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Tue, March 26

Ask the contractor: New product creates light without electricity

Q: We want to bring more light into our home, but we are not comfortable with skylights. At the Fall Home Show a few weeks ago, we saw a tube light of some sort and cannot remember what it was or the contractor's name.-Sally and Ed, Prescott Valley

A: The item that you saw was a Solatube, a high-performance tubular system that delivers natural light to interior rooms of your home. This system is engineered to efficiently capture the sun's rays and delivers them to your home through a pipe. Installation can usually be done in three hours or less without any structural changes to your home.

Solartubes are cost-effective and energy-efficient and are a wonderful solution to lighting problems in rooms without natural light such as closets, bathrooms, corridors and offices. Solartube lighting eliminates the need for electricity to light these areas and/or rooms.

From sunup to sundown, these devices capture daylight and then transfer it through a highly reflective tube that then disperses the sunlight throughout the space. The solartube is unlike skylights or windows because a permit is not required for installation, there is no reframing needed in the truss system, and there are no attic obstruction issues, since the system has various angle adapters that make extensions so it can be maneuvered around rafters and attic joists without problems. There are no drywall repairs or painting.

Solartubes can be installed on most any type of roof and are leak-proof. They have a seamless one-piece design and their circular rooftop dome does not allow for any rain infiltration. There is no glare with Solartubes, and the infrared rays are screened so there is no fading of fabric and furniture.

As an added bonus, studies have shown that people are more productive when exposed to natural light, have a better sense of well-being.

Arizona Window Wizard installs Solartubes here in town. The owner is Pete and he is very knowledgeable on this lighting system. Pete can be reached at 710-3081.

Q: We have bathroom mold! How can we get rid of it?-Tim and Ellen, Prescott Valley

A: Bathroom mold is one of the most common problems in homes. Accordingly to Service Master and Western Technology, bathroom mold is one of the easiest to prevent and clean up as long as you keep it in check.

Why does bathroom mold occur? Because mold loves damp, dark closed-in spaces. Bathrooms are the best area for mold to grow because this room remains damp long after a bath or shower. Another reason is lack of ventilation in these rooms. You should have an attic fan or window to keep the air moving.

Follow these tips in the bathroom:

• Always use the ventilation fan and leave it on for 30 minutes or longer after you have finished your shower or bath. If you do not have an exhaust fan, one should be installed.

• Try to keep your household humidity at 60 percent or less.

• Do not keep your shampoo bottles or bath sponges or gels on shower or bath ledges as these provide closed-in spaces for mold to grow.

• If you have mold on the bath caulking, it should be removed and replaced. Use mold-kill products such a bleach, hydrogen peroxide or vinegar to clean these areas and keep them free of mold.

Yavapai County Contractors Association (YCCA) is a professional association representing licensed, bonded and insured contractors, suppliers, distributors and business entities. Call YCCA for information on hiring a contractor at 778-0040. Submit questions to or through


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