Archives: Mechanical

Radiant Heat for Wood Sub-Floors

By Todd Fratzel on Heating

Radiant Heat – Current Details for Wood Framed Floor Systems Radiant heat is so popular in today’s new homes that it’s being used in a majority of the new homes we build. Over the last 5 years I’ve seen an industry that changed details about as often as the seasons change here in New England.…

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American Standard Culinaire Bridge Kitchen Faucet Review

By Todd Fratzel on Plumbing, Product Reviews

The Back Story Over the last six months we’ve been using/testing/abusing a new kitchen faucet from American Standard. Before I go into the particulars on this faucet I wanted to give you a quick back-story on why we have this new faucet. We built our new home just over 5 years ago. Like many homeowners…

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Installing Programmable Thermostats

By Todd Fratzel on Air Conditioning, Electrical, Energy Conservation

Programmable Thermostats Save Money Installing a programmable thermostat is a very easy home improvement project and one that could save you quite a bit of money. Installing a programmable thermostat helps save energy by automatically turning down your heat or turning up your cooling when you’re asleep or away from home. The savings from using…

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Frozen Pipes – How To Prevent and Repair

By Todd Fratzel on Insulation, Plumbing

Frozen Water Pipes With temperatures dropping below zero here in the Northeast I thought it was fitting to write about Frozen Pipes. Each year thousands of homes are damaged by frozen water pipes. As ice expands inside of a water pipe it acts like an incredibly strong jack that causes most water pipes to burst…

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How To Remove An Under Cabinet Microwave

By Todd Fratzel on Appliances

How To Remove The Microwave Without Destroying Your Cabinets Recently a reader wrote to me and asked if there was a trick to removing his under cabinet microwave. He explained that he had been prying, pulling, tugging without any success. Frankly he sounded as though he was going to hook up his truck to it…

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Installing Recessed Lighting – Fire Safety

By Todd Fratzel on Electrical

Recessed Lighting Fire Safety I’ve had several questions this month about fire safety and recessed lighting (or recessed cans). If you’re going to be installing recessed lighting or you’re going to be adding extra insulation to an attic it’s important to understand the dangers and potential fire hazards with recessed lighting. Recessed Lighting Housing Types…

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Generator Q&A with Kohler

By Todd Fratzel on Electrical

Generators Around The Home With all the nasty weather around the Country lately I thought it would be good timing for some generator talk. The folks at Kohler were generous enough to share some of their expertise with generators for some interesting Q&A. What’s the difference between portable generators and standby generators? When power is…

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Using A Backup Generator

By Todd Fratzel on Electrical, Safety

Backup Generator – When the Lights Go Out Hurricane Irene is breathing down our neck here in NH today. As the storm approaches I thought it was a good time to revise an older post here and mention backup generators. It’s a really good idea to be prepared with a backup generator for power outages.…

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