A product designed to stop energy wasting air leaks is a special sealing kit that eliminates cold drafts that enter around electrical wall outlets and switches. Recent tests have shown that in some houses more cold air enters through and around these outlets than through windows and doors.
Consisting of a resilient synthetic material that is cut out so it will fit the wall plates of outlet receptacles and switches, these insulators come with special plugs that are inserted into the outlet while it is not in use. There are currently two companies marketing kits of this kind: Armstrong Cork Co., Lancaster, Pa. 17604; and Glumen Group Ltd., 8000 Cooper Ave., Glendale, N.Y. 11227. Armstrong calls its product Draft Sealer, and Glumen's product is called Draft Enders. Both have kits that retail for about $4, with enough insulators for six or seven outlets (six in the Armstrong kit, and seven in the Glumen kit), plus two or three wall switches. Both are electrically safe and easily installed with just a screwdriver.
For All Screws
Every tool kit needs more than one screwidriver -- small and large sizes with flat blades for ordinary slotted screws, and small and large sizes for Phillips type (cross slot) screws. A new screwdriver made by Vaco Products Co., 1510 Skokie Blvd., Northbrook, Ill. 60062, eliminates the need for actually carrying for screwdrivers around with you. Called the Magnetic Four-in-One Screwdriver, and carrying a suggested selling price of $6.70, it has a hollow plastic handle and comes with four tips or bits -- two flat and two Phillips type.
The bits have hex-shaped shanks that fit into a recess at the end of the drive. They are held in working position by built-in magnets, while the extra bits are stored in the handle. The magnet that holds the bit in place at the end of the blade also passes its magnetism through the bit to hold steel screws while starting them.
Using Waste Heat
Designed for use with any clothes dryer that is vented directly to the outside, here is an energy-saving heating vent attachment that enables homeowners to reclaim heat that is normally dissipated outdoors when the dryer is in use during cold weather. Called the Heat Saver, and made by Bede Industries, Inc., 1985 W. 85th St., Cleveland 44102, the device sells for about $100. It is easily installed by cutting into the flexible duct pipe that goes from the back of the dryer to the outside. It consists of a 4-inch diameter tee with a damper valve built in and is designed so that when the dryer is used in cold weather you turn the damper to direct the heated air back into the room rather than up through the vent pipe. When the dryer is used during warm weather the valve is swung open to allow the heat to vent directly outside in the usual manner.
In addition to reclaiming lost heat, it also saves energy by permitting you to close off the vent opening (close the damper valve) when the dryer is not in use so warm indoor air cannot escape through it when the house is heared. When used to direct warm air inside, you not only gain the heat put out by the dryer, you also cut down on heating costs because the 150 cubic feet of air the dryer exhausts to the outside each minute has first been preheated by the main furnace.
This means that an equal amount of cold air has to be drawn in from the outside to make up for the volume exhausted. The Heat Saver prevents this because no makeup air is neede. Moisture will of course be added to the house air along with the extra heat, but in most cases this extra humidity will help eliminate the excessive dryness.