This Homeowners Manual was produced by Habitat for Humanity by pengxiang



   The What and Why
     How We Build
  How to Take Care of It

     Underwritten by

This Homeowners Manual was produced by Habitat for Humanity—New York City with
a grant from Mizuho Corporate Bank. Also our thanks to Habitat for Humanity
International, East Bay Habitat for Humanity in Oakland, CA., GreenHome, Inc. and
The Enterprise Communities/Green Partners who provided some of the material
found in this manual.

No endorsement of named products is intended, nor is criticism implied of products
that are not mentioned.

April, 2007

Habitat for Humanity—NYC
111 John Street 23rd Floor
New York, NY 10038

Telephone (212) 991-4000/Fax (212) 991-3990

                           TABLE OF CONTENTS

•   Introduction                                    1
•   Energy Star® Home Certificate                   4
•   Foundation and Exterior Walls                   6
•   Insulation                                      8
•   Windows                                         9
•   Doors                                           11
•   Roofing                                         12
•   Plumbing
            Toilets                                 13
            Showerheads and faucets                 14
•   Heat and Hot Water
            Boiler                                  15
            Hot Water Storage                       16
            Thermostat                              18
            Baseboard Heat                          19
•   Ventilation                                     20
•   Appliances
            Gas Range                               22
            Range Hood                              23
            Refrigerator                            24
            Dishwasher                              25
            Washer/Dryer hook-up                    27
•   Lighting Fixtures and Other Electric            28
•   Paint                                           31
•   Flooring
            Hardwood                                32
            Ceramic                                 34
•   Kitchen Cabinets and Counters                   35
•   Safety Equipment
            Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors     38
•   Important Places in Your Home
            Breaker Panel                           39

           Water Shut Off Valves                 40
           Gas Shut Off Valves                   40
•   What’s in the Basement?                      41
•   How to Keep Your Home Clean and Healthy
           Non-toxic “Green” Cleaning Products   43
           Pest Control                          45
           Bed Bugs                              46
           Good Indoor Air Quality               47
•   NYC Recycling Guidelines
•   Landscaping                                  48
•   Saving on Utility Bills                      49
•   Saving on Water Bills                        50
•   Resources                                    51

What is an
Qualified New Home?

The energy used in homes often comes from the burning of fossil fuels at power
plants, which contributes to smog and pollution, acid rain, and risks of global climate
change. So, the less energy used, the less air pollution that is generated.

Homes that earn the ENERGY STAR® certification must meet guidelines for energy
efficiency set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. ENERGY STAR homes
can include a variety of energy-efficient features, such as effective insulation, high
performance windows, tight construction and ducts, efficient heating and cooling
equipment, and ENERGY STAR qualified lighting and appliances.

These features contribute to improved home quality and homeowner comfort. They
lower energy demand, reduce air pollution and save you money.

Did you know that a typical home can produce twice the
greenhouse gas emissions as the typical car?



     You will find the Energy Star label on products that
exceed energy performance guidelines for energy efficiency. If
all consumers, businesses and organizations in the U.S. chose
Energy Star products over the next decade, the national annual
energy bill would be reduced by about $200 billion. By using
ENERGY STAR, you help prevent global warming, prevent
pollution, and promote cleaner air.


Foundation and Exterior Walls

What is It?

                                         The exterior shell and foundation of your building was
                                         constructed of reinforced concrete-filled, polystyrene blocks
                                         called Insulating Concrete Forms or ICFs. This innovative
                                         system creates a stronger, tighter, more energy-efficient
                                         building than traditional wood-frame construction, saving
                                         you on the cost of heating and cooling.

How It’s Installed
The hollow “blocks” are stacked like Legos to form the shape of the foundation and
walls of the building. The center is then filled with reinforced concrete to create the

The exterior façade of the building is finished with brick, precast stone, and dryvit.

The interior walls are finished with 5/8” drywall.

Why ICFs?
Concrete walls built with ICFs create a strong, durable, insulated, moisture resistant
wall in a single operation. They also offer:

   •   Comfort - provide a more even temperature throughout the day and night,
       with no “cold spots” and fewer drafts.

   •   Sound reduction – reduces outside noise levels by 20%.

   •   Safety – The strength and durability of concrete walls offer superior
       resistance to natural disasters, rot and rusting. They may lower homeowner’s
       insurance costs by 10-25%.

                              TIP – FINDING A STUD

Finding A Stud on an Exterior Wall
When mounting or hanging anything on a drywall surface it is preferable to locate a
stud behind the wall for the best support. ICF forms have recessed steel studs placed
vertically every 6 inches measured from center to center. To locate a stud use a
magnet (available at any hardware store). Using a fine thread drywall screw 1.5”-
2.5,” you can screw threw the 5/8” drywall finish directly into the steel attachment

Finding a Stud on an Interior Wall
Interior walls were framed with metal studs every 16 inches or every 24 inches
(measured from center to center). Use a magnet to locate a stud and use a fine
thread drywall screw longer than 5/8.”

                              A WORD ON CONCRETE

Concrete is composed of cement, water and some form of gravel and sand. Cement
manufacture can cause damage to the environment and to workers at all stages of
the process including airborne pollution in the form of dust and gases, consumption
of large quantities of fuel during manufacture, and release of carbon dioxide from the
raw materials during manufacture.

The concrete used in your building was manufactured (and donated) by Lafarge
North America using recycled materials for both filler and fuel – materials that would
otherwise contribute to landfills.

Contact: (ICFs)

INSULATION             [Energy Star]

What Is It?
All insulating products are based on this principle: heat moves from warmer to colder
areas. On cold days, warm air from inside tries to get out. On warm days, the hot air
outside is trying to get in. Insulation slows this process.

In addition to the insulation provided by your Insulated Concrete Form exterior walls,
your home has two other forms of insulation:

   •   Mineral Wool Insulation is installed inside walls and ceilings that divide public
       spaces and units to absorb sound vibrations and control noise in your home.

   •   Thermal fiberglass insulation
       Installed below the roof joists
       to minimize heat loss in the
       winter and loss of cool air in the

   •   We are also utilizing blue jean
       Insulation that it is a recycled
       Cotton Product and has the
       Same R- Value as standard
       Insulation but Without the
       fiberglass and other VOC’s.

Why We Chose It
   •   Acoustic insulation can reduce noise transmission by as much as 30%.

   •   Mineral wool insulation contains an average of 75% post-industrial recycled
       content. It does not require any additional chemicals to make it fire resistant.

   •   This Energy Star® thermal fiberglass insulation can save you money on your
       energy bill.

   •   blue jean insulation is a recycled environmentally friendly material.

   •   Johnson Manville Formaldehyde free fiberglass insulation has more than 30%
       recycled glass content and contains no harmful chemicals.

   •   Homasote insulation is installed between the wood floor and the sub floor.


What Is It?
Your high performance Energy Star® windows consist of two panes of glass. The
space between the panes is filled with a safe gas (argon) that reduces heat loss
through the window. In addition, an extremely thin and invisible layer of metal or
metal oxide—called a low emittance (low-e) coating—is applied to the surface to
further reduce the amount of heat passing
through the window.

How Were They Installed?
When the windows were installed, caulk,
backer rod, and sill seal were applied around
each window to ensure an airtight seal. You
should not feel a draft around the window
or see moisture between the glass panes.

Why Energy Star® Windows?
Windows play a key role in the energy
efficiency of a home. In the summer they
can allow unwanted heat into your apartment; in the winter they can account for up
to 25% of heat loss. They are also crucial to a home’s livability because they are
your best source of natural light. High performance windows make the house quieter
and more comfortable while saving energy and money.

Care and Maintenance
Your double-hung windows come with a
half screen and a bottom sash that tilts
in and can be removed for easy cleaning.
(Squeeze levers in the upper corners of
the bottom window and pull the sash down.
Carefully reposition the sash in the
appropriate pockets to ensure proper

The glass panels can be cleaned by using a
lintless cloth, sponge or chamois and a
commercial or homemade glass cleaner.
(See Green Cleaning Products) The use
of a rubber squeegee will speed glass drying.

A mild household detergent solution may be
be used to clean the interior and
exterior surfaces of vinyl frames.

Do not use harsh abrasive detergents, paint removers or solvents since they could
damage the surface.

                                   TIP on GLIDE

To make sashes glide up and down more smoothly, spray a silicone lubricant
sparingly on the balances (The mechanical parts that counter balance the weight of
the sashes).

You may clean the balances with alcohol or a soap solution.

   • The lemon formula: for slightly soiled windows, mix 4 tablespoons of lemon
      juice with 1 gallon water.

   • The ammonia formula: for heavily soiled windows, in a 1 gallon bucket mix 1/2
      cup ammonia, 1 pint rubbing alcohol, and 1 tablespoon hand washing liquid
      soap. Fill with enough water to make 1 gallon.


What Are They?
Your apartment door, and all the doors in public areas of the building are metal clad
doors. Hollow-core, masonite doors were used for all the interior rooms of your

Why We Chose Them
Your metal-clad insulated apartment door provides better insulation than a wooden
door. It’s ability to resist heat flow—keeping heat inside your apartment—can be
three times greater than a wooden door.

Metal clad doors also offer protection against the spread of fire in the building.

can make it easier to bring large furniture
into a room. Drive pin up and out with screw
driver and hammer. Remove pin from bottom
hinge first, so the door does not fall while held by one


What Is It?
Your “cold applied roofing system” consists of several layers: a plywood roof deck,
rigid insulation, a fiberglass-reinforced base sheet and an asphalt membrane with a
covering layer of light-colored granules. It is sealed with cold adhesive.

Although your roof is durable and safe, it was not designed to be used as a public

Why We Chose It
Light-colored roofing reduces heat build up through the roof, increasing comfort and
decreasing air conditioning bills.

What   You’ll Find on the Roof
  •    A plumbing vent
  •    Kitchen exhaust fan/vent
  •    Skylight (inoperable)
  •    Hatch cover
  •    Rear gutter

Your roof has a 10-year, no dollar limit, full workmanship and materials
manufacturer’s guarantee.


(Information to be added)


What Is It?
Your Delta® showerhead restricts the rate of water flow from your showerhead to
2.5 gallons/minute without reducing the intensity of the water flow.

Why We Chose It
A five-minute shower can use up to 35 gallons of water and account for more than a
fifth of household water use. A low-flow showerhead conserves water and saves you

[Low-flow showerheads are now available at 1.6 gpm and .5 gpm]

Don’t forget to add aerators to your faucet. These inexpensive devices, available at
any hardware store, add air to the water to provide the same pressure with less
water flow.


What Is It?
You have a gas-fired heating system which forces hot water through baseboard
radiators. The Laars Endurance EBP 175 boiler is a high-efficiency system that
combines boiler operation with a steel storage tank (A.O. Smith TJV-120A) to
provide hot water and heat to your apartment.

Why We Chose It
This Energy Star® Laars boiler saves energy by automatically adjusting its firing rate
to your home's demand for heat or hot water, and it adds comfort by keeping an
even temperature throughout the home.

In addition, it has an AFUE — an annual fuel-utilization rating — of 85% which
means that 85% of the fuel consumed is directly converted to heating your home.

Care and Maintenance
Keep the area around your boiler free and clear of
combustible materials, gasoline and other
flammable vapors and liquids.

Clean the jacket surface with damp cloth and
mild soap

Keep the exterior vent free of obstructions.

Do not pile snow against the vent.

Visually inspect the vent pipe once a year.

Have a trained technician check your boiler annually
To make sure it is in good working order.

A. This appliance does not have a pilot. It is equipped with an ignition device which
automatically lights the burner. Do not try to light the burner by hand.

B. BEFORE OPERATING smell all around the appliance area for gas. Be sure to smell
next to the floor because some gas is heavier than air and will settle on the floor.

• Do not try to light any appliance.
• Do not touch any electric switch; do not use any phone in your building.
• Immediately call your gas supplier from a neighbor's phone. Follow the gas
supplier's instructions.
• If you cannot reach your gas supplier, call the fire department.


Operating Manual and Warranty
Your boiler has a one-year contractor’s guarantee and service contract.


What Is It?
Your building has been provided with a supplemental, 120-gallon water tank (A.O.

Why We Chose It
Its jacket is high-density fiberglass insulation to prevent heat loss. The tank is
glass-lined to protect again corrosion.

Care and Maintenance
More information will be added here.



What Is It?
Your programmable thermostat located in the living room can be set to automatically
adjust your home's temperature settings while you're away or sleeping.

For example, if you are like many homeowners and work outside the home during
the day, you might program your thermostat like this for weekdays: Wake Up (6am)
-70º; Leave for Work (8am)-62º; Return (6pm) - 70°; Sleep (10 pm) - 60°. (Your
thermostat may already be pre-set to use these EnergyStar temperature settings.)

Why We Chose It

The Energy Star® brand can reduce your heating expenses by as much as 33%. It
is also more convenient and accurate than a manual thermostat and contains no
mercury. It is better for the environment, since using less energy helps reduce
greenhouse gas emissions.

Contact: or 1-800-468-1502
Operating Manual and Warranty


What Is It?
The slant/fin baseboard encloses a high performance heating element. The front
panel is dent-proof 18-guage metal with a white enamel finish.

Why We Chose It
Baseboard heating provides even heat around the perimeter of your rooms. It is

quiet and there are no on-and-off blowing ducts.

Care and Maintenance
The “damper” or fin that runs the
length of the baseboard can pivot to
adjust the flow of hot air up or down.
The temperature is controlled at the

Baseboards can be vacuumed
with a brush attachment or
wiped down with a sponge or soft
cloth and mild cleaner.

To ensure even heat distribution, do not place furniture or window coverings directly
in front of or over the radiators.



What Is It?
In addition to your range hood, your home has:

An Energy Star® qualified
Panasonic® FV-07VQL2 ceiling-
mounted combination light/
exhaust fan in each bathroom
that is controlled manually
by a wall switch. It also
includes a nightlight feature.

                                                   A continuously operating kitchen
                                                   fan that is vented to the roof and
                                                   functions as a “whole house fan.”
                                                   The wall-mounted register for the
                                                   fan is located above the kitchen

Why We Chose It
All homes require some ventilation to provide fresh air and to remove moisture and
household pollutants that may come from a variety of sources including gas
appliances, household cleaning products, and other chemicals. Your home was
designed to be airtight to provide more comfort and lower operating costs. However,
moisture and pollutants “trapped” in an airtight building can be hazardous to your
health and cause damage to the building.

In an airtight building it is especially important to have
good ventilation. Your system is quiet, energy efficient and long lasting.

The bathroom fans have the added
benefit of using compact fluorescent
light bulbs.

Care and Maintenance

  •   Bathroom Fan -Be sure to run the fan during showers. Both mold and dust
      mites, tiny life forms that can be irritating to the lungs, thrive in moisture.

  •   Kitchen Exhaust – Although your kitchen exhaust fan will be running
      continuously, it is important to run your range hood fan while cooking to
      expel steam, gases, smoke and other byproducts of your gas-burning stove
      that can result from cooking.



What Is It?
Your Energy Star® Whirlpool
(SF11PXS) is a white free-
standing gas range with a recessed
porcelain cook top that contains
spills and a standard cleaning

Why We Chose It
This range has a simple, functional
design with mechanical controls and
electric ignition. It is energy efficient
and easy to clean. The oven window
allows you to check food without
opening the door. The door can also
be removed for easy cleaning.

Care and Maintenance
The Whirlpool Operating Manual provides
information on the use of features such
as the display clock and timer as well as
general care and cleaning instructions.

Soap, water and a soft cloth or sponge should be used to clean spills as soon as the
range has cooled. Never use an abrasive cleaning pad. (See Non-Toxic Cleaning
Products, p. ? for suggested cleaner.)

Food spills containing acids, such as vinegar and tomato, should be cleaned
promptly. These foods may affect the range’s finish.

Operating Manual and Warranty


What Is It?
The Whirlpool RH2630XJ is a non-vented hood that re-circulates air with a
fan/blower. It includes a covered overhead light.

Why We Chose It
The range hood has simple light and fan controls and a removable grease filter that
makes it easy to clean and maintain.

Care and Maintenance

For best results turn hood fan on at the beginning of cooking and allow it to run until
all smoke, odors and humidity are removed from the room.

   To remove filter and light lens pull firmly on the filter tab.

   To clean the filter, place it in the dishwasher or soak in hot sudsy water.

   Use a sponge and mild soap to clean exterior surfaces. (See Non-toxic Cleaning
   Products, p. ?) Do not use abrasive cleansers or pads.

   Do not use a light bulb larger than 60 watts.

   See installation instructions for cleaning the blower fan and replacing filters.


Installation Instructions


What Is It?
The Energy Star® Whirlpool ET8WTEXM is an 18.2 cu.ft. refrigerator with upper
freezer, clear crisper bins, and optional icemaker.

Why We Chose It
Your refrigerator can be the single
biggest electricity-guzzling appliance
in your home. An Energy Star®
refrigerator saves you money because
it has better insulation, an efficient
motor and more precise temperature
and defrost mechanisms.

Care and Maintenance

Clean surfaces with mild, non-abrasive

Keep the refrigerator set at between
35-38ºF. and your freezer at 0º F.

Minimize the time the door is open.

                                                     Some new refrigerators
                                                     are so energy-smart they
                                                     use less electricity than a
                                                     light bulb!

Owner’s Manual


What Is It?
The Energy Star® Whirlpool DU915PWPQ

Why We Chose It
Energy Star® dishwashers use at least 40% less energy than the federal minimum
standard and use much less water than conventional models. In addition, it saves
approximately 1,200 gallons of water a year--six times the amount of water the
average person drinks in a year.

Because they use less water, there is less water to heat, saving you about $90 in
electric bills over the lifetime of the dishwasher.

Care and Maintenance
You can save extra money washing dishes:

Run your dishwasher only with a full load. Most of the energy used goes to heating
water. You can’t decrease the amount of water used per cycle, but you can fill the
dishwasher to capacity.

Avoid using the heat-dry, rinse-hold and pre-rinse features. Instead use your
dishwasher’s air-dry or energy-saving option.

Scrape your dishes – don’t rinse! Pre-rinsing is no longer necessary with today's
technology and detergents. You may be using more water to pre-rinse your dishes
than the dishwasher uses for a full wash cycle!

Dishwasher vs. Hand Washing: A dishwasher uses half the energy and 1/6 the
water (and less soap) than even the most careful hand washer. (

Operating Manual and Warranty
See cleaning supplies for non-toxic dishwasher soap


In the basement there is a washer and dryer hookup for the building.

When considering your purchase of a
washer and dryer, look for the
Energy Star® label. An Energy Star
clothes washer can save up to
$160/year on energy bills while using
up to 60% less water and 80% less
energy than older models.

Although dryers are not currently Energy Star-labeled, you can look for the most
efficient by comparing the yellow Energy Guide sticker on every model.


                             Line drying clothes is free!


What Is It?
All of the Energy Star® Progress® light fixtures in your home are designed to be
used with compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLS), with the exception of the fixture
over the vanity which uses a linear fluorescent tube.

Each fixture requires special 2-pin or 4-pin bulbs that are available at most large
hardware stores such as Lowe’s or Home Depot.

CFLs in Your Home

Room                       Quantify      Type            Watts
Living Room                      3       Quad 4-pin      13W
Kitchen                          2       Quad 4-pin      13W
Bedroom                          2       Quad 4-pin      13W
Hall and Bedroom                 1       Quad 4-pin      13W
Closet                           1       Twin 2-pin      7W
Bathroom ceiling                 2       Twin 2-pin      13W

Why We Chose It
Using CFLs is one of the easiest ways you can save money, consume less energy and
protect the environment. CFLs cost a little more, but they are worth it. CFLs:

   •     Use 2/3 less energy than standard incandescent bulbs to provide the same
         amount of light, and they last up to 10 times longer.
   •     Save $30 or more in energy costs over the bulb’s lifetime.
   •     Generate 70% less heat saving on cooling costs in the summer.
   •     Are now available in different sizes, shapes, and colors to fit almost any
         indoor or outdoor fixture.

How to Choose the Right CFLs
Screw-in CFLs can also be used in most standard lamp fixtures.
Try to replace incandescent bulbs with CFLs where they are used
the most.

Read packaging carefully to make sure that the type of bulb
you choose works for the fixture you have in mind. For
example, if you have a fixture that is connected to a dimmer,
select the CFL that is labeled for this use.

Choose the best color; warm colors in most areas of the home, cooler colors for work

Choose the CFL with the same light output as the light you are replacing.

If every American home replaced just one light bulb with a CFL, we would save
enough energy to light more than 2.5 million homes for a year and prevent harmful
greenhouse gases equivalent to the emissions of nearly 800,000 cars.

Care and Maintenance
What to do if a CFL breaks: CFLs contain a very small amount of mercury within the
glass tubing—an average of 5 milligrams (roughly equivalent to the tip of a ball point
pen). Because there is such a small amount of mercury in CFLs, your greatest risk, if
a bulb breaks, is getting cut from glass shards. Research indicates that there is no
immediate health risk to you or your family should a bulb break and it’s cleaned up

Sweep up—don’t vacuum—all of the glass fragments and fine particles.

Place the broken pieces in a sealed plastic bag and wipe the area with a damp paper
towel to pick up any stray shards of glass or fine particles. Put the used towel in the
plastic bag as well.


Like paint, batteries, thermostats and other hazardous items, a burned-out CFL
should be taken to your Special Waste Drop Off Center. See (TBD) for locations
and hours.


Intercom System (Information to be added)

Exterior Lighting – photo-electric sensors (Information to be added)

GFI Outlets
   In rooms with water, such as bathrooms and kitchens, some of the electric
   outlets will be GFIs (Ground Fault Interrupter). A GFI is a safety feature on the
   outlet that helps prevent injury from electric shock. A GFI has two buttons:
   “test” and “reset”. Occasionally, one of the buttons will trip or switch off, and
   stop an appliance from working. When this happens, push the reset button. If a
   GFI keeps switching off, it may have too many appliances or lights running at one

Telephone connections are located in the living room and bedrooms. (Information
to be added)

Your home is pre-wired for cable television in the living room and bedrooms.
(Information to be added)


What Is It?
The walls of your home have been painted with Valspar [color, number, finish] and
the trim was painted with Valspar[color, number, finish]

Why We Chose It
Most paint releases volatile organic compounds (VOCs), a major source of indoor air
pollution. Once outside, VOCs can react with other pollutants producing ground-level
ozone that also affects human health.

Your apartment has been painted with low-VOC latex paint. In addition to low VOCs
it was manufactured without mercury or mercury compounds, or pigments of lead,
cadmium, chromium or their oxides.

Care and Maintenance
Latex paint cleans easily with just soap and water. (Information to be added)



What Is It?

Tongue and groove FSC certified red oak flooring was used for all general living
areas. It has been finished with two coats of a low-VOC water-based sealer.

Why We Chose It
In many forests around the world, logging still contributes to habitat destruction,
water pollution, displacement of indigenous peoples and wildlife. For that reason, all
your hardwood flooring has been certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, a non-
profit organization that works with timber companies to ensure that they manage
their forests responsibly. This will assure the long-term availability of these precious
woods while protecting old-growth forests.

Wood flooring is manufactured from a natural renewable source and is less energy
intensive and polluting to produce than petroleum-based products, such as vinyl
flooring. It also provides a healthier indoor air quality than carpeted floors, which
often contain VOCs, and trap dust and dust-mites that contribute to respiratory

Care and Maintenance
Dirt, grit and sand are your hardwood floor’s worst enemy; they act like sandpaper
on the finish, causing scratches, and dulling.
   •   Place floor mats at your entrance to trap dirt and prevent damage.
   •   Sweep, vacuum (with the soft brush attachment) or dust mop regularly.
   •   Avoid oil soaps; they can leave a residue that dulls the finish. Instead, damp
       mop with a neutral pH cleaner made specifically for wood floors. (See Non-
       toxic Cleaning Products, pgs. 43 & 44).
   •   Lift—don’t drag—the furniture to avoid scratching the floor.
   •   Wipe up all spills as they happen. Standing water can warp a hardwood floor
       and damage the finish.
   •   Felt pads that can be purchased at a hardware store and attached to furniture
       legs will help prevent scratches.

BonaKemi ( and Earth Friendly Products ( make
good natural, non-toxic wood floor cleaners.


What Is It?
The kitchen and bathroom floors are ceramic tile.

Why We Chose It
Ceramic tiles are durable, water resistant and easy to clean. (Information to be

Care and Maintenance

(See Non-toxic Cleaning Products) (Information to be added)


What Is It?
Your kitchen cabinets were manufactured locally from Skyblend® particle board and
have a plastic laminated surface called melamine. The doors are made of plywood
and oak veneer certified by the Forest Stewardship Council and finished with a low-
VOC lacquer.

Why We Chose It                                                What Is FSC wood?
Skyblend is 100% pre-consumer recycled wood
fiber particleboard that has no urea
                                                         The Forest Stewardship Council, is a
formaldehyde added as a binder during the
                                                        non-profit organization that works with
manufacturing process and will not emit toxic gases.
                                                        timber companies to ensure that they
                                                        manage their forests in such a way that
The doors and veneer are made from FSC woods.
                                                        assures the long-term availability of
The lacquer finish is low-VOC.
                                                        precious woods while protecting old-
                                                        growth forests.
Care and Maintenance
The melamine cabinet “boxes” and the doors can be cleaned with a mild household

As in all “green” cleaning, products containing acetone, acetate or ethyl alcohol
should not be used. Ammonia and harsh solvents such as turpentine may break
down bonds of the adhesive and should also be avoided.

Occasionally cabinet doors need readjustment. Follow the steps below.




What Is It?

Your kitchen countertops are made of IceStone®, a durable surface manufactured in
Brooklyn from 100% recycled glass and concrete.

Why We Chose It
Unlike other manufactured surfaces, IceStone® does not use petroleum-based
materials and therefore does not emit harmful gases. In addition, it reduces waste
by using recycled materials.

Care and Maintenance
Like natural stone, IceStone is porous. To protect the surface from stains, the
counter should be resealed twice a year with a penetrating sealer followed by a
topical sealer. IceStone recommends: Brightstone Stone Finish penetrating sealer
( and Stone Spray N Seal topical sealer
( Both of these products are available at Lowes or Home
Depot or online.

Please read IceStone’s Maintenance Guidelines carefully. Heat, acids (red wine,
lemon juice, vinegar), cleaners containing ammonia and other substances can
damage sealant and result in staining.

IceStone Maintenance Guidelines



What Is It?
A carbon monoxide (CO) detector is a device that detects the presence of carbon
monoxide, a colorless and odorless gas that is produced by incomplete combustion
and can be lethal at high levels. If a high level of CO is detected, it will sound an
alarm giving you a chance to ventilate the area or safely leave.

A smoke detector detects smoke and sounds an alarm to alert you that there is a
potential fire.

Your apartment has two combination smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. One is
located on the living room ceiling outside the bedroom; the other on the ceiling in
the hall just outside the two back bedrooms.

Care and Maintenance
Your dual carbon monoxide/smoke detectors are “hardwired”—that is, they get their
current from the building wiring. They continuously activate as long as there is
electricity. In case of a power failure, they have a backup battery.

   •   Check detectors periodically by pushing the button on the bottom

   •   Replace the back-up battery twice a year [or according to manufacturer’s
       suggestion]; a good time is when you change your clock for daylight savings

Contact:[manufacturer’s web site to be added]



What Is It?
Your circuit breaker panel is located in the hallway outside the kitchen. It is the
point at which electricity enters your home.

The breakers are arranged in columns and are numbered. Each circuit should have a
descriptive label indicating what part of the house it controls.

At the top of the column is a larger single breaker switch that controls all the
electricity to your home.

How to Reset a “Tripped” Circuit Breaker
When a circuit breaker “trips”--shuts down the electricity to part of your house—it is
telling you there is something wrong. The most common cause of a circuit “tripping”
is too many appliances on the same circuit. Before resetting the switch, try to
correct the problem, in this case, by unplugging one
or more of the appliance.

To reset a circuit breaker just push the switch to “reset” or “on.”

(information to be added)


What Are They?
Your plumbing system has numerous shutoff valves for controlling water flow. It is
important to be familiar with the shutoffs--especially the main shutoff—so you can
get to them quickly in case of an emergency such as an overflowing toilet or
appliance or a leak.

Where Are They?

Your kitchen and bathroom sinks have individual hot and cold water shutoff
valves located under the sink.

Your toilets have a single valve under the toilet.

Your dishwasher has a water valve located under the kitchen sink.

You can shut off the hot water supply for the entire building at the boiler.

You can shut off the entire water supply for the building where it enters your
building near the water meter in the basement.

How to Shut Off Water Supply

To shut off water, turn the valve clockwise to the right.


The gas valve for you stove is located behind the stove near the wall. If you smell a
strong odor of gas turn the valve off and call Gas Company. The valve is off when it
forms a T with the gas pipe.


In the rear:
   • Boiler and Hot Water Storage Tank (See Heat and Hot Water). The boiler
      flue is vented to the rear of the building. The electric shut off switch for the
      boiler is located on the unit and clearly marked.

   •   Electric clothes washer and gas dryer hook-ups. The gas dryer is vented
       to the rear of the building and has a louvered hood.

   •   Hose bib water supply shut off valve. Although the spigot is “non-
       freeze”, you should always shut off the water in the fall and do not turn back
       on until you are certain there are to be no more below freezing temperatures.

   •   A ceiling-mounted combination smoke/carbon monoxide alarm (See
       Safety Equipment)

In the front:
   • Water Meter – a single labeled water meter for the building with a “remote”
      read-out that can be accessed by the city from the exterior of the building

   •   Gas Meter – a single labeled gas meter for the boiler. It requires monthly
       reading by your service provider.

   •   Gas Meter – a single labeled gas meter for apartment gas ranges. It
       requires monthly reading by your service provider.

   •   Electric Meter – There is one main meter for each building.

   •   Fresh air vent to the gas meter room

   •   Master Cable box

   •   Master Telephone box

   •   Master TV Amplifier

   •   Sump Pump – will automatically turn on to pump out any water that may
       have accumulated in the sump pump pit.

   •   Circuit Breaker Panel for the basement and other public areas of the

Keep all registers and exterior vents clear of obstructions.


(Information to be added)



What Is It?
Cleaning your home is important because it helps remove harmful contaminants such
as mold and bacteria. But many conventional cleaning products can also cause
health problems.

Fortunately, many green alternative, non-toxic cleaning products are now available
at larger hardware and grocery stores. Some brands that are readily available

              •   Seventh Generation
              •   Citra-Solv
              •   Ecover
              •   Earth Friendly Product
              •   Simple Green

Check out for great information on alternative
green products and the specific brands they can replace.

Air Fresheners              Carpet Care
All-purpose cleaners        Dishwashing
Kitchen and Bathroom        Insect Control
Paper Products              Laundry
Wood Floor Care

Why Use Green Cleaning Products?
Toxic cleaning products can be a particular problem for people who have health
conditions such as asthma or allergies or have chemical sensitivities or a weak
immune system.

Some cleaning products can cause headaches, dizziness, skin irritation, respiratory
irritation and asthma, eye irritation or worse; some contain cancer-causing
substances, or toxins that can effect your reproductive system, central nervous
system or your endocrine system.

Choosing Green Products
   • Look for products that are labeled “non-toxic,” “low-VOC” or “zero VOC,”
      and/or “biodegradable.”

   •   Look for unscented products as some people are sensitive to fragrance.

   •   As a general rule, try to avoid all products that are labeled “Danger—Poison.”
       Products labeled “Warning” can also be dangerous, but less so, and products
       labeled “Caution” are the least harmful of the three but can still be hazardous.

   •   Avoid products that are labeled “Corrosive,” “Severely Irritating,” “Highly
       Flammable,” or “Highly Combustible.

   •   Avoid aerosols when possible; they often contain substances that are
       flammable and can contribute to indoor air quality problems.

   •   Avoid using most “air fresheners”, especially if they contain
       paradichlorobenzene. Ingredients like this can cause headaches and other
       health problems.

   •   Avoid using mothballs; instead store wool clothes in plastic bags or airtight

DO-IT-YOURSELF All-Purpose Cleaner
(for countertops, floors, walls, bathroom fixtures, etc.)

1 quart warm water
1 teaspoon liquid dishwashing soap
1 teaspoon borax
1/2 cup white vinegar
Mix ingredients and store in a spray bottle.

                                   (Source: Healthy Home Guide, Enterprise Partners)



If you find ants, rodents or other pests in your apartment, report it to the building
superintendent right away.

   •   Please do not use toxic pesticide products. Pesticides are harmful not only to
       the pests they try to exterminate, but also to children, adults and family pets.
       They have been linked to serious illnesses such as cancer, birth defects, and
       neurological and immune system disorders as well as allergies and asthma.

   •   As a general rule avoid products labeled “Danger—Poison.” The web site provides a non-toxic solution to almost
       any type of pest you could encounter in your home.

   • also provides information on poison-free
       alternative products for insect control.

   •   If you decide you must use some chemical pest control products, consider
       using bait—rather than sprays—for cockroaches and ants; and traps—rather
       than poisons—for rodents.

                             Best Pest Prevention
Clean up and remove food sources. Keep kitchen counter, stove tops, and floors
clean, put garbage in tightly sealed containers and empty daily, and thoroughly rinse

Store sugars, grains, and pet food in glass jars with seals or gaskets or plastic
containers with tight-fitting lids.


Bed bugs in New York City have become an increasingly common problem – in
hospitals, hotels, schools, homes, and even the fanciest hotels. Unlike mice and
roaches, which are attracted to dirty surroundings, bed bugs can thrive in even the
best-scrubbed home.

Bed bugs are small, nocturnal insects that feed on blood. They are about 1/4-inch
long and 1/8-inch wide. They have flat, reddish-brown bodies with six legs, and after
feeding, they become round and red. They give off a sweet, musty odor. Their eggs
are white and very small, and their excrement appears as tiny brown or black spots.

Bed bugs are typically found on mattresses, box springs and bed frames, clothing,
bedding, furniture, or any dark cracks, seams, or crevices in walls or floors. They can
travel through water pipes, wall voids, and ducts, and can spread from room to

Some people who are bitten by them get itchy welts on their skin.

It is critical to prevent bed bugs from being brought into your home.

Preventing the Introduction of Bed Bugs
Before you move in and bring clothing and bedding into your new home, wash the
items in hot, soapy water and dry them on the hottest dryer setting.

Do not replace a mattress with a used mattress.

Eliminate excess clutter (particularly near beds and clothes), to reduce the number
of places where the bugs can hide.

Getting Rid of Bed Bugs

       •   Wash any infested bedding or clothing with hot, soapy water and dry it on
           the hottest dryer setting.
       •   Use hot, soapy water or rubbing alcohol to wipe surfaces where the bugs
           are living.
       •   Vacuum cracks, crevices, and other hiding places in walls, floors, and
           furniture where adult bed bugs or eggs are found. Dispose of the vacuum
           contents in a sealed trash bag.
       •   If a mattress with bed bugs on it is torn and/or infested, it will probably
           need to be thrown out, as the bugs can live inside the mattress where
           they can’t be reached. Do not treat mattresses with insecticides.
       •   Have building maintenance staff seal up any cracks where the bugs may
           be living.


Indoor air pollution is a serious issue for today’s homeowners especially if a member
of your family has asthma or allergies. Some studies even indicate indoor levels of
pollutants may be two to five times higher than outdoor levels.

Although your home was built using many non-toxic materials – among them, low-
VOC finishes and adhesives, formaldehyde-free particleboard and insulation and a
high-efficiency boiler –the use of many common products can release toxins and
particles into the air of hour home.

Cleaning your home regularly and using non-toxic cleaning and pest control
products is a great start.

Other potentially dangerous household products include:
       Glues                      Disinfectants
       Paints and thinners        Strippers
       Waxes                      Caulking
       Varnishes                  Air fresheners
       De-greasers                Hair Dye

To Keep Your Family Healthy
   Read product labels. Look for “non-toxic”, “low-VOC”, and “zero-VOC” labels.
   Use any suspicious products in a well-ventilated room.

   Avoid using mothballs; they contain pesticide and deodorant.

   Don’t use air fresheners that contain para-dichlorobenzene.

   Air out clothes that have been dry cleaned before wearing.

   Avoid chlorine bleach unless absolutely necessary; hydrogen peroxide is a good

   Consider a no shoes rule since pesticide and other irritants come in on the
   bottom of your feet; leave a shoe basket by the door and wear slippers.

   No Smoking Allowed; even smoking indoors with a window open doesn’t prevent
   others from breathing smoke.


(Information to be added)


In winter keep the blinds and drapes of sun-exposed windows open in the daytime
and closed at night to conserve heat. In the summer close your blinds in the
daytime to keep the house cool.

If you have a window air conditioning unit, remove it for the winter months to
prevent heat from escaping through and around the unit. If it can't be removed, buy
a cover to prevent drafts.

Ceiling fans can keep you comfortable in the winter too. Reversing the direction of
the blades pushes warm air down into the room.

Only wash and dry full loads of clothes.

Unless clothes are badly stained, wash in cold water; always rinse clothes in cold

Turn off office equipment (TVs, radios, computers) and other appliances (the toaster,
DVD, coffee maker, stereo, microwave) when not needed, at night or on the
weekends. Home electronic products use energy when they're off to power features
like clock displays and remote controls. (In the average home, 40% of the electricity
used to power home electronics is consumed while the products are turned off.) At
the very least pull the plug on these appliances if you go on vacation.

(Tip: If you put several appliances—your TV, DVD, VCR and stereo, for example—on
a surge protector, you can turn them all off at once.)

Use your exhaust fans sparingly; in just one hour they can remove a houseful of
warmed or cooled air.

Set the temperature control on your air conditioner no lower than 78º. Each degree
above 75° on the thermostat saves you 3% of the energy used to cool your home.

Check air conditioner filter at least once a month, and, if necessary, replace it. If
you can do so safely, check and clean the condenser coils and fins on the outside of
the unit.

Use your microwave to reheat food; it uses 60% less energy than reheating on the

Refrigerator coils—usually located on the back of the refrigerator—are used to expel
heat, and if they are dusty it makes your fridge use more energy. Vacuum the coils
once a year, especially if you have dogs and cats. Animal hair can really inhibit heat


Repair all leaky faucets. One drop per second can waste as much as 10 gallons of
water a day.

Take showers rather than baths. A typical shower requires only half as much hot
water as an average tub bath.

Store drinking water in the refrigerator. Don't let the tap run while you are waiting
for cool water to flow.

Don't let water run while shaving, washing your face, or brushing your teeth. This
saves four gallons of water a minute.

Wash fruits and vegetables in a half-filled sink rather than under running water.

Don’t use the toilet as a wastebasket and don’t flush it unnecessarily.


(Additional information will be added here.)


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