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How Your House Works: A Visual Guide to Understanding and Maintaining Your Home, Updated and Expanded Paperback – February 28, 2012
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From the Back Cover
An easy-to-understand, richly illustrated guide to how everything in a house works
Why is my faucet leaking, my toilet running, or my dishwasher refusing to start? Can I fix it myself? What's causing the heating system to smell bad or the foundation to crack? Do I need an air filtration system? Is the new "engineered lumber" as good as conventional wood? These are just a few examples of questions homeowners face when repairs are needed or when a new house or addition is being planned.
This new edition of How Your House Works uncovers the mysteries behind just about every major appliance and building element in your house. Clear "exploded" drawings show you exactly how these things should be put together and how they function—what to check if they don't work, and what you can do that might save you from calling in a professional.
The easy-to-understand pictures and explanations on every page get right to the point, helping you understand how things work, what can go wrong, and how to troubleshoot a problem.
Virtually everything in your house is included:
Electrical – circuit breakers and grounding, service, outlets, lamps, and fixtures
Heating and air conditioning – gas, electrical, and oil, ductwork and piping, thermostats, central and window AC units, humidifiers and dehumidifiers, and air filtering systems
Plumbing – kitchen and bath fixtures, piping, water heaters, traps and vents, septic tanks, and pumps and water softener systems (even sprinkler systems and swimming pool filters/heaters)
Major household appliances – from kitchen to laundry
Foundation, framing, doors, and windows – including issues like drainage and radon, types of framing and how it supports the house, and all types of doors and windows
Sustainability and beyond – covers sustainability and issues outside the house, as well as clock thermostats, ventless gas heaters, moisture and mold, and¿¿passive solar heating
This quick and easy guide will save you time and money, answer nagging questions, and help you keep your house running smoothly.
About the Author
The author of more than twenty books on home repair and improvement, Charlie Wing is perhaps the most credible house-building teacher in the world. His writing and illustrations make complex home issues understandable. An MIT graduate, he developed and hosted a national PBS energy conservation series, Housewarming with Charlie Wing, and served as primary editorial developer for Home Depot's branded 1-2-3 books.
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Top Customer Reviews
To be fair, the book doesn't pass itself off as a "how to" guide. I made that assumption, perhaps misinterpreting some of the details and descriptions of what the book has to offer.
That said, when I go through my home, or look at a property I might want to purchase, having this visual tool on my Kindle app really does provide some valuable insight. Just not enough to give me the confidence to delve into some of the areas I'd hoped to spend more time on.
First and foremost: this is NOT a repair manual. While it does include some basic tips on general repairs, this is nowhere near the same as having a repair manual for the exact appliance or system you have in your home. HOWEVER, if you're the type of person who only needs to understand how something works to begin to repair it yourself, this book will absolutely come in handy!
While I'd say every home owner *should* at least be familiar with the inner workings of the things in their home, this book is not necessarily for every home owner. Hint: if you or your gift recipient frequently hire handy- or repairmen for what would be a common or basic repair for most, skip this!
✘ It's written in the style of a college professor who speaks English perfectly, but American English is not his native language. In this analogy, it's not clear at all where this professor is even from.
✘ Continuing with the college professor analogy, recall your college professors that clearly understood the material well, but conveyed that material in a manner that seemed almost intentionally cryptic. This book is frustrating and unsatisfying in the same way. Some of the material is just not explained clearly.
✘ Some of the advice may not be safe. Page 187 has a passage that reads, "If the bulb is in a fixture controlled by a wall switch, with the power off, bend up the center tab in the lamp socket." I'm no safety expert, but I think the appropriate safety guidance here is to flip the circuit breaker off before messing with any sockets. What's even more puzzling is the fact that this passage is in a troubleshooting guide that hypothesizes that the wall switch may be faulty! OK, if the wall switch is faulty, how can you trust that it's really off?
✘ There are a number of glaring typos in this book. It's enough to make me suspect there was not much of an editing effort. This would help to explain the above issues.
✔✘ Very nice diagrams, but they suffer from the above issues.
In summary, it's good information, but the book is somewhat 𝐚𝐧𝐧𝐨𝐲𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐭𝐨 𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐝.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It actually makes you want to read about systems that aren't even in your house.Read more