Tuesday, July 27, 2010

When All Days are Dog Days

We're in that period of mid-summer commonly referred to as "dog days." My guess is the name has a lot to do with the fact that it's hot outside and the time of year when people like to take it easy, like a dog sleeping under a shade tree.

If you suffer from allergies and have pets in the home, dog days can last the entire year. Millions of people are allergic to pet dander and when they explain the problem to their doctor, they're frequently told to get rid of the pet. Now who really wants to do that?

Instead, perhaps there are lessons to be learned from veterinarians. A growing number of vets are installing BEAM central vacuum systems in animal hospitals and pet clinics across the country for a number of reasons:

The BEAM system removes dander from exam rooms, waiting rooms and surgical suites. That's expecially helpful for dog owners who are allergic to cat dander.

It doesn't blow air into the room to stir up the pet hair shed or shaved from animals undergoing treatment.

And it allows the clinc staff to clean exam rooms more quickly between appointments. That allows the vet to treat more pets each day -- get more work done.

So, if the BEAM Central Vacuum System can do all of these things in a veterinarian's office, imagine how it could work in your home.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Home Show Time

One of the interesting things that happens each summer is the annual Home Show. You've probably been to some -- a subdivision of newly constructed homes loaded with about every bell and whistle imaginable. Like most people who go to home shows, I'm not in the market to buy a new house, but I am in the market for great ideas: the newest, most interesting built-ins, and great designs. I suspect home shows deserve credit for the demise of the avocado-colored refrigerator.

These shows have changed during the past couple of years. Oh the granite counters, vessel sinks and stainless steel appliances are still there. But I've also noticed builders are placing major emphasis on technology and "green" features like Energy Star appliances, high-efficiency HVAC systems, and central vacuums and air filtration systems for improved indoor air quality.

We'd like to hear what you look for at a home show and whether you like the growing focus on green products.