Learn About Homes

Interested in learning more about home maintenance and “how homes work”? This is our central area for all of our articles. Always come here to see our latest articles on home maintenance, product reviews, home renovating and more. 

best ductless range hood

Let’s face the facts: sometimes you just can’t install a ducted range hood in the kitchen.  You may own a condo in an old building, and you simply can’t install a

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residential-stair-handrail-irc-code

For residential homes, staircase code is laid out in the IRC or International Residential Code handbook in Chapter 3. The IRC is a model code standard that has been adopted by many

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best bathroom fan with humidity sensor (1)

Here is our review on the top bathroom exhaust fans with humidity sensors. These fans can automatically control the moisture in your bathroom and exhaust it to the exterior.

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polybutylene pipe (1)

Wonder about the risks of polybutylene water piping? I have created an expert guide on the pros and cons of polybutylene piping. Click here to learn more!

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best whole house humidifier (1)

Want to find the best whole house humidifier? Tired of dry skin and allergies? Check out my top 6 whole house humidifiers right here. Click here!

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signs of black mold in air vents

One of the most disturbing things that you can encounter as a homeowner or tenant is the possibility of your air vents being contaminated with mold. When I was inspecting

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best under cabinet range hood

The under cabinet range hood is probably the most popular range hood style in the world. Since it is secured underneath the upper kitchen cabinet, it has a few advantages like…Saves space

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convert watts to amps featured image

The simple answer for how you convert watts to amps is to divide watts by volts to get amps. Amps = Watts ÷ Volts If you have 1000-watts and 120-volts,

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professional home inspection checklist pdf

Do you need a home inspection checklist? I am a licensed home inspector and below is my home inspection checklist for buyers that you can download as a PDF file.

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toilet clearance vent plumbing code requirements

Do you want to learn about toilet code requirements for clearances, venting, and general plumbing? I invite you to also read my guide on the causes of a toilet bubbling

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how to clean dryer vent from outside

Do you want to learn how to clean your dryer vent from the outside? Dryer vents frequently get choked with lint and debris which can slow down the dryer and

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toilet bubbles when flushed

Do you want to learn why your toilet bubbles or gurgles when you flush it? The most common reason is a drain clog, but a clog in the venting system

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how-to-flush-toilet-when-water-is-off

Do you want to learn how to flush a toilet without running water? Losing water means you only have one flush left — the water left in the toilet tank.

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how to clean dryer vent on roof

Do you want to learn how to clean your dryer vent that goes to the roof? Dryer vents going to the roof are inherently more challenging to clean — and

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how to vent a dryer without outside access

Do you want to learn how to vent a dryer without outside access? Venting a dryer is important so you don’t breath in the lint and moisture of a dryer

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how to fix dryer vent

Do you want to learn how to fix a dryer vent? Dryer vents frequently get crushed, ripped, and pulled off the dryer. Sometimes they also get lint clogs and other

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how-often-clean-dryer-vent

Cleaning the dryer vent should be done regularly to prevent dryer fires and to dry your clothes quickly. I invite you also to read my guide on how to clean

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how-to-keep-birds-out-of-dryer-vent

If you have ever dealt with a bird in the dryer vent, their nest can quickly bring your dryer to a grinding halt. Birds love dryer vents because they are

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how-to-clean-dryer-vent-with-a-leaf-blower

Cleaning a dryer vent with a leaf blower may seem crazy, but I have done it numerous times successfully. The idea is to use the leaf blower from the inside,

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why-is-my-dryer-not-drying

If your dryer turns on, but the dryer won’t dry clothes, it can have a variety of causes — but the most likely culprit is a clog in the dryer

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water-in-dryer-vent

Having a dryer vent filled with water can be perplexing and annoying. All of that water and moisture from clothes is supposed to go outside and not trapped in the

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dryer-smells-like-burning

Nothing can be more unnerving than smelling a burnt odor from a dryer. Most of the time, it is from a clogged dryer vent that gets very hot and burns.

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how-to-check-bathroom-exhaust-fan

As a home inspector, I have inspected hundreds of bathroom fans and this is a quick and dirty guide to checking a bathroom fan that is not pulling air. In

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how-to-insulate-bathroom-exhaust-fan-duct

There is nothing more annoying that a water leak because of a bathroom fan duct. And it can be a notoriously difficult problem to diagnose because homeowners don’t even suspect

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what is the fan in the bathroom for

The main purpose of a bathroom exhaust fan is to remove moisture. But they can also be used for other things like additional bathroom lighting, heating, and to remove smells.

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how-to-replace-glass-shower-door-seal-strip-2

Shower door seals are usually an ‘out of sight, out of mind’ type of thing. But if you noticed that your glass shower door is leaking, you may need to

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SLOW DRAINING TOILET (1)

If you want to unclog a slow draining toilet, there are a few methods you can use such as the hot water bucket method, the coat hanger method, toilet snaking,

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toilet making noise

Is your toilet making noises and you want to know what it means? Toilets can make different sounds depending on the cause, but the two most common sounds are from

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how to measure shower door sizes (3)

How To Measure For A Shower Door Install? Measuring for a new shower door isn’t very difficult, but it is important to follow a basic plan. The first step is

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whole house uv water filter a buyers guide

Are you interested in buying a whole house UV water filter? UV water filters can destroy up to 99.9% of harmful pathogens in your well or city water. I invite

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bathroom exhaust fans a buyer's guide

Let’s face it: Modern homes need bathroom exhaust fans. The times of opening a window to ventilate the bathroom are over, and buyers expect exhaust fans. Without a bathroom vent

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how to install range hood vent through the wall (1)

Do you want to learn how to install a range hood vent through the wall? Most range hood vents are installed by using hole saws or reciprocating saws but if

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how to pass a home inspection (2)

Do you want to learn how to ‘pass’ a home inspection? Home inspectors typically find 100+ defects when doing an inspection, and usually at least several problems that are serious.

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radon testing during home inspection

Do you want to learn about the radon testing during a home inspection? Radon testing takes at minimum 48-hours to determine if there are elevated levels of radon gas in

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how much does a home inspection cost (1)

Do you want to learn about the typical cost of a home inspection? The cost mostly depends on the size of the home, but other things like pools and outbuildings

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how long does a home inspection take (1)

If you preparing for a home inspection, you may be wondering how long it’s going to take. Home inspections usually take at least an hour for condos, but for normal

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what fixes are mandatory after a home inspection (2)

The home inspection is a big step in the home purchase process, and home inspectors frequently uncover hundreds of repairs needed in a home. Albeit most of our discovered repairs

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what’s The Biggest Reason To Make Your Offer Contingent On A Professional Home Inspection

Do you want to learn the biggest reason to make an offer contingent on a home inspection? As a home inspector, I have seen so many house problems and defects

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home inspection tips for sellers (1)

Selling a home can be a nerve-racking experience, and you may be wondering how to get ready for the home inspection. You may also find my guide on 7 things

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top best rated range hood inserts reviews (2)

Are you curious as to what is the best range hood insert for your kitchen? Range hood inserts are a stylish and sleek way to make your range hood fit

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questions to ask during a home inspection (1)

The home inspection is a really important part of the home buying process, and you may be wondering what to ask the inspector. A good home inspector should cover all

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top rated best high cfm ceiling fans large rooms reviews

Are you interested in finding the best high CFM ceiling fan for a large room? The highest CFM ceiling fans come in between 5k to 10k as their CFM rating, and

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home mold inspection cost testing (2)

A home mold inspection is performed by a professional that will test the air for mold spores or physically swab visible mold. These mold samples are collected and sent to

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things-that-fail-a-home-inspection-1

After inspecting hundreds of homes, I have a strong idea of what will ‘fail’ a home inspection for a buyer. Sometimes it is very expensive problems that have to do

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TOP RATED best whole house fan reviews (1)

Want to find the best whole house fan? Whole house fans can effectively cool your home with less energy than traditional AC. Check out my detailed review.

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should seller be present at home inspection

The question of whether a seller should be at the home inspection is really dependent on the seller’s personality. If the seller is actually helpful at the inspection, answering questions,

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top rated best solar attic fan reviews (1)

The nice thing about solar attic fans is that they draw energy from the sun, so you never have to wire them, and they are pretty much set and forget.

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asbestos home inspection cost (1)

How To Inspect For Asbestos During Home Inspections? Home inspectors are always on the lookout for anything potentially hazardous to homeowners, and asbestos is one of those things on the

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home-foundation-inspection

Home foundation inspections typically involve walking the perimeter of the foundation closely looking for cracks and signs of settlement. If there is a basement or crawlspace, it will include the

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top best rated uv light for hvac reviews

The best HVAC UV lights have long power cords, are easy to install, and their bulbs last a long time. In this buyer’s guide, I will go over…My #1 top pick

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how-to-install-a-pivot-shower-door

The nicest feature of pivot shower doors is that they can swing either inwards or outwards unlike hinged shower doors. In this install guide, I will go over… Choosing which

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range-hood-vent-code-requirements

Probably the most important code requirement for range hoods is that they should vent outdoors. Another important code is on the duct length and diameter of kitchen hoods. In this

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Bathroom-Exhaust-Fan-Venting-Code-Requirements-1

Do you want to learn about bathroom fan venting code? Probably the most important bath fan vent code is that they need to exhaust to the outside. In this guide,

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how-to-hook-up-dryer-vent-in-tight-space

Do you want to find out the best way to install a dryer vent in a very tight space? You are in the right spot. A dryer vent installation can

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how to replace bathroom fan without attic access

Should a bathroom fan hose be vented into an attic? If so, how is it done? During my home inspections, I have come across many bathroom vents incorrectly installed into

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venting-bathroom-fan-into-attic

Should a bathroom fan hose be vented into an attic? If so, how is it done? During my home inspections, I have come across many bathroom vents incorrectly installed into

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how to install island range hood

Do you want to learn how to install island range hoods? Island vent hoods need to be installed from 24-inches to 36-inches above the cooktop or range.In this guide, I will

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how to clean glass shower door guide

Don’t you hate it when your glass shower door becomes cloudy and gross? Soap scum can difficult to remove, but fortunately there a few trusted ways to remove it. In this guide,

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how to clean bathroom fan

Want to know how to clean a bathroom exhaust fan? Dirty bath fans don’t work very well and can be a fire hazard. Check out my detailed guide right here!

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top rated best framed shower door reviews

Do you want to find the best framed shower door for your bathroom? Framed shower doors tend to be stronger and have a sturdier feel when opening the door compared to

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top best rated thermal imaging camera reviews (1)

Do you want to find the best thermal camera? Infrared cameras are a great way to find hidden water leaks, air leaks, missing insulation, electrical faults, and more. In this product review

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top best rated cosmo range hood reviews (1)

Do you want to find the best Cosmo range hood? Cosmo Appliances makes the most popular types of vent hoods including under cabinet, island, and wall mounted. In this product review, I

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what size tankless water heater do i need

Do you want to learn how to size a tankless water heater? The two key things needed to size a tankless water heater is your household peak water usage (in gallons

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top best rated decorative bathroom exhaust fan reviews

Do you want to find the best decorative bathroom fan? Decorative bath fans include lights and they look like normal light fixtures. In this product review, I will go over…My #1 top

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how to install a bathroom exhaust fan on first floor

Do you want to learn how to install a bathroom exhaust fan on the 1st level of a home? A low profile bath fan with a thin housing can make this

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top best rated delta bathroom exhaust fan reviews

Do you want to find the best Delta bathroom fan? Delta bathroom fans feature DC motors (some with dual speed) that run quietly and efficiently. In this product review, I will go

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top best rated uv air purifier reviews (1)

Do you want to find the best UV air purifier for your home? UV air purifiers work by disrupting the DNA of microorganisms which prevents reproduction. In this product review, I will

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thermal imaging camera uses

Do you want to learn the top ways to use a thermal imaging camera? Thermal cameras are highly useful in finding water leaks, and they show up as a dark blue

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top best rated iphone thermal camera reviews (2)

Do you want to find the best iPhone thermal camera? Thermal cameras designed for iOS include the popular FLIR cameras and other brands. In this product review, I will go over…My #1

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how to install under cabinet ductless range hood

Do you want to learn how to install an under cabinet ductless range hood? Installing under cabinet range hoods for a ductless configuration is very similar to a standard hood, except

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top best rated propane tankless water heater reviews

Do you want to find the best propane tankless water heater? Propane tankless water heaters can be an efficient and space saving way to heat water. In this product review, I go

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how to flush tankless water heater (1)

Do you want to learn how to flush a tankless water heater? Most homeowners use distilled white vinegar to flush their tankless water heaters, but you can also use a descaling

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top best rated condensing tankless water heater reviews (1)

Do you want to find the best condensing tankless water heater? Condensing tankless water heaters have exhaust gases that can get as low as 100F, which allows cheaper (and easier to

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how to adjust temperature on rinnai tankless water heater (1)

Do you want to learn how to adjust the temperature for your Rinnai tankless water heater? The main first step is to remove the front panel to expose the ‘guts’ of

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top best rated tankless waters heater for cold climate reviews

Do you want to find the best tankless water heater for cold climates? Even though most tankless heaters have internal heaters to protect against freezing, they all have outdoor temp ratings

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wall mount range hood installation (1)

Do you want to learn how to install a wall mount range hood? Wall mounted range hoods have adjustable chimneys that can usually fit kitchen ceilings up to around 10-feet high. In

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top best rated 16x25x1 furnace filter reviews (1)

Do you want to find the best 16x25x1 furnace filter? Probably most important step is to choose a 16x25x1 filter with the right MERV rating for your HVAC system. In this product

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cost to install bathroom exhaust fan (2)

Do you want to find out the cost to install a bathroom exhaust fan? The cost of bathroom fan installs depends on whether its a replacement or new install, if new

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top best rated wood range hood reviews (2)

Do you want to find the best wood range hood on the market? Wood range hoods have stainless steel hood inserts with hardwood exterior shells that gives it a unique look. In

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how to install a bathroom fan roof vent (3)

Do you want to learn how to install a bathroom fan roof vent? Bathroom roof vents are typically installed using either a hole saw drill bit or reciprocating saws to cut

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top best rated bathroom window exhaust fan reviews

Do you want to find the best bathroom window exhaust fan? Window exhaust fans have extendable side panels so they can fit in almost any bathroom window to remove moisture and

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whole house water filter leaking from top

Do you want to learn what to do when your whole house water filter leaks from the top? A leaking whole house water filter may be the result of a faulty

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top best rated 10 inch whole house water filter cartridge reviews

Do you want to find the best 10-inch whole house water filter cartridge? The most common sizes for whole house water filter cartridges are 10″ x 4.5″ for ‘big blue’ type

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how does a whole house water filter work guide

Do you want to learn how whole house water filters work? These water filtration system are installed right after your main water shutoff, and they can provide purified water to every

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top best rated whole house water filter and softener combo reviews

Do you want to find the best whole house water filter and softener combo? Whole house water filters coupled with a softening system can purify your entire homes water and reduce

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how to remove spray foam insulation from skin guide

Do you want to learn how to remove spray foam insulation from your skin or hands? Spray foam is a great product to air seal small areas or to insulate entire

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top best rated ventless duct-free bathroom fan reviews

Do you want to find the best ventless bathroom exhaust fan? Ventless bath fans use activated charcoal filters to remove foul odors and they recirculate the air in the room. In this

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how much electricity does a bathroom fan use

Do you want to learn how much electricity bathroom fans use over a year? Bathroom fan electricity use is determined by the wattage—and most fans are in the 10-50 watts range. In

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top best rated stainless steel range hood reviews

Do you want to find the best stainless steel range hood? Stainless steel range hoods are highly durable and resistant to rust. In this product review, I will go over…My #1 top

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how to adjust glass shower door hinges

Do you want to learn how to adjust glass shower door hinges? Glass shower doors can sometimes loosen over time, making the unlevel, and may even start leaking. In this guide, I

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top best rated round bathroom exhaust fans reviews

Do you want to find the best round bathroom exhaust fan? Round bath fans come in a variety of decorative styles and they all have a center light. In this product review,

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How to fix a noisy bathroom fan

Do you want to learn how to fix a noisy bathroom exhaust fan? Noisy bath fans can have numerous causes, but it can usually be boiled down to just a few

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top best rated whole house water filter to remove fluoride and chlorine reviews

Do you want to find the best whole house water filter to remove fluoride and chlorine? These whole house water filters will greatly reduce the ppm of fluoride and chlorine with

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how does a whole house humidifier work

Do you want to know how a whole house humidifier works? In essence, these humidifiers work by sending water vapor into the HVAC ductwork, but there are also portable units that

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how to change furnace filter

Do you want to learn how to change your furnace air filter? Furnace air filters should be regularly changed, usually around 1-3 months. In this guide, I will go over…How to find

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top best rated quietest range hoods reviews

Probably the biggest complaint among homeowners about range hoods is the noise. Some range hoods can just be really loud, it can feel like a freight train is visiting your kitchen. In

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top best rated inline blower range hood reviews

The best external inline blowers have a strong enough fan speed (cfm) and are easily installed. Some inline blower hoods even have mounting chains so you can suspend them from attic

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z line range hood installation guide

Do you want to learn how to install a Z Line range hood? ZLine makes three main types of popular range hoods, and the installation is very similar among all of

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