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Keep Your Home Pet-friendly and Fresh Of course you love your pets, but

let’s face it: Whether you’re hosting guests or trying to sell your home, the last thing you want visitors to remem- ber is an odor. Luckily, there are a number of ways to eliminate odors and let your home’s personality shine.

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Refreshing walls Paint is one of the most dramatic and cost-effective ways to give your home’s interior a new look, and now it can also give your home a new fresh scent. Dutch Boy’s Refresh paint features odor-eliminating technology from Arm & Ham- mer. It reduces odors caused by pets and other sources, keeping your home smelling as good as it looks. Proven to reduce household smells, a coat of Refresh paint will prevent bad odors from lingering for months. By trapping and neutralizing odor molecules, this paint doesn’t cover up unap- pealing smells, but actually reduces them. And Refresh paint is available in Dutch Boy’s broad range of colors, so you can reduce unpleas- ant smells without com- promising your decorat- ing taste.

Clean with steam Even if your pet isn’t allowed on the furniture, your home furnishing fabrics are holding onto unpleasant scents. Though you may vacuum regularly, animal hair and dander are trapped in the fibers of your cushions, curtains, sofa and other decor. Using a steam cleaner is the best way to eliminate bad smells in upholstered furniture and other items that cannot be laundered. Hire a professional service to treat the common areas in your home, or purchase a steam cleaner specifically designed for pet hair removal. Deep-clean common area fabrics several times each year, and to help maintain a fresh smell day to day, use an odor-neutralizing fabric spray regularly.

Hit the floor The biggest source of your home’s objectionable smell could be right under your feet. As anyone who has house- trained a pet knows, they don’t always get it right, and sometimes those accidents go unnoticed and cause stains to inevi- tably set in. To remove odors of any age, scrub bare floors with white vinegar and water or an odor-neutralizing cleaner, and thoroughly wash carpets and rugs using an odor-neutralizing shampoo. You can also hire a professional to clean the carpets and provide extra deodorizing treatments. If stains or smells remain, you’ll likely need to replace the carpet and padding. If this is the case, be sure to scrub the floor

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beneath before laying new carpet down. After the carpet has been thoroughly cleaned or replaced, regularly use carpet deodorizer formulated for pet odors when vacuuming.

Scented accessories Tie a ribbon on your odor-free home

with strategically placed candles and air fresheners. Choose classic scents that complement your decor, and use a variety throughout the home to avoid an

overpowering result. Many candles and fresheners offer odor-neutralizing technol- ogy as well as pleasant scents, ensuring unfavorable smells are not only covered up but eliminated. Jars of potpourri or scented crystals add touches of personality to any room decor as well. No matter what types or the number of pets that share your home, these tips will help keep it smelling fresh all year round. - ARA Content

Keep Winter’s Chill From Leaking Into Your Warm House Drafty attics, fireplaces, leaky

windows and open vents provide the perfect opportunity for winter’s chill to sneak into your house and have you shivering from the cold. Not only does this cause you to huddle under extra layers of clothing and heavy blankets, but also probably has you spending more money than you want turning up the thermostat. Drafts, such as those around doors,


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windows and pipes, are the largest source of heating and cooling loss in the home. Most homeowners tackle the easy leaks by caulking and weather-stripping to minimize energy loss and drafts. But what can you do about drafts from the four largest “holes” in your home - the folding attic stair, the whole house fan, the fireplace and the clothes dryer? Here are some tips and techniques that can quickly, easily and inexpensively seal and insulate these often overlooked holes: Attic stairs

Installing attic stairs creates a large hole (approximately 10 square feet) in your ceil- ing. The ceiling and insulation that were there have to be removed, leaving only a thin, unsealed, sheet of plywood. Often you can see a gap around the perimeter of the attic door. Check out your home’s attic entrance: At night, turn on the attic light and shut the attic stairway door

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- do you see any light coming through? If you do, heated and air-conditioned air is leaking through these large gaps in your home 24 hours a day. This is like leaving a window or skylight open year-round.

An easy solution to this problem is to add an insulated attic stair cover. An attic stair cover seals the stairs to stop drafts and energy loss. Add the desired amount of insulation over the cover to

restore the insulation removed from the ceiling. Whole house fans and air conditioning vents Much like attic stairs above, installing a whole house fan creates a large hole (up to 16 square feet or larger) in your ceiling. The ceiling and insulation that were there have to be removed, leaving only the drafty ceiling shutter between you and the outdoors. An easy, low-cost solution to this problem is to add a

whole house fan shutter seal. Made from white textured flexible insulation, the shutter seal is installed over the ceiling shutter, secured with Velcro and trimmed to fit. The shutter seal can also be used to seal and insulate air conditioning vents, and is easily removed when you need to run the fan. Fireplaces

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More than 100 million homes in North America are con- structed with wood- or gas-burning fireplaces. However, fireplaces can be big energy wasters. Fireplaces can act like a giant straw, sucking your expensive heated or air-con- ditioned air right up the chimney and out of your house. In addition, sometimes odors, toxins, noise and insects come into the house through the chimney. Fireplaces often have dampers that are meant to be shut when the fireplace is not used. How- ever, even if the damper is shut it is not air-tight. Glass doors don’t stop the drafts either. One study has shown that an open damper on an unused fireplace in a well- insulated house can raise overall heating-energy consumption by 30 percent. Your heating bills may be more than $500 higher per winter due to the drafts and wasted energy caused by fireplaces. An easy, cost efficient solu- tion to this problem is to add a fireplace plug to your fireplace. Available from Battic Door, a company known for their energy conservation products, the fire- place plug is an inflatable pillow that seals the fireplace damper, eliminating drafts, odors and noise. The pillow is easily removed whenever the fireplace is used, then reinserted after.

Clothes dryer exhaust ducts In many homes, the room with the clothes dryer is the coldest room in the house. Your clothes dryer is connected to an exhaust duct that is open to the outdoors. In the winter, cold drafts come in through the duct, through your dryer and into your house. An easy, low-cost solution to this problem is to add a dryer vent seal. This draft blocker will also keep out pests, bees and rodents. The vent will remain closed unless the dryer is in use. When the dryer is in use, a floating shuttle rises to allow warm air, lint and moisture to escape. To learn more about Battic

Door’s energy conservation solutions and products for your home, visit www.batticdoor. com, or send a self-addressed stamped envelope to P.O. Box 15, Mansfield, MA 02048. - ARA Content







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