Cigar Humidors 101: What They Are, How They Work, and the Best Picks How Fast Does Facial Hair Grow? Tips for Growing a Beard Faster How to Enjoy Your Campfires Responsibly With summer winding down, you’re probably starting to think about everything you need to get done before you enter full winter hibernation mode: caulking drafty windows, moving outdoor accessories indoors, maybe even a fall cleaning before the holidays. While an unwanted breeze or the sight of uncovered patio furniture might remind you to take care of some winterization tasks, there’s one part of your home that can be easy to forget about: your air ducts. Not only have your air ducts been keeping you comfortably cool all summer, you’ll be relying on them to keep you toasty all winter too. So fall is the perfect time for air duct cleaning — and there are plenty of great reasons to give your HVAC system a little TLC.To Increase Heating EfficiencyAlthough fall and winter bring plenty to look forward to, from turkey day feasts to holiday cheer, they also bring about higher utility costs as you try to keep your home safe from the chilly outdoors. When your air ducts are squeaky clean, warm air can flow freely and your heater can maintain a comfortable temperature with minimal effort. If those ducts get clogged with dust and debris, the whole system has to work a lot harder to keep air circulating properly — which means higher utility bills for you. Having your air ducts cleaned before winter increases the efficiency of your HVAC system and the savings can help line your pockets with extra cash for holiday expenses.To Improve Air Quality and CirculationCold weather means you’ll be spending a lot more time in your house, and the holidays mean you’ll likely have visitors too. The last thing you want to do is entertain in a house that feels stuffy or has a lingering musty smell that will have guests giving you the side-eye. Dirty ducts prevent your HVAC system from pulling more dust out of the air, which can leave your house smelling like wet newspaper and regret. A good cleaning will give you back that new house smell and keep holiday company happier and healthier.To Eliminate Irritants and HazardsThose dirty ducts don’t just make your home’s air stiff and stinky, they’re also a favorite hangout for harmful allergens and irritants that can recirculate back into your house. Having a professional give your HVAC system a once over will alert you to any infestations, mold growth, or debris buildup that can contribute to nausea, headaches, congestion, and poor sleep. If you have any allergy or asthma sufferers in your family, they’ll surely thank you for helping them breathe easier.Aside from health concerns, HVAC systems that become clogged with highly-flammable lint are also a major fire hazard, and letting them go unserviced for too long can be an invitation for disaster.To Cut Down on Your Cleaning ScheduleEver spent a Saturday giving your whole house the ol’ scrub-down, only to find a brand new layer of dust on everything a couple days later? An unkempt HVAC system could be your problem. When debris builds up in your air ducts, it gets recirculated back into your home and settles on your furniture, creating that seemingly insurmountable layer of dust on every surface. Having your ducts cleaned will help keep your home neat and your schedule clear.With so many benefits, it’s easy to see why an annual duct cleaning is a no-brainer addition to your winterization checklist. How to Get Rid of Cigar Breath, Smell, and Smoke How to Care for Your Houseplants in the Winter Editors’ Recommendations
P>“I am pleased that the companies I met with today pledged to continue their efforts, in line with international commitments towards the goal of being as close as possible to universal access by 2010,” Mr. Annan said following the meeting with executives of nine companies and the heads of a number of UN agencies, the first time manufacturers of generic drugs attended such a meeting. Despite the significant advances in the five years since he first met with pharmaceutical company executives, Mr. Annan said the AIDS epidemic is “still outpacing our efforts and we need to work together in a broad partnership to step up the response.” In that light, he said that the companies have committed individually to continue to review their product offerings and the prices of their existing and new HIV medications and diagnostics, especially for children, to make them more affordable, accessible and appropriate for use in low- and middle-income countries. They have also agreed to register their HIV medications and diagnostics as widely as possible, increase investment in research, and give greater priority to the development of paediatric formulations of HIV medications and specific diagnostic tools for children. While affirming the importance of intellectual property rights, they said they would continue to develop arrangements with third-party manufacturers for licences and technology transfers to make HIV medications and diagnostics more affordable and accessible.Mr. Annan said participants also agreed on the role of the UN system in a number of areas, including work on the removal of import duties on HIV medications and diagnostics, and the development of guidelines on diagnosis, treatment, product quality and forecasting of needsIn addition, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) committed themselves to step up efforts to expand the pre-qualification programme of urgently needed medicines and diagnostics. “These commitments are all of vital importance,” Mr. Annan said. “But given the scale of the challenge, they are not sufficient in themselves,” he said in describing other efforts that will be made by participants to identify further measures needed. From the UN system, the participants included: Kemal Dervis, Administrator of the UN Development Programme (UNDP); Ann Veneman, Executive Director of UNICEF; Peter Piot, Executive Director of the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS); and Anders Nordström, acting Director-General of WHO.Participating pharmaceutical and diagnostic companies included Aspen Pharmacare, Aurobindo Pharma, Becton Dickinson, Bristol-Myers Squibb, GlaxoSmithKline, Hetero Drugs, Johnson & Johnson, Merck & Company and Ranbaxy Laboratories Limited.