6 Houseplants That Could Kill You and Your Pets

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Houseplants are a decorator’s best friend, adding pops of color and a vibrant touch to even the blandest home interiors. And studies show that they also improve air quality, lower your stress level, generally make you happier, and just might even make you smarter.

But what if those seemingly innocent buds are doing just the opposite? What if they’re actually trying to kill you?  Maybe even your pets?

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New Credit Bureau Ratings

When it comes to having good credit, you already know how important it is to pay your bills on time.  But how you pay your bills — not just whether you pay them — is becoming increasingly important.

In the past two to three years, all three major credit bureaus have added a treasure-trove of new data to their credit reports. Analysts are slicing and dicing “trended data” in hundreds of ways, but probably the biggest change is that lenders now know exactly how you pay your bills: whether you’re a high-risk “revolver” who carries a balance, or a low-risk “transactor” who pays your credit cards in full every month.

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Gardening Therapy


Being around greenery may help you cope better with the stress of everyday life or even a trauma or illness.

The latest research on the use of gardens and gardening as therapy has been so positive that a new “branch” of therapy has emerged. “Horticultural therapy” involves a trained therapist who works with people on gardening-related activities tied to treatment goals and improved quality of life.

Whether you tend to your own garden or greenhouse, or take advantage of a horticultural therapist, you can reap the benefits of gardening health, which may help:

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Radon: Is It In My Home?

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Cracks inside the walls and floors of your home can allow radioactive radon gas to creep inside and affect your air quality and health.

Radon – an odorless, colorless, naturally occurring radioactive gas – is inhaled into the lungs, where it can damage the DNA, potentially increasing cancer risk, says Douglas Arenberg, MD, associate professor of medicine in the pulmonary and critical care department at the University of Michigan Health System.

Exposure to radon gas, which can seep through cracks in the walls and floors of your home, increases the risk of developing lung cancer.

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Heating Efficiency

 

Saving money on energy costs and utility
bills is a high priority for homeowners.

Furnaces can suck up electricity and gas, especially if they’re heating more space than needed. In an attempt to lower energy bills, it’s often tempting to close air vents that you aren’t using. But does it really work, or is this energy-saving trick just a myth? Can you save money by closing heating vents?

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Lofty Prices Denting Home Sales

Economists and real-estate agents are finding out that younger and middle-income buyers getting squeezed out.

 

Sales of existing homes fell in October after a September surge, as rising home prices and a lack of inventory challenged potential buyers. Meanwhile, more children are living with their parents than during the 2007-09 recession, an indicator that young adults aren’t striking out on their own despite substantial improvement in the economy.

The pace of existing-home sales fell 3.4% in October from September to a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 5.36 million, the National Association of Realtors said Monday. Read more