August Home Tips

Hello, Everyone!

Here in Cambridge, we’re sweltering under the hot sun. The Washington Post published an article by Michael Holich, M.D., a dermatologist at the BU Medical Ctr, which appears to be a very measured approach to sun exposure/the need for Vitamin D. Here is the link for “Go Ahead, Soak Up Some Sun.

The last thing on your mind in July is your heating unit, but in preparation for the late fall and because it will be easier to get a service person now…if you have a vented burner, to ensure your safety, be sure it has a spill switch or have one installed. If the unit malfunctions or snow, etc., blocks the exterior vent, the unit will shut off, preventing the escape of carbon monoxide into your house.

And again…if you see English Ivy on your trees or on your neighbors’ trees, pls have it removed/let them know before it chokes and kills the trees. Some of the vines are so thick that a saw or sharp knife will be needed to sever them. The ivy is really bad and it is attacking/has killed so many trees in Cambridge, Belmont and Somerville.

Have a good August!


July Home Tips

Hello, Everyone, Three items (among a number of others) you shouldn’t keep in a garage: Refrigerator—when the garage is cold, the compressor won’t run long enough to cool the freezer properly and when it’s hot, money and energy are wasted; Gasoline or Oil—vapors are flammable. Paint—wide temperature swings can damage paint. So many properties I see lack sufficient smoke detectors or have them in the wrong place or are missing carbon monoxide detectors. If you are unsure of today’s code, pls call or email me for details. The information is on the web but not always as easily interpreted as one would hope. Happy Summer! Very best, Bonny

June Home Tips

Hello, Everyone, Except for a few odd days, I think it is safe to assume that summer is here… Consumer Reports gives Sawyer Fisherman’s Formula Picaridin ($8.25) insect repellent a rating of 96, considerably higher than the Repel brands just below it, which are rated 87 and 82 and cost a bit less. Interestingly, the California Baby Natural Bug Blend at $15.50, which has the highest price on the list, is rated only 22. Pls remember that if you see English Ivy on your trees or on the trees of anyone you know, it kills trees by strangling and dehydrating them. English Ivy is pernicious and is not a native plant. For those of you without central air conditioning, Consumer Reports rates these window ac’s best: 100-300 square feet—GE AEMO5LS @$210; 250-400 square feet—GE AEMO8LT @$300; 350-650 square feet—LG LW1214ER @$350; Friedrich Chill CP10G10A @$400; GE AER10AT @$250. Enjoy your weekend! Best, Bonny

April Home Tips

If you’re considering the purchase of an extended warranty, do confirm that the extension begins after the end of the initial warranty. Consumer Reports discovered that most extended warranties overlap with the original. Gentle Giant is offering “Free and Clear Storage” in the Boston area to help Sellers declutter their houses in preparation for selling. Gentle Giant will provide 2 storage vaults free for 3 months. And if any of your items need restoration, their “Store and Restore” policy will give you $150 off any project costing $450 or more. This week is Boston Design Week and Jodi and Alex Robbins will be hosting an event at their lovely furniture store at 357 Huron Ave, in Huron Village in Cambridge. The topic for the evening, with answers to any of your questions, will be “De-mystifying Custom and Made-to-Order Furniture and Cabinetry.” Snacks and drinks will be served; 6-8 pm, on Thursday, March 26th. If you haven’t visited their store yet, it’s a must! Best, Bonny