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Clean air matters
ACCORDING TO THE EPA, Americans,
on average, spend approximately 90 percent
of their time indoors, where the concentrations of some pollutants are often two to five
times higher than outdoor concentrations.
So it’s especially important, when house
cleaning, to remember the air. Here are some
tips to keep household air clean.
■ Reduce the effects of mold. Mold
is inevitable, especially if you live in a humid
climate, or if you have unseen plumbing leaks
or other sources of dampness. Look for leaks
and any overt signs of mold, such as around
windows, and keep basements dry. Don’t
■ Pet control. Pet dander can trigger
allergies. Bathe and groom pets regularly, and
be sure to clean their bedding often. If possible, minimize a pet’s access to carpeted
areas and furniture. Get a vacuum with
enough power to suck up animal hair.
■ Dust regularly. Dry mopping or
The Costco Connection
Vacuums, cleaning supplies, Filtrete™
Ultra Allergen Reduction filters from 3M
and more of the items mentioned above
are available at Costco warehouses
and on Costco.com.
dusting scatters dust into the air, so use a
damp cloth or mop. Be sure to clean window
coverings regularly, and look for coverings
made of plastic or other washable materials
for easy cleaning. Smooth flooring materials
such as tile, vinyl or wood are easier to keep
clean. If carpeting is your preference, choose
a shorter nap, which will hold fewer particles,
or rugs that can be removed for cleaning.
■ Mite not. Dust mites can cause severe
allergic reactions. They thrive on the dust in
bedding and upholstered furniture. Wash bedding in hot water (at least 130 degrees). Use
allergen-resistant covers on unwashable items.
■ Suck it up. Be sure the vacuum you
use isn’t just sucking up the dust and spitting
it back into the air. Get a strong vacuum with
excellent filtration or use a central vaccum-ing system with the receptacle outside or in
■ Out of circulation. Finally, be sure
to regularly change the air filter on your
home heating and air-conditioning system.
There are several different types, including
traditional fiberglass and polyester, deep
pleated and pleated electrostatic, so don’t try
to figure it out for yourself. Check the owner’s manual or manufacturer’s Web site for
the correct kind.—Steve Fisher
Don’t flush away savings
ONE BATHROOM FACT you might not be
aware of is that the biggest water user in the
home is the toilet. Toilets account for about
30 percent of an average home’s
indoor water consumption according to the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA)—even
more for older toilets.
If you’re considering replacing
an older toilet in your home, look
for one with the WaterSense label.
The WaterSense label is used only
on toilets that are certified by independent
laboratory testing to meet rigorous criteria
for both performance and efficiency.
Switching from an older toilet to a new,
water-efficient toilet can save 4,000 gallons
per year, which the EPA says will amount to
savings of about $90 a year and $2,000 over
the lifetime of the toilet. Also, in many
areas, utility companies offer rebates and
vouchers that can lower the price of
You can increase your water savings even
more by installing a new dual-flush toilet.
Dual-flush technology features two buttons:
Installing a new water-saving toilet isn’t
very difficult for experienced do-it-yourselfers. If you’re not an experienced handyman,
read the manufacturers’ directions entirely
first, and follow them carefully.—Will Fifield
The Costco Connection
Costco warehouses often carry toilets. For
additional selection, visit Costco.com.
THE HANSGROHE kitchen faucet is a
great product by a great company.
Hansgrohe was established in 1901 in
Germany and has long been associated with quality. The stainless steel
faucet we’re carrying is a perfect
example of the well-designed, well-crafted products that have given the
company its reputation.
The faucet’s high-arc spout
enables you to easily clean large pots
and pans in your sink. It swivels 360
degrees to accommodate cleaning
almost anything, and its pull-out spray
handle adds convenience. A ceramic
disc mixing cartridge enables smooth,
leak-free operation, and an aerator
reduces splashing and resists clogging
when the faucet is in spray mode.
This faucet is perfect for everyday
kitchen tasks, and its graceful appearance means that you can enjoy all of
this efficiency without having to sacrifice style. You’ll find this faucet for
at least 45 percent less than faucets
of similar quality elsewhere.
FEBRUARY 2010 ;e Costco Connection 45