Homefront Defense Against Allergies

Don’t look now, but your home is under assault. Allergy season has officially begun in the Carolinas Piedmont, with the first windborne tree pollen – cedar, maple and birch – drifting invisibly through the air in the first weeks of February, sneaking into your home’s cracks and crevices. Those allergens will soon be followed by the pollen of oaks and grasses, on into the march of misery-inducing menaces that peak with late-summer ragweed. And that’s just the stuff outside. Inside, homeowners may face pet allergies, dust mites or mold. And then

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What’s going on with R22?

Recent actions by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regarding HCFCs have led to uncertainty about the availability of R-22 in the coming months and years. In response, contractors have noticed a ramp-up in the chatter about R-22 and price changes as some manufacturers and importers have amended their sales policies. This situation is the culmination of several factors, including the continued implementation of the federal government’s policies regarding HCFCs, current market conditions, and delays in the regulatory process. As most contractors know, the EPA controls the production of HCFCs, including the refrigerant known as R-22,

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Duke Energy Seeks 15 Percent N.C. Rate Hike

By Bruce Henderson Duke Energy to offer employee buyouts Duke Energy filed Friday for an overall 15 percent rate hike, its largest such request in North Carolina in at least 20 years. It’s the second of three increases Duke plans to seek as it rebuilds its aging fleet of power plants. Duke also gave notice Friday that it will soon file a rate case in South Carolina. Consumer advocates and customer groups attuned to the state’s soft economy will try to pare down Duke’s request. A hearing before the N.C. Utilities Commission is expected

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Three Ways to Detect and Fight Mold in the Home

Heavy rains and water leaks can lead to mold and mildew problems at home. But what do you do when the worst happens? September is National Mold Awareness Month, and the nonprofit Allergy & Asthma Network Mothers of Asthmatics recommends consumers be vigilant about preventing mold, dealing with it immediately after it occurs and choosing cleaning products wisely. “Mold represents a health risk, especially for the approximately 50 million people in the U.S. affected by allergies,” said Nancy Sander, president of AANMA. Bleach and other toxic cleaners used to kill mold spores are known

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