, no need to stop at the ATM, I'll just make the deposit at home! I am sure other banks have similar services.
The Oregon State Health Authority has just released new data on results of radon tests by Oregon Zip code.
Radon is a colorless, odorless gas that causes up to 20,000 lung cancer deaths in the US each year. The only way to know if your home has dangerous levels of radon is to have it tested. You can buy radon test kits at local hardware stores and numerous places online including the Oregon State Health Authority.
It is important to understand that radon testing in Oregon is in its infancy with many zip codes having results from only a few tests. It is common for homes next to each other to radically different radon concentrations. While it is interesting to see what radon levels have been reported in your zip code, it is important to understand that radon concentrations can vary with different soil conditions and home constructions methods. The only way to know if your home is safe is to test.
Zip codes in the Eugene-Springfield area show moderate levels of radon with 5-10% of homes tested above the minimum level for remediation.
Many of us work hard to lead a healthy lifestyle, testing our homes for radon is an important part of the overall health picture!
Oregon Field Guide has an interesting video on Radon in the Portland area.
Heat Pump Water Heaters are becoming popular with those wanting to conserve electricity while heating water. They can use 40% less electricity to heat water in the North West.
Many homes have heat pumps to heat and cool their homes. But aheat pump also can be used to heat water. Heat pump water heaters use electricity to move heat from one place to another instead of generating heat directly. Therefore, they can be much more energy efficient than conventional electric resistance water heaters. To move the heat, heat pumps work like a refrigerator in reverse.
Heat Pump Water Heaters work best in an unconditioned space like a garage but some can be installed indoors. There are some great financial incentives to replace your existing electric water heater with a Heat Pump Water Heater. More information at SmartWaterHeat.org, http://www.dsireusa.org/ and your local utility.
There are always a lot of exciting things happening in homes and new technologies relating to home maintenance. This is a place to share information about homes.