Home & Garden

Luggage cover can ease fears about bedbugs

BugZip encases entire pieces of luggage, helping to prevent bedbugs from hitching a ride home.
BugZip encases entire pieces of luggage, helping to prevent bedbugs from hitching a ride home. MCT

BugZip luggage encasements can ease travelers' worries about bedbugs.

You enclose your whole suitcase or garment bag inside one of the zippered encasements when you arrive at your destination to prevent bedbugs from hitching a ride home on your suitcase or belongings. A smaller encasement is designed for protecting clothes in drawers.

It's not intended for use during travel.

BugZip is sold at Bugzip.com and some travel-goods stores, online sites and retailers including Bed Bath & Beyond. Prices range from $14.99 to $24.99.

Dress environmentally

Little Green Dresses by designer Tina Sparkles (Taunton Press, $22.95) shows how to do your part for the Earth by restyling old clothing — and blankets, tablecloths and other fabric items — into fresh new designs. The styles tend toward the flirty and fun, ideal for younger stitchers.

The book contains 50 patterns for dresses, tops, skirts and other garments. Each is assigned skill levels in pattern-making and sewing, so you can pick projects that match your abilities.

Q&A

Question: I've never found a good solution to the drafts from around my dryer vent. My laundry center is in a corner of my kitchen, and a cold day with the winds on that side of the house can be uncomfortable when I spend a lot of time in that room. Do you know of any products designed for that purpose?

Answer: Brian Smith, an energy rater who owns Energy Saving Comfort Systems Inc. of Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, suggested making sure your dryer vent has a functioning damper. Lint buildup sometimes prevents the damper from closing properly, which can let cold air in.

He also recommended checking for gaps around the vent where it leaves the house. A gap of a quarter-inch or less can be sealed with silicone caulk. For a wider gap, use an expanding foam sealant such as Great Stuff.

Smith said, however, that it might not be possible to stop the chill completely. Aluminum transfers heat quickly, so the duct can get cold fast, he said.

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