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    Studio Shaolin Turns a Dated Honolulu House Into a Coastal Contemporary Abode

    When a family of five from New York City approached designer Shaolin Low about revamping their property in Honolulu’s Kahala neighborhood, they didn’t intend to make it their permanent home. However, after Low turned the dated Mediterranean-style space into a “coastal contemporary” abode full of crisp whites, light grays and soothing shades of blue, the homeowners quickly fell in love with the bright, breezy layout. It was even fitting to preserve some of the home’s original elements — most notably the monkey pod hardwood floors. “It just made sense to keep the monkey pod flooring throughout the entire house, because of the way the house flows,” says Low, owner and principal designer of Studio Shaolin. “Sure enough, once we lightened up the walls and the doors, that monkey pod looks gorgeous and intentional.” Take a look at the home’s complete transformation below, including the statement wood flooring as well as spacious interiors featuring intriguing textures, natural woods and beautiful creations from local artists. Living Room BEFOREstudio shaolinAFTERMegan Moura As you enter the living area, you’re greeted by three distinct yet flowing spaces: a fireplace area that feels comfortable yet formal, a sunken living room with a striking U-shaped sofa, and a colorful daybed area the three children adore. “It’s a matter of making these moments, but not having one moment dominate the other,” says Low. “The goal is always to keep the same energy throughout a space. The layers are different, the colors are different, but it all feels like the same energy.”When thinking about how the three spaces blend together seamlessly, Low says she loves to design spaces where both adults and children can spend time and relax. “I have met so many clients who feel like they have to compromise their design or the quality of their home because of the children who live in it,” she says. Megan Moura Above the sofa, you’ll find artwork Ethan Estess, marine scientist-turned-artist, made using real marine debris. Look to the coffee table: which appears to be crafted from stone, but was actually built by The Splinter Concept, a local woodworker and painted by local artist known as Art by Miyuki. “We try to use local talent as much as possible because we have such a plethora here on the islands,” says Low. KitchenBEFORE Studio ShaolinAFTERMegan Moura The kitchen underwent a complete transformation. Before, the cabinets were a walnut veneer and there was a long, curved kitchen island and several faux wood beams along the ceiling. Now, the cabinets are painted a light gray and have traditional chrome pulls. To keep the space light and bright, a smoked pearl quartz countertop is paired with a true white herringbone backsplash.”The idea was to have fun with the island, bringing in that ocean coastal feel and give it a pop of color without having to commit so heavily,” says Low. “It’s always this question of ‘How do we keep it contemporary and modern, but also have this really warm, coastal, ocean feel without it feeling kitschy?'”Dining RoomMEGAN MOURAFull of coastal elements, the neutral dining area features an oak dining set and two oversized pendants from Palecek. “The chandeliers over the dining table help to bring in that coastal feel, but obviously they’re really elevated and gorgeous on their own,” Low says.Primary BedroomBEFOREstudio shaolinAFTERMegan Moura Where there’s now a cozy seating area, there was previously a closest in the center of the bedroom. Once the closet was removed, Low had a giant room to contend with and she knew the space needed a bold wallpaper and oversized headboard. “It all started with the wallpaper for me,” says Low of the primary bedroom’s metallic and textured wallpaper by Harlequin. “I found the sample, and I had to have it in my life. Thankfully, the clients felt the same. We pulled the entire bedroom together based on that wallpaper.”Primary BathMegan Moura Step into the gorgeous primary bathroom, where Low chose to keep the original wood paneling to serve as an accent wall. “From the very beginning, we all loved that wood moment and I knew that if we lightened up the rest of the bathroom, that wood moment would stand on its own,” she says.Daughter’s BedroomMegan Moura From the yellow floral wall decals (by Kenna Sato Designs) to the bone inlay nightstands, this cheerful space blends elements of childhood creativity with sophisticated adult style. Son’s BedroomMegan Moura MEGAN MOURADrawing on the son’s love for planes and ships, Low filled this bright bedroom with cargo-style bunk beds, a vintage propeller clock and Montessori-style shelves filled with his favorite toys. Oldest Son’s BedroomMEGAN MOURAInspired by his love for surfing, Low outfitted the oldest son’s bedroom with mature yet playful pieces that would make anyone want to hang ten. The team framed a “Pray for Surf” tapestry, added a Shake neon sign by artist Jack Soren and framed a few photographs (from local artist Bree Poort) for over the sofa. For more before and after shots, check out Studio Shaolin on Instagram. Alyssa Gautieri (she/her) is the associate lifestyle editor for Good Housekeeping, where she covers all things home and interior design. Prior to joining GH in 2022, she wrote for publications including ELLE Decor, Chairish, BobVila.com, Unique Homes Magazine and LODGING Magazine, in addition to crafting product copy for home brands like BrylaneHome and VIGO Industries.This content is imported from OpenWeb. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site. More

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    A Complete Guide to Keeping Your Houseplants Green and Alive

    The allure of plants continues to grow. According to a September 2021 survey conducted by marketing research company Axiom, 62% of 1,300 participants confirmed that they were going to be planting more in 2022 — and there was even more interest among millennials (76% to be exact). We think the reason for all of the increased interest around gardening and houseplants is simple: Being surrounded by greenery can improve your health and overall well-being. “Studies show time spent outside in green spaces can reduce our mental fatigue, increase our relaxation and even improve our cognition,” says The Sill’s Erin Marino. So why not bring those benefits inside, too? Easy-to-maintain office plants, air-purifying bedroom plants or even a simple kitchen plant, like fragrant basil, can do wonders for your mood (not to mention the aesthetics of your home). That’s why we’ve created this special guide to houseplants. Whether you’re a novice gardener or you happen to have a natural green thumb, ensuring your indoor plants are thriving calls for the best gardening tools to help them grow, as well as practical advice for watering, lighting conditions and fertilization. Check out all of the helpful plant advice we’ve gathered here — from care tips for the most popular houseplants to a step-by-step repotting tutorial — then start building the indoor jungle of your dreams.Power PlantsHow to Care for Snake PlantsHow to Care for MonsteraHow to Care for Spider PlantsBest Indoor PlantsHow to Care for Money TreesHow to Care for Jade PlantsHow to Care for Rubber PlantsSpecialty PlantsBest Bedroom PlantsBest Kitchen PlantsBest Office PlantsHelp Them GrowBest Watering CansBest Pruning ShearsBest Plant MistersHow to Repot PlantsMonique Valeris is the senior home editor for Good Housekeeping, where she oversees the brand’s home decorating coverage across print and digital. Prior to joining GH in 2020, she was the digital editor at Elle Decor. In her current role, she explores everything from design trends and home tours to lifestyle product recommendations, including writing her monthly column, “What’s in My Cart.”This content is imported from OpenWeb. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site. More

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    Bobby Berk's Stylish and Space-Saving New Home Collection With QVC Is Here

    Well known for his life-changing work as the interior design expert on the Netflix show, Queer Eye, which just snagged their fifth consecutive Emmys win, Bobby Berk isn’t new to the world of home decor and maximizing small spaces. The reality star and author is continuing to transform people’s homes with his new collection with QVC, which is available to shop today. The exclusive line includes an array of luxury linens, throw pillows, blankets and more that aren’t just designed to give your haven a fashionable upgrade, but to help maximize space. “It’s fun to put together a collection, but it’s even more fun when you actually get out there and talk about it,” Berk tells Good Housekeeping. “I really wanted to create a collection that was me, but also something that would really appeal to the QVC customer — which is amazing, strong, powerful women.” Perfect for lovers of affordable decor, some items in the line, including a set of cotton pillowcases that is available in six colors, are priced as low as $24. “I get on Queer Eye every day and I talk about how design can change your life,” Berk says. “We really made this line as accessible as possible, while at the same time maintaining the quality.” More From Good Housekeeping Some of his memorable picks include the indoor/outdoor lanterns (the once-New Yorker uses them during his afternoon dog walks), the collapsible dividers ($37) and the storage bins ($39). They all feature sleek faux leather handles and have a multi-functional purpose that’s great for entertaining and staying organized in style. “I wanted to create products for our customers in those metropolitan areas and smaller spaces, like New York, so it’s all about maximizing your real estate,” Berk says. “There are items you can even use under your bed or sofa.” Shop the Bobby Berk X QVC Home Decor CollectionSo whether you want to refresh your home this season or find a gift for the design enthusiast in your life, shop Bobby Berk’s home collection exclusively on QVC. And make sure to check it out early, as the pieces are sure to sell out fast!Mariah Thomas (she/her) is an assistant editor for Good Housekeeping, where she covers home and lifestyle content. Mariah has more than four years of editorial experience, having written for TLC, Apartment Therapy, Women’s Health and Avocado Magazine. She received her master’s degree in journalism at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism and published her first book, Heart and Soul: Poems of Thoughts and Emotions, in 2019. She’s also the founder of RTF Community, a platform for creatives of color to connect, learn and showcase their work. This content is imported from OpenWeb. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site. More

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    The Most Common Home Heating Source Is More Efficient Than Ever

    While there are many forms of home heating available these days, gas is still the most common type. But common doesn’t mean basic. Beyond producing steady, reliable heat, a well-maintained gas furnace can last for decades. And when it comes time to replace yours, the latest models are new and improved; today’s furnaces are more efficient than ever before.If you’re ready to upgrade your current model, or just warming up to the idea of a gas furnace in your home, there are a few things to keep in mind. Here, YORK® Product Manager Tom Tasker and Dan DiClerico, Director of the Home Improvement & Outdoor Lab at the Good Housekeeping Institute, share everything you need to know. Gas furnaces can help you save money According to the U.S. Department of Energy, heating uses more energy and costs more money than any other system in your home, typically making up about 29% of your utility bill. To ease the pain of that percentage, consider the fact that heating with natural gas costs just less than half of heating with electricity.YP9C 98% Modulating Gas FurnaceYP9C 98% Modulating Gas FurnaceIt can also be more efficient; gas furnaces like the YP9C 98% Modulating Gas Furnace from YORK® can heat your home faster. “It’s simply a matter of how hot the air is that comes out of your registers,” Tasker explains. “For electric heaters, that temperature is about 96 degrees. For a gas furnace, the temperature coming out of the register is between 120 and 140 degrees.”YORK® furnaces are designed to be precise when it comes to hitting your comfort zone. “YP9C furnaces are one of the only true modulating furnaces on the market, modulating from 35% to 100% in 1% increments depending on the demand of the home at the time,” Tasker says. “This means that the homeowner gets exactly the amount of heat they need when they need it, whether it’s a cool fall morning or the coldest night of the year.”A qualified contractor can help you find the best furnace for your homeWith output as high as 130,000 BTUh, most single-family homes can be heated by one YP9C furnace, but choosing the right size is crucial. “If it’s too small, it won’t generate enough heat for the home,” DiClerico explains. “If it’s too big, it will cycle on and off more frequently, which is inefficient and puts extra wear and tear on the system.”Both DiClerico and Tasker highly suggest hiring a reliable contractor who will do all the necessary load calculations based on the latest industry standards. When sizing your furnace, they’ll consider the climate, number of windows, amount of insulation, square footage, number of floors and more variables. Gas furnaces are super safe when maintained properly and serviced regularlyFurnaces have safety devices that ensure they’ll always operate properly, but yearly maintenance is recommended to keep them in optimal condition.“The best thing a homeowner can do is change the filters on a regular basis,” Tasker says. “Your service professional will clean the blower motor, evaporator coil, and flame sensor, and check for fault codes or other conditions to ensure that your furnace is ready to keep you warm through the winter.”And now would be a great time to schedule a visit. “Furnace technicians tend to be busiest during the winter, when heating equipment fails,” DiClerico explains. “Take advantage of their downtime by scheduling your tune-up during the summer.”If you have gas-burning appliances, like a furnace, stove, generator or water heater, it’s also important to place working carbon monoxide detectors throughout your home. “For maximum protection, install a carbon monoxide detector on each living level, in the basement, and near (but not inside) an attached garage,” DiClerico advises. Once you’ve done that, you can rest easy — especially because YORK® furnaces are one of the quietest options available. More

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    Here's How to Kill Lanternfly Bugs Properly, According to an Entomologist

    Spotted lanternfly bugs have increasingly become an issue for homeowners over the last few years, but the 2022 breeding season is gearing up to make this invasive species more of a national crisis. If you live across the eastern seaboard of the United States or in burgeoning areas of the Midwest, there’s a good chance you’ll see the brilliantly vibrant wings of the spotted lanternfly among your yard or garden this fall.As we move closer to the start of the holiday season, the average spotted lanternfly is working to establish a breeding ground for thousands of new bugs to emerge later in the year — and everything from crops to potted houseplants and established garden beds can play host to them.According to materials published by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), late September and October will see spotted lanternflies creating these breeding spots rather sneakily — all while feeding on plants in and around your home. “Spotted lanternfly populations can increase quickly, and it’s not uncommon for an area to become overwhelmed with them in seemingly no time at all,” explains David Coyle, Ph.D., assistant professor of forest health and invasive species at Clemson University and a South Carolina State Extension specialist. “Plants or anything else underneath spotted lanternfly feeding areas often get coated with a sticky substance known as ‘honeydew,’ a sweet-sounding name for bug poop. This attracts wasps and flies, and is often colonized by a black mold,” adds Coyle. “For this reason, large populations of this insect are best controlled quickly.” This content is imported from twitter. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.They may not pose a threat to your physical health (or that of your pets!) but bug specialists like Coyle are imploring Americans to work to stem the spread of lanternfly bugs. Native to Asia, spotted lanternfly bugs were first sighted in Pennsylvania in 2014 — they’ve since spread in great numbers to 14 different states, according to the USDA. These states include:ConnecticutDelawareIndianaMarylandMassachusettsMichiganNew JerseyNew YorkNorth CarolinaOhioPennsylvaniaRhode IslandVirginiaWest VirginiaImpacted residents can view an interactive spotted lanternfly spread map courtesy of New York State Integrated Pest Management.Agricultural officials in each of these states have established quarantine zones for spotted lanternfly spread and are encouraging locals to kill these bugs after they’ve been first sighted. An added bonus — killing these pests will ensure your gardens, houseplants, patio furniture and other belongings stay free of infestations of thousands of spotted lanternfly nymphs this fall.How do I get rid of spotted lanternfly bugs? There are two potential solutions for dealing with spotted lanternflies on your property: Immediate removal with an approved insecticide or securing egg masses for analysis by local entomologists, Coyle advises.”Egg masses can be scraped off whatever they’re on by using a plastic card or a knife; these masses should be scraped into a plastic bag or receptacle containing rubbing alcohol or hand sanitizer, and should be immediately discarded,” Coyle says. “You can also smash these egg masses, to be certain; they can be tough, so don’t be afraid to apply some pressure. You’ll see it burst open after a proper squishing.”If you’re quick enough, experts say you may be able to physically squish grown adult lanternflies, too. This is an excellent strategy if you’ve noticed a small cluster in your garden or yard outside this fall.Read More:While it might be tempting to come up with a DIY bug spray to deal with spotted lanternflies on your property, Coyle says these mixtures don’t effectively kill the species — and may exacerbate the problem altogether. Does vinegar, dish soap or other DIY solutions kill spotted lanternflies?The short answer? No. For a larger infestation, especially one within the interiors of the home in question, you should call a licensed professional to come and apply a top-strength insecticide after the bugs have been spotted. DIY remedies targeted toward spotted lanternflies may severely damage the plants or crops they are used on, as well as pets in and around your home. “When a pesticide is registered with the Environmental Protection Agency, that means it’s undergone extensive testing, and we know how to apply it effectively and safely,” Coyle adds.There may be state agriculture regulations on which kinds of pesticides you may use to target spotted lanternflies — after all, these toxic materials can also impact beneficial pollinators and other non-invasive bug species. “There are insecticides available with labels that list ornamental trees as an allowed site,” as noted in materials published by PennState Extensions. “It’s legal to use them on ornamental trees, including Ailanthus altissima, to try to kill insects including the spotted lanternfly. You can check your garden center to see what they offer.” The bottom line:It’s important for homeowners in the eastern United States to be vigilant about the spread of spotted lanternflies this fall — and to take action if they appear on your property. Experts say it’s likely that an infestation is on its way if you’ve noticed that your houseplants or garden items ooze or weep an unusual solution, and produce a fermented odor; or if there’s a visible buildup of honeydew on plants and the ground beneath them. Plus, mold can also be a sign that spotted lanternflies are attempting to breed thousands of new pests on your property.Regardless if you’ve been successful in killing or removing spotted lanternflies in the past, try to keep the following tips published by the USDA in mind as we enter the fall season: As you prepare your outdoor spaces for winter, check any furniture or items for spotted lanternfly egg masses, especially before you bring them indoors.Scrape any eggs into a plastic, enclosed bag that’s thoroughly coated in hand sanitizer, then zip it shut and dispose of it immediately.Take a second look at any trees or plants on your property for signs of the spotted lanternfly, particularly during dusk and at night when the insects are known to gather in large groups on tree trunks and in plant stems.Scan any exterior smooth surfaces, including trees, brick and stone for any egg masses as well.Report any sightings or egg removal by using the USDA’s reporting directory to relay information to your local agricultural board.Related StoryZee Krstic is a health editor for Good Housekeeping, where he covers health and nutrition news, decodes diet and fitness trends and reviews the best products in the wellness aisle. Prior to joining GH in 2019, Zee fostered a nutrition background as an editor at Cooking Light and is continually developing his grasp of holistic health through collaboration with leading academic experts and clinical care providers. He has written about food and dining for Time, among other publications.This content is imported from OpenWeb. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site. More

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    Savor Cozy Season with These Living Room Tips

    When the leaves shift from green to orange and you begin to pack away swimsuits in favor of chunky sweaters, it’s time to give your living room a little refresh, too. While your porch or stoop begs for pumpkins and rustic wreaths, interiors call for rich textures, saturated tones, and spicy scents that bring to mind crackling fires and freshly baked apple pies.For tips on how to bring the welcoming energy of the season into your interiors, we tapped Louisiana-based interior designer Lance Thomas. From quick and easy arrangements to plush and welcoming living room decor, each of his ideas will help you savor the season.Rotate fabrics to bring on the cozyCavan Images//Getty Images“Textures are the first thing I would swap out,” says Thomas. “Crisp and cool linen throws can be replaced with heavier cable knits and wools.”Stock up on a selection of affordable and comfy blankets in complementary colors and patterns (like solid ochre and a simple plaid) and fold them neatly in a basket by your sofa. The move adds a touch of texture without feeling weighty. Switch up your home’s signature scentWhen making a summer-to-fall transition, Thomas suggests you lean into the impact scent can have on your home. “Swap out candle fragrances seasonally,” he suggests. At this point in the year, “Sea salt candles have reached the end of their burn and it’s time to bring in muskier leather and black pepper fragrances to cozy up the space.”Bring in the colors of the season Yes, fall leaves are a trusty go-to. But they’re not your only options for color palette fodder. “This year, I’m feeling inspired by fall cocktails for my home accessories and paints,” says Thomas. “The deep, sexy red of mulled wine, golden hues of a barrel-aged whiskey, and muted green of a pear martini, to name a few.” Classics like the cinnamon and pumpkin tones of seasonal spiced lattes will also never go out of style. To add a little bit of edge, set off all those warm tones with a moody navy area rug in a plush pile, a deep velvet armchair, or an overstuffed ottoman that invites putting your feet up. Turn to dried flowers to beat any heatEva-Katalin//Getty ImagesAs a designer based in the South, Thomas understands the plight of loving fall but not actually feeling those crispy temperatures until the final days of the year. Whether you’re facing the same latitude issue, or simply experiencing an unseasonably warm October up North, Thomas suggests making the longer growing season work to your advantage. “Our location allows beautiful botanicals to extend their stay in the garden,” he says. “My go-to is saving all our fresh hydrangeas well after they have dried up and using them for fall arrangements. Dried florals are the perfect decor for getting in the autumn spirit when it still feels like summer outside.”Think outside the pumpkin patch Some people love to go all in on Halloween cobwebs and Thanksgiving cornucopias but don’t feel like you have to limit yourself to holiday themes. “Incorporate seasonal fruits, which are a bit less on the nose than a pumpkin,” suggests Thomas. Some equally festive, but more unexpected, options for living room mantles or window sills include mottled Asian pears, vibrant persimmons, dusky purple figs, and even orange and red peppers. Celebrate the seasonNatalia Ganelin//Getty ImagesWhen fall holidays do roll around, choose simple, elegant elements that remind you and your guests what the season is all about — warmth, togetherness, and appreciation for the beauty of nature.“Avoid overworking arrangements and decor,” says Thomas. “It should look effortless. Simply cut a branch, for example, and stick it in a vase of water. Show the intention, not the labor.”To make the most of this beautifully simple philosophy, seek out vases, jugs, and vessels with narrow openings, which helps hold a single branch or a few stems upright. More

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    Here’s How to Achieve the Ideal Home Humidity Level

    Winter is right around the corner in much of the world, bringing frustratingly dry and staticky air along with it. Fortunately, there’s an easy fix: Setting up a humidifier. Whether you opt for single-room appliances or a whole-home system, humidifiers increase moisture levels in the air, making the room feel warmer and your skin feel more hydrated. To further break down the benefits of humidifiers — and explain how to get the most out of yours — we turned to YORK® Product Manager, Catherine McMurray, and Dan DiClerico, Director of the Home Improvement & Outdoor Lab at the Good Housekeeping Institute.Here’s what they had to say about finding the perfect option for your space. There is an ideal humidity for health and comfort The temperature and comfort level of your home are directly affected by the amount of humidity in the air — and, although the perfect level ultimately comes down to personal preference, it typically falls between 30% and 50%, advises McMurray. For reference, she adds, “the average humidity in the Sahara Desert is 25%, while the average in the Amazon rainforest is 85%.”Finding the right balance isn’t just about making your home more comfortable. There are health issues to consider, too. “When the humidity level in your home is too high, it can lead to mold growth and other allergens,” DiClerico says. “Conversely, when the air is too dry, it can cause itchy eyes, sore throats, and cracked skin.”Insufficient humidity can also make you feel colder, tempting you to turn the thermostat higher than necessary — and leading to a higher heating bill. Not all humidifiers are created equal If the word “humidifier” brings to mind small portable units, you may be missing out the benefits of more powerful options like those from YORK®, which can help maintain a comfortable humidity level throughout your entire home. “The YORK® whole-house humidifiers tie into the home’s existing forced-air system and add moisture to the air as needed,” DiClerico says. “These systems are great because they condition the entire home, not just one room or area.”If you’re not sure if your home is compatible with this type of unit, know that YORK® offers a few different options that work in both older and newer homes. “The Whole House Bypass Humidifier relies on the furnace blower motor to send humidity out to the home, and requires a bypass duct be installed,” McMurray explains. “This style of humidifier requires that the furnace is running in order to operate.” The Whole House Fan Powered Humidifier also needs the furnace to run to push the humidity out to the home, but it has higher humidification capacity due to increased airflow from the built-in fan, and works with your home’s existing HVAC system ducting.If your home doesn’t have a furnace, McMurray suggests a Large Capacity Whole House Steam Humidifier. “These can be installed to either discharge directly into a room or to rely on an air handler blower to push the humidified air through the home,” she says. Since it has its own heating element, this model doesn’t need to rely on heat from a furnace or hot water connection. Bonus: All three of these powerful systems come with a 5-year parts limited warranty to ensure years of durability — and they’re backed by the Good Housekeeping Seal. It’s not just about humidity; air quality matters, tooBeyond installing an effective humidifier, you might want to invest in an Energy Recovery Ventilator. Often referred to as ERVs, these fresh-air exchange systems manage the transfer of heat and moisture between incoming and outgoing airstreams. That helps maintain optimal humidity levels throughout the year, while also improving indoor air quality.“Modern homes have tighter seals, which is great for efficiency but can cause the air to become stale and increase indoor air pollution,” McMurray explains. “[Having] an ERV is like opening a window, except you don’t have to wait for the perfect fall day to do so.”This system removes stale, contaminated indoor air and replaces it with fresh, conditioned, and filtered outdoor air for maximum comfort and improved health. Bottom line: Updating your home with a whole-house humidifier and fresh-air system will maximum comfort, health and efficiency not just during the winter months, but throughout the year.York Whole House Bypass HumidifierYork 18 GPD Whole House Fan Powered HumidifierYork Steam HumidifierYork Energy Recovery Ventilator More